As 2018 winds down, all of us at CommPartners want to express our gratitude to our clients, partners and extended community for your collaboration and friendship over the past year. This was our 25th year in business. Where has the time gone? It’s been fun to look back and see how technology and online learning has changed and how our company and all of us individually have evolved. We’re proud of our history and our evolution as an organization. We feel fortunate to work with so many wonderful clients over many years. These relationships make our jobs so enjoyable and rewarding. We are extremely blessed!
Recently Barbara Bouton, Vice President, Professional Development from the National Hospice and Palliative Care Association provided us the following quote:
I truly think CommPartners is the best company I’ve had the privilege to work with in my career. I value each of you and am proud of the work we’ve accomplished together – especially the innovations!
What Barbara said reinforced our sense that what’s most important is the relationship between our team and our client’s staff and the commitment to stick together to seize opportunities and meet whatever challenges arise.
So as we celebrate 2018, we take pride in our clients’ success and all you have accomplished through your education initiatives.
The Year’s Highlights
- We celebrated five years since Elevate LMS was developed. It takes this period of time for a SaaS solution to fulfill the promise you envision when it’s first created. This year we experienced over 100% growth in new client placements. We are thrilled to welcome so many new organizations into the CP Family.
- We had our first user conference in 2018 that occurred in the spring in Washington DC. The conference included keynote and breakout sessions, trainings, one on one consultation and exhibits. Thank you to our presenters, partners and attendees for making this event a success.
- We established our Advisory Board to receive feedback on new ideas and development and provide clients an active voice as we move forward.
- We created a new administrative portal in Elevate that makes creating, managing and tracking education programs simple, fast and convenient. Our team was determined to support our clients with the most intuitive and user friendly admin available.
- EventCenter our proprietary webcast software was redeveloped with a new design, attendance checks, interactive features, high quality VOIP and enhanced multimedia.
- Our Higher Logic Partnership continued to evolve allowing our mutual clients to bring together community and learning in a unified presence. We are now building the next generation of our integration to support further engagement and bring together content from thought leaders and peer sharing of ideas.
- We established a partnership with BadgeCert to seamlessly provide and assign digital badges from learning activities in Elevate. We feel this will be an important to benefit to our clients as they incorporate digital credentials into their education offerings.
- The National Credentialing Institute was unveiled by our friends at Limitless Association Resources. CommPartners will be hosting this new site which is created to provide associations with assessment-based, professional development based on industry best practice for current and emerging industry professionals.
- We created our own community called CommPartners Connect. It supports the opportunity to collaborate around important topics in online learning and events.
- We welcomed five new staff members to the CP Team.
CommPartners’ first client 25 years was the National Association of Home Builders. This year NAHB selected CommPartners and our Elevate platform for their LMS. We’re grateful to reestablish our partnership with NAHB and all of our clients who continued to depend on us to support their online learning and events.
May each of you be blessed with good health and happiness in the New Year.
CommPartners is excited to announce the launch of an Advisory Board for Elevate Learning Management System. The Elevate Advisory Board is comprised of a variety of end users, staff, and industry partners. Our goal is to effectively share ideas and review valuable insight that can help frame our future organizational initiatives. Through hearing the different experiences and offering a deeper look into admin and user processes, we hope to advance how the system operates for both admin and end user optimization. The Advisory Board will meet every quarter and will serve a one-year term.
We would like to officially welcome the following members to the 2018 Elevate Advisory Board:
Erica Holman, LMSW, LNHA, CDP
Risk Management Consultant
Ahren Hoffman, CTRS, CPE
Director of Education & Training
American Specialty Toy Retailing Association
Pauline Judge, CAP-OM
Manager, Events & Operations
Weatherbee Resources, Inc.
Hospice Compliance Network
American Gear Manufacturers Association
Tara Bishop, CAE
Deputy Chief Executive
National Council of University
Solution Resource, LLC
American Society of Addiction Medicine
Josh Yavelberg, PhD
Online Education Manager
National Recreation and Park Association
Gail Smith, PMP, CTT
Senior Event Manager and Training Lead
Society of Petroleum Engineers
Manager, Member Engagement and
Council on Social Work Education
Holi Jones Kimbrough
Director of Education & Meetings
National Association of Enrolled Agents
Manager, Professional Development
American Academy of Audiology
Membership and Customer Service Coordinator
Accreditation Council for Accountancy and Taxation
National Society of Accountants
Columbia, MD – November 1, 2017. CommPartners, a leading provider of Learning Management Software, webinar, webcast, and livestream solutions announced details for Peak 2018 Conference. The event will take place March 15-16, 2018 in Washington, D.C.
Peak is a conference designed to inspire, educate, and train association professionals in a wide range of e-learning topics. The event will feature two keynote sessions, eight breakout sessions, deep-dive Elevate LMS trainings, peer knowledge exchanges, and more. Topics include Social Learning, Building a Dynamic LMS, Credentialing, Course Design, and e-Learning Trends. A complete agenda can be found at www.commpartners.com/Peak.
“We are excited to host our first conference where association peers can come together and not only receive extensive training on Elevate Learning Management System and our other services, but to also learn from peers who share similar challenges.” Richard Finstein, CEO, CommPartners
Learning opportunities and trainings will provide value to all professionals who have a key role in their organizations education and professional development strategy. Attendees will be eligible for up to 4 CAE credits and will also have the opportunity to connect socially with peers, partners, and industry leaders during a happy hour reception.
