Would You Like to Improve the Reach, Revenue, or Impact of Your Education Business?

BY Celisa Steele


Janice Im is the chief program officer at ZERO TO THREE and a Leading Learning Symposium advisor. Read about her and the other advisors at http://leadinglearning.tagoras.com/advisors.

Reach. Revenue. Impact.

Three words sum up what most organizations with a market-facing education business are looking for.

Reach, revenue, and impact are what we help the organizations we consult with to improve.

When we do research and publish reports and white papers, we’re looking to discover and document:

  • how organizations are making sure they’re reaching not only a critical mass of learners but the right learners,
  • how organizations are driving revenue from their professional development and continuing education programs that not only sustains the education business but helps support other goals and overarching mission, and
  • how organizations are ensuring that their products and services have impact and result in positive change not only for the individual learners but for the profession or industry as a whole.

And now, building on our prior work and the large community of followers we have developed, we’re officially announcing the first annual Leading Learning Symposium this October, the only event designed specifically for leaders—at the director level and above—in the business 
of continuing education, professional development, and lifelong learning.

Colleen Cunningham, CAI
“The agenda looks fantastic! This is really something that people in my role need and no one else is providing.”
—Colleen Cunningham, vice president of learning services, CAI

“Fantastic” Agenda, Impressive Attendees, Hand-Picked Faculty

Thanks to a soft launch among our faithful, we already have an impressive line-up of attendees that runs the gamut from CEO to director of eduction. I call the line-up impressive because we know many of these folks already and know that their experience, knowledge, questions, and enthusiasm will add to the value of the symposium.

Amy Mawyer, Virginia CPAs

Amy Mawyer is the vice president of strategy and development at the Virginia Society of CPAs and a Leading Learning Symposium advisor. Read about her and the other advisors at http://leadinglearning.tagoras.com/advisors.

We’ll be working hard over the coming months, with input from attendees and advisors, to continue to shape the symposium, flesh out the agenda, and add faculty.

We already have fantastic faculty in place—everyone comes with content expertise and strong facilitation skills. These folks understand learning requires the engagement and effort of those involved; learning is not something that can be spoon-fed.

The current faculty include three powerhouses:

  • Seth Kahan is the founder of Association Transformation and an expert on innovation and change. He wrote Getting Innovation Right: How Leaders Leverage Inflection Points to Drive Success (2013), and he’s worked with over 100 association CEOs. (He’s also a poet, which gets anyone bonus points in my book.)
  • Lisa A. Bing focuses on leadership. She knows how to help adults improve their performance rapidly and dramatically.
  • Wes Trochlil gets the importance of technology—not for its own sake but for what it can enable and for the data it can provide. Wes has worked in and with more than 150 associations, nonprofits, and membership organizations to ensure their databases and data are effective.

Jeff and I will also serve as faculty, and we’ll be adding others in the coming months.

Lisa Bing, Wes Trochlil, and Seth Kahan

Lisa A. Bing, Wes Trochlil, and Seth Kahan are faculty for the Leading Learning Symposium. Read about them and the other faculty at http://leadinglearning.tagoras.com/faculty.

Barbara Bricoli, NICHE“I’m excited about the symposium because our organization is continually seeking new ways to improve the adult learning we offer. We expect this to be a great opportunity to learn from and collaborate with our peers on high impact, best practices and new innovations in learning, especially in the healthcare arena.”

—Barbara Bricoli, executive director, Nurses Improving Care for Healthsystem Elders

Taking Conferences Back to Their Origins

Somewhere along the way it seems conferences have turned into entertainment “experiences”—fancy destinations, ice sculptures, original song-and-dances.

I have nothing against any of those things, but they shouldn’t be the focus. The best thing at a conference shouldn’t be the food or the freebies on the exhibit floor. It should be the learning.

We’ll put everything we know about effective learning—spaced learning, interleaving, effortful recall—and business practices to deliver a high-impact experience.

And we’ll make sure the food and venue are good too. 😉 We just want to be clear that’s not what the symposium is all about.

The Leading Learning Symposium does have sponsors—and we’re truly grateful to them—but we’ve intentionally kept the number small. YourMembership, Classroom24-7, and Higher Logic are companies that are invested in learning and collaboration and have invested in learning technology. We think they’ll be good partners, adding to the value of the event.

Why Now for the Symposium?

There are many reasons why we decided the time is right for the Leading Learning Symposium, but I’ll mention three.

1. The Growing Importance of Lifelong Learning

Lifelong learning has never been more important, and yet there are very few opportunities for leaders in the adult lifelong learning market to connect with and learn from each other in a structured, high-impact way.

The Leading Learning Symposium will provide just such an opportunity.

2. A Focus on Market-Facing Adult Education

The vast majority of events focused on training and education are aimed at either corporate or academic audiences. They are of limited value to those of us focused on running market-facing adult education businesses.

The Leading Learning Symposium is by and for leaders in the business 
of continuing education, professional development, and lifelong learning.

3. The Use of Research-Based Best Practices

Most events of any type adhere to learning practices that research has shown repeatedly to be of low value.

With the symposium, we aim to facilitate an experience that will model research-based best practices for effective learning events.

Amanda Beckner, InfoComm International“Participation in the Leading Learning Symposium supports thoughtful evaluation of what’s on the horizon, so that I may intelligently influence the strategic direction of adult education programs and supporting systems.”
—Amanda Beckner, senior director of knowledge management, InfoComm International

What Now for You?

If you’re a learning leader and interested in exploring with peers and experts how to improve the reach, revenue, and impact of your education business, we hope you’ll join us in October for the Leading Learning Symposium. You can find out more about the symposium on the event Web site at http://leadinglearning.tagoras.com.

Take some time to explore soon, though, as the preferred registration rate expires on Friday, May 29.


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