The Executive - May/June 2017 - 18

continued from page 15
specifically for senior-level volunteers.
Thanks to these improvements,
attendees are extremely satisfied with
the conferences' content, giving them
an average 4.25 out of 5 rating.
Unstructured Sessions
An attendee will not return to work
raving to his or her colleagues about
the PowerPoint presentation a speaker
gave at a conference. With technology
at everyone's fingertips, attention spans
are short. Keep attendees on their toes
by creating unstructured sessions. This
format features minimal predetermined
topics and allows attendees to lead the
session rather than facilitators. You
can achieve this through unregulated
discussion time during an education
program or by allowing attendees to vote
at the beginning of a session on what
specific topics will be featured. This way,
attendees determine what they want to
talk about and get the most value out of
the session.
Applied Client Network, a group of
educators and advocates for users of
Applied Systems Software, embraced
the unstructured concept by creating a
user showcase that allowed participants
to go up to the podium and share a tip
the entire group could use. Members
enjoyed the session so much that Applied
Client Network plans to implement the
showcase in future sessions.
Another benefit of this
unconventional format is that it offers
flexibility to respond to emerging
situations. For example, if new,
impactful legislation is passed a week
before an event, an unstructured
session can be adjusted on the fly to
address that topic.
New Technologies
To replace the PowerPoint lecture,
use second-screen technology instead.
This technology encourages conference
and business meeting attendees
to communicate with presenters,
conference organizers or each other
in real time. Second screen involves
interacting on a device, typically a
smartphone, with another screen, like
the exhibit hall display.
So, while listening to a speaker
discuss his or her slides on the large
screen, attendees can follow along on
their smartphones and tablets. They
also can take polls, leave comments in
a chat room and review background
information on the content being

For more information regarding association education and other key
association trends, issues and developments, see SmithBucklin's
"Circuit: 20 for 2017" at
provided. This method stops attendees
from passively listening and gets them
actively engaging with the speaker, the
content and other participants.
Live Examples
One of the oldest tips in the book-
show, don't tell- is just as important
in education. Rather than telling your
audience about a significant change
or new idea, show them. Actual, live
examples will certainly catch and keep
your attendees' attention.
For example, the American
Urogynecologic Society conducted a
plenary session at its annual scientific
meeting that featured a live broadcast
of three operations performed by
AUG's members who are leading
surgeons in the field. The session also
included physicians moderating and
conducting cadaveric demonstrations
onsite. It provided a rare opportunity
for attendees to learn directly from
renowned surgeons and physicians.
Peer-to-Peer Learning
Another way to get attendees'
attention is to encourage a peer-led
discussion. Stop the presentation and ask
the group to offer a problem or situation
related to the topic. Then, using a
whiteboard, ask them to work together to
design a solution. You also can designate
topics for small-table discussions with
the findings delivered to the full group.
Straying into other discussions related
to the topic is perfectly fine if that's what
the attendees want.
For example, the North American
Wholesale Lumber Association kept the
content of its Executive Management
Institute- a four-day intense
educational program that helps prepare
and enhance the skills of future leaders
in the forest products industry- lively
by having attendees work together
on current, real-life problems or
projects they are working on in a small
discussion group. With guidance from
industry leaders, the group of peers then
offered solutions and suggestions to
each participant. Class size was limited
to 16, so everyone received enough
attention and time to address their
concerns. At the end of the week, select
attendees gave a presentation on how
their projects progressed.

Ca lSAE's T HE E XEC U T IV E - M A Y/ J U NE 2 0 1 7

Everyone likes being rewarded
and recognized for hard work.
The prospect of earning a reward
will have attendees paying close
attention to what's involved in the
education opportunities. Incremental
acknowledgements ensure a focus
on every part of the knowledge being
imparted, which is why digital badges
are becoming increasingly popular.
This credentialing option, which
is relatively new and still evolving, is
a visual representation of a specific
accomplishment that can be shared
on social media, embedded in digital
résumés and showcased on personal
websites. Certifications will always
be an excellent way to indicate
achievement in a broad skill set, but
digital badges offer an easy, accessible
way to recognize more narrowly
focused achievements.
The Institute for Credentialing
Excellence (ICE), an association that
provides education and resources
to organizations and individuals
that work in the credentialing
industry, launched an electronic
badging program for members who
complete specific ICE programs
and certifications. Members
can then create buzz about their
achievement by posting their badges
on their social media- and it creates
buzz for their association. This
immediate recognition and visible
representation of achievements
makes education offerings more
Innovative approaches to
education can add value to events,
increase attendee interest, offer an
element of surprise and help provide
sought-after recognition. By offering
unexpected educational experiences,
an association can increase its
chances of delighting members and
Chris Ballman is Senior Director
of Education & Learning Services
at SmithBucklin, an association
management and services company. For
more information about education and
learning services for your organization,
call 800-539-9740.

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Executive - May/June 2017

The Tipping Point of Association Learning
6 Ways to Use Video at Your Annual Event
Embrace Unconventional Learning Formats to Educate and Engage Attendees
Force Majeure: When Can I Cancel My Contract With No Liability?
2017 Elevate Annual Conference
Chair’s Message: It’s Been an Education by Mike Mitchell, CAE
At a Glance
New Members
Destination: Los Angeles, Anaheim, Temecula, San Diego
Member Spotlight: Scott P. Leary
Index to Advertisers
The Executive - May/June 2017 - intro
The Executive - May/June 2017 - cover1
The Executive - May/June 2017 - cover2
The Executive - May/June 2017 - 3
The Executive - May/June 2017 - 4
The Executive - May/June 2017 - Chair’s Message: It’s Been an Education by Mike Mitchell, CAE
The Executive - May/June 2017 - At a Glance
The Executive - May/June 2017 - 7
The Executive - May/June 2017 - The Tipping Point of Association Learning
The Executive - May/June 2017 - 9
The Executive - May/June 2017 - 10
The Executive - May/June 2017 - 11
The Executive - May/June 2017 - 6 Ways to Use Video at Your Annual Event
The Executive - May/June 2017 - 13
The Executive - May/June 2017 - 14
The Executive - May/June 2017 - Embrace Unconventional Learning Formats to Educate and Engage Attendees
The Executive - May/June 2017 - 16
The Executive - May/June 2017 - 17
The Executive - May/June 2017 - 18
The Executive - May/June 2017 - New Members
The Executive - May/June 2017 - Force Majeure: When Can I Cancel My Contract With No Liability?
The Executive - May/June 2017 - 21
The Executive - May/June 2017 - 2017 Elevate Annual Conference
The Executive - May/June 2017 - 23
The Executive - May/June 2017 - 24
The Executive - May/June 2017 - 25
The Executive - May/June 2017 - 26
The Executive - May/June 2017 - 27
The Executive - May/June 2017 - 28
The Executive - May/June 2017 - Destination: Los Angeles, Anaheim, Temecula, San Diego
The Executive - May/June 2017 - Index to Advertisers
The Executive - May/June 2017 - cover3
The Executive - May/June 2017 - cover4