“It is our goal that attendees leave Peak 2018 with clear direction on how to revolutionize their online learning programs and to arm them with the tools to help them get there”, explains Finstein.
Peak 2018 – CommPartners’ First Education & User Conference
March 15-16, 2018
District Architecture Center | Washington D.C.
CommPartners is a leading provider of online education and event solutions. At the core of the company’s solutions is our Elevate Learning Management System. Elevate is the only LMS with fully integrated and embedded webinar, livestream and multimedia software to support learning, how and when it occurs. The connection between live, peer-to-peer knowledge exchanges and traditional continuing education programs leads to improved learning outcomes, as well as increased participation within an organization’s education offerings. To learn more visit: www.commpartners.com
When considering how to monetize your learning, it is important to have a clearly defined and executed business strategy that properly aligns with your Learning Management System. Organizations often think of the LMS as simply the container and delivery site for their online programs. While this is true, if a goal is to make these programs profitable, it’s important to articulate and execute a revenue-generating online learning management strategy.
Here are six considerations to help ensure your e-learning programs are profitable:
Six Tips to Make Your Online e-Learning Program Profitable
1. Build a Knowledge Community vs. a Catalog of Opportunities
The LMS has evolved from a quiet presence within an organization’s website to a full-blown knowledge community that supports and integrates live and on-demand content in many forms. Be sure to incorporate social learning and peer to peer exchanges within your online e-learning platform to increase traffic and build a true knowledge community.
2. Provide Meaningful, Diversified and Relevant Content
Think of your LMS as an online learning store. Having an interesting array of content, create complementary offerings that range from free to high priced, high value. Attractively display your online content to satisfy a wider range of stakeholders’ needs and budgets.
3. Offer Individual Subscriptions & Pre-Payment
No one likes to take out their credit card and make a payment. Have your community pre-commit for access to your entire online e-learning platform, or a portion of this content through a subscription or package of programs. Make subscription purchases financially attractive.
4. Support Group Purchasing or Group Subscriptions
The easiest way to increase users of your online e-learning platform is to have all employees of an organization have access to your content. Engaging a single purchaser for many participants is a nice way to supplement individual purchases.
5. Integrate Online Learning with Other Organization Initiatives
Create loyalty by extending LMS discounts or assigning a pre-paid balance for online learning opportunities as a reward for investment in an organization. This could include a membership renewal or participating in an onsite conference.
6. Have an Attractive and Simple Shopping Cart Experience
Ensure your process for selection and payment of online learning is simple and intuitive. If you are integrating with an external database or AMS for purchases, make sure there is no visual or programmatic disconnect between the two programs.
Like any business, it takes an entrepreneurial approach to generate the returns you are hoping to receive. Investing time in the right online learning platform and having a successful strategy will help ensure a successful ROI.
Contact Us About Your e-Learning Needs
Whether you are considering investing in an LMS or simply looking to expand your organization’s e-learning strategy, CommPartners can help you create quality educational experiences that engage and inspire the learner. Fill out our online contact form or give us a call at (800) 274-9390 to learn how we can help.
By Mary Byers, CAE, CSP
According to Forbes contributor Mike Maddock, “In order to make a product or service everything it can be, it needs to be repeatedly soft launched with both internal stakeholders and external customers. This means literally sending the idea—be it a product or a service—into a limited part of the marketplace with the full understanding that it will be modified (perhaps extensively) based on how customers and consumers react.”
But this isn’t how most associations approach innovation. Most I’ve worked with see innovation as a beginning and an end rather than an iterative process. A beginning and an end is more comfortable because we start and finish. We’re able to cross something off the list—and then we move on. It’s less comfortable to be “in process” with a fluctuating launch date (especially when reporting to a board of directors) and uncertainty about what the final product or service will look like.
Maddock’s iterative approach can be summed up in one word: experimentation. And it’s a strategy I’m suggesting for associations, albeit an uncomfortable one.
Certainty is much easier to sell, both internally and externally. But innovation can be anything but certain. Often, it’s a messy, chaotic process. And who likes that?
Though we may not like it, achievers and innovators have found a way to live with the messiness of experimenting. Even more so, they’ve adopted a willingness to experiment as a strategy for moving their associations forward. There’s a lot to be experimenting with these days in the association arena:
- Hybrid dues models
- Product pricing and packaging
- Online & e-learning
- Face-to-face meeting innovations
- Video vs. printed communications
Experimenting in the above areas is difficult because there’s so much at stake. But there’s even more at stake for associations that don’t experiment. Declining revenue, decreasing meeting attendance, and falling membership numbers are just the beginning. There’s also loss of influence and long-term sustainability to consider.
There are three things that making experimenting easier for associations:
- Do it regularly. A culture of continuous experimentation not only helps determine where you can gain momentum, it becomes an expectation. And when it is an expectation, it’s easier to get your board and staff to support you.
- Utilize soft launches. There’s a lot at stake with a big, splashy roll-out. Start with small, quiet experiments. The bigger the project, the more important this is.
- Make recalibration a habit. Moddock writes, “We’re only right when the market tells us so….The market will help us see and hear what we can do to be more right (and also help us eliminate all the things our customers—and potential customers—don’t like or don’t want).”
The willingness to experiment is both a habit and a mindset. It’s also a valuable strategy for associations in today’s rapidly changing landscape.
Mary Byers, CAE, CSP, shares additional strategy starters for busy association professionals in her new online learning series titled, Momentum: Strategy Starters for Today’s Association Professional at leadwiselearning.com. She is also the author of Race for Relevance: 5 Radical Changes for Associations.