This post originally appeared in BizBash.com on September 11, 2014.
Last month I moderated a roundtable for heads of in-house event departments, and one of the main issues to arise was the challenge of proving the value of in-house planners. “Executives in my company still don’t know what we do,” said one person. “They think they could just as well give the work to a secretary.”
This is a common complaint, and not just in the events industry. And since these executives aren’t going to go out of their way to learn what we do, it’s incumbent upon us to inform them. This is part of the reason we developed Digital Credentials earlier this year.
Digital Credentials & Certifications are based on the Open Badges platform developed by Mozilla, and supported by the MacArthur Foundation and other organizations, as a new way for people to demonstrate, share and verify skills and accomplishments in the digital age.
How They Work
When someone completes one of our Professional Development Courses they have the option of taking a remote-proctored, online exam. If they score an 85 or higher, they earn a Digital Credential, essentially a badge icon with our logo and the name of the course.
The secret sauce here is that each Credential has unique code embedded in it. People can place these Credentials on their email signatures, LinkedIn pages, blogs, websites, or Facebook pages. Anyone who clicks on it is brought to a secure Verification Page, which lists the person’s name, the date they earned it, what coursework they studied, and what it qualifies them to do.
Benefits to the Credential Earner
For the person who earns the Credential, the benefits are obvious: just about anyone you come into digital contact with can learn a great deal about what skills you’ve mastered, with a single click. When that in-house executive sees the level of detail of a given course you’ve completed, they’ll know right away that what you do can’t be accomplished by a secretary
Benefits to the Employer
For the employer, aside from instant verification, it gives them the ability to quickly see if the material mastered is the right match for their job opening, whether full time or freelance.
If you’re an event agency looking to hire someone to manage the production on an awards show or an investor meeting, for example, seeing that a candidate earned their Technical Meeting & Event Production credential tells you they covered audio, projection, lighting, staging, slide graphics and more.
For a corporate recruiter looking for a junior level event coordinator, the Event & Meeting Management Fundamentals credential shows you the person learned about event architecture, strategy, logistics, venue selection, budgeting and more. The point is, they can easily see if what you know fits what they need.
Digital Credentials by themselves will not solve the problem of proving your value. Ultimately you have to show people what you know through the work that you do. But it’s a big step in the right direction, particularly for people who may not have had a chance to work with you in an event capacity.