March 14, 2014 by Jeff Hurt
Curation: it’s more important than you think.
And it’s extremely critical to the success of your education programming.
When it comes to choosing education programming, curation involves deep excavation of the right content for the right audience at the right time for the right issue.
Curation is more than just identifying content for your customers.
It’s picking the right education issue that is like currency and helping attendees exchange it for solutions that meet their needs. It is more than distributing a report or white paper or hosting a lecture.
Authentic curation involves:
helping members and nonmembers deeply understand the relevance of the topic to their personal and professional needs
practical, relevant examples illustrating how and why this topic is important to them as well as practical application of the topic
more than a one-way monologue or panelist dialogue, it involves participants discussing with each other different views and practical application
encouraging education participants to try on different perspectives of events, issues, and topics.
If you are the one assigned to plan and prepare education programming for your audience, your job is to move from being a scheduler of experts and presenters to curating the content and learning experience.
Here are five steps to help you transition to the curated education programming model.
Start by identifying your target market for your programming and their top needs. Then identify content that solves your target market problems.
Lay out your rooms and time slots for your schedule. Then select topics based on the target market’s pain points. Strategically place content next to or before and after other content that naturally creates a narrative. You goal with placing content is to evoke emotions, create a story and spur discussion. You want to intentionally incite contextual messages with the placement of the content. You want to display your best education programming assets and rotate in popular content from your past programming if it fits within the “issue-solution narrative.”
Remember your target audience and their pain points when selecting content. Then make sure you use evaluations from past sessions to help drive current selection. Use volunteers to provide advice only about pain points and topics, not selection of speakers. Look for speakers both within and outside the industry, not just your current echo chamber.
As the organizer of education programming, your job is to constantly assess and reevaluate the effectiveness and direction. Part of your job is to provide ongoing speaker training and improvements aids. You’ll want to provide detailed evaluations to all speakers and let them know your goal is quality improvements.
As an education programmer, your primary concern should be quality, not quantity. You want to create a demand for high-performing learning experiences. Stay away from trying to be all things to all people. Remember, you have a target audience for this product.
When you transition from a scheduler of experts based on the call for proposals to a education programmer curator, you can drive target market attendance and bottom line results!
What keeps you from curating education programming in your organization? How can you identify education programming that has been curated versus aggregated from a call for proposals?
Filed Under: Conference Education
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