When fall rolls around with back to school sales and fresh supplies in every store aisle, it’s easy to feel the nostalgic pull of starting a new year of learning. Let’s be honest – who doesn’t get a little excited about cracking open a brand-new notebook and filling it with ideas using a freshly sharpened pencil?
Of course, this year’s back to school season is vastly different than what is typical during this time of year.
But between that sense of nostalgia and everything that has changed post-COVID, it’s not only an excellent time to think about helping your event team learn – it’s imperative.
Whether you and your team’s goals are to find new ways to pivot this year’s meetings and events to virtual approaches or start the wheels turning for pandemic meeting and event design, here’s why embracing professional education now has a significant pay-off.
Invest for the Future
“An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.”
Employees at all organizations want more learning and development: 94 percent said they would stay at their companies longer if their employers took an active role in their learning and development.
Even in non-pandemic times, professional education helps team members advance their skills, which boosts job satisfaction and confidence — and can ultimately lead to a competitive advantage.
And with all of the changes the meeting and event industry has faced this year, ongoing professional education is vital to stay abreast of the new challenges associated with planning and producing virtual, hybrid, and safe in-person events when they resume.
New Opportunities for Personalized Learning
As companies of all sizes and across all industries – including event and meeting planning and production companies – reexamine their training and professional development strategies as a result of the pandemic, it’s clear there isn’t a one-size-fits-all training approach.
Team members have different skill sets, experience levels, and interests, which translates into different training needs. And as more education opportunities have moved to online formats as a result of the pandemic, the ability to tailor and personalize learning has increased.
When team members select courses or certifications of interest and can complete at their own pace, on their schedule, the experience becomes more personalized and valuable.
Let’s face it – those in the events and meetings industry thrive when we’re together face-to-face. But right now, that isn’t largely possible, and team members likely feel isolated from their peers.
One way to foster camaraderie – and accomplish training at the same time – is to have event team members take an online course or webinar together instead of individually.
When teams take the same course or webinar – even if they’re in different locations and participating virtually – they can (virtually) meet-up post-course to share insights, collaborate on new ideas, and discuss takeaways.
Use 2020 Budgets
While everything that has happened makes it seem like the year is dragging, the reality is there are only a few months left in the year – and to spend this year’s professional development dollars too.
Many organizations, including the Event Leadership Institute, offer bundled savings for year-long team memberships. Becoming a member or investing in team training now puts this year’s funds to good use and keeps the learning going into next year too – an effective strategy for stretching budget dollars.
2020’s challenges have made business-as-usual impossible for the meetings and events industry. But investing in professional team development pays off – in the short-term by creating opportunities to retain and grow employees and in the long-term by strategically positioning for success to come out of the pandemic.
The Event Leadership Institute offers a variety of solutions for event team training and professional development needs. Learn more.