Content is king

Aaron D. Wolowiec, MSA, CAE, CMP, CTA
Aaron D. Wolowiec, MSA, CAE, CMP, CTA

Earlier this year, CareerCast released its 2012 Job Stress Report listing meeting planner as the sixth most stressful job based upon work environment, job competitiveness and risk.

Consider, for a moment, a day in the life: from hotel contracts and BEOs to speaker agreements and accommodations. Not to mention the production and distribution of marketing materials, and the processing of attendee registrations. Drill down even further and it’s enough to make your head spin.

So, it’s no wonder that learning often takes a back seat in the planning process. After all, learning is the responsibility of the speaker, right?

Not so fast. Learning – which is essentially the act or process of acquiring knowledge or skill – is actually the number one deliverable of any education program (with networking a strong second) and is more often than not cited as a core competency in organizational mission statements.

Additionally, meaningful content that is both well organized and well delivered can have a profound impact on program attendance and the organization’s bottom line. The equation is simple: increased satisfaction develops into member loyalty and referrals over time. Likewise, curated content (given sufficient value) can be repackaged, repurposed and resold.

The trick is in streamlining the planning process. Increased efficiency in the day-to-day work will allow you more time to think strategically (and focus on learning). Only then will you be able to research member needs, set learning goals and objectives, examine innovative programming/learning models and develop your speakers into effective instructional designers.

For additional insight on how the professional development landscape is changing, I recommend reading my Feb. 29 blog post titled, “The professional development trifecta: Competition, strategy and experience.”

Aaron D. Wolowiec, MSA, CAE, CMP, CTA, is the founder and president of Event Garde LLC, a professional development consulting firm in Grand Rapids, Mich., committed to delivering dynamic, meaningful and compelling education and networking experiences that inspire learning, engagement and community. For more information, log on to www.eventgarde.com or email aaron@eventgarde.com.