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Creating Added Value for Your Meeting or Education Workshop Attendees

November 01, 2012

Section News

Your section's education workshop or regular monthly meetings are already rich with networking and content, but you may consider providing the following items as an additional value, giving members more bang for their buck. These items are either easy to implement or easy on your section's wallet.

  • Take notes: For any meeting or workshop, try using EverNote – have designated members or volunteers take notes and make the notes available to all participants after the event. This will create added value after and increase the amount of learning that takes place. Plus, they can share with co-workers when they get back, demonstrating value to their employers and you might pick up a few registrants and/or attendees at future events!
  • Share session slides: With each presenter, ask for their slides (either PowerPoint or PDF) and post via SlideShare or on your website/STLE section page. You could also email the slides to attendees of that program, or just those who are members in your section. Providing the slides is helpful to both attendees and non-attendees, as those who attended can refresh their memory and those who missed can get a brief recap of the session (when you pair the slides with notes from the session, or pair the slides with an article summary).
  • Pre- and post-event: You may also want to ask the presenter to write an article for your member publication/website as a teaser to the presentation or as a post-meeting summary. If you provide this beforehand, you can draw more attendees, and then consider adding content to the pre-event information - creating a handout or summary of the session. If you get an article after the event, it reinforces the information presented and creates a resource for your members.
  • Tap your speakers: If your speakers don't have time to write an article on their presentation, consider having a member write up a summary and do a quick interview with the speaker. It provides some additional information, gets volunteers involved and doesn't tax the speaker. The interview could be done before or after the event, and can be used for promotion or as a summary, similar to an article.
  • Go electronic: Any articles or interviews can be done as a text article, or you could opt to create some electronic resources. These could include a podcast (audio recording), or through video. If you'd like to create a podcast, feel free to contact us for information on how to set that up, but some free tools for this include BlogTalkRadio and PodBean. To create a video, you could purchase a Flip camera (or other inexpensive video camera) for your section, and conduct an interview with the speaker before as promotion, or after as a summary. You could also consider hosting a live interview with the speaker before an event as promotion, or after as a Q&A for your members via a Google+ Hangout. A Hangout is a free service through Google, that allows you to host a video chat with up to 9 other people. Unfortunately, you cannot record it, but you could have someone take notes from the session, or simply live in the moment!
  • Share the attendee list: This way, members can connect and follow up after the workshop or meeting or make new contacts. You can include the list on-site (if registration is pretty solid and you don't get many on-site registrations), or you can send it via email shortly after the event.
  • Curate additional content: Consider creating a packet of articles, a white paper or resource sheet to accompany any presentations you host (in addition to the notes from the session and any other materials). This can include related articles from TLT, Letters and Transactions, articles from speakers or articles written by your members. If you curate the content (find articles and resources that are relevant to a particular topic) and provide it in an easy reference format, you've increased their perception of value instantly! For education workshops it's very handy when you provide a jump drive or CD with the course content (and serves as a sponsorship opportunity), and if you print up the slides beforehand and distribute on site, attendees could take notes while listening to the speaker.

Any of these items will create added value before and after the event has concluded, increase the amount of learning that takes place, and allow members to share information with their colleagues. All of this demonstrates the value to employers and attendees - and you might pick up a few registrants or members for your next meeting or workshop. What other ideas do you have, or have you tried at your section?

For more information or questions, contact Kara Sniegowski at klemar@stle.org or at (847) 825-5536.

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