There are many technology consultants who know associations. DelCor has remained a leader in the association technology space for decades. What is remarkable is that this “band” of experts has stayed together just as long. In episode 4 of Managing eLearning, Tobin Conley, certified association executive, describes how DelCor aligns technology strategy to association mission and goals. Tobin is a major personality and verbal at all ASAE conferences. You can tell he is having face to face withdrawal as he speaks about the importance of in person conferences. Keep reading or tune in to hear his thoughts on the impact of the pandemic, the future of association technology, and especially his wisdom on learning platforms and life-long learning.
Having been at DelCor for 20 years, Tobin describes why somebody should consider hiring them. To describe what the business does, he says they do not sell anything, but they take their experience and expertise to uncover the unique needs of each association. They essentially build a business case and give great options that fit each association.
“We’ve walked a mile in their shoes. Understanding somebody’s situation really lends credence to your ability to helping them solve their problems,” said Conley.
A major point of interest during the episode was underlining the key to sucess and lifelong learning. They key, according to Conley, is learning something new every day, in which he encourages everyone to do the same in order to be successful in business and the association space. Furthermore, another crucial aspect is keeping everyone together, and you must do so by encouraging passion and curiosity. Without the believe that you can make a difference, there is no desire and passion to succeed, which may be harder to come by after the impacts of the pandemic.
Jon and Matt then pivoted to talking about how COVID-19 had impacted association technology, specifically within the past 12 months. Working from home had forced industries to embrace digital solutions, despite any lack of prior experience. Ultimately, this immediate shift in venue had changed the way we work and go about our day-to-day business operations. Everyone had to find a way to keep their operations in motion while maintaining similar value, which led to the rise of virtual conferencing platforms. Specifically, Conley said executives became more focused on digital transformation, simply because they had to follow the money, which involved reimagining how to run a conference and engage sponsors members.
Due to this digital transformation, people are more willing to communicate online and attend meetings that they possibly couldn’t have before. There is a new comfort factor associated with technology, webcams, and Zoom that hadn’t been normalized before. Likely, this technology won’t be forgotten any time soon.
As for learning platforms, associations need to provide continuing education to their members. The whole model of these platforms has changed, in which there is a richer set of features available for configuration, as well as a new level of interoperability that allows users to do a lot more.
When asked for his final advice for customers and vendors in the discovery process, Conley proposed his set of “Be’s” that will help individuals: be realistic, be truthful, be transparent, be thorough, be flexible, and most importantly, be your best.
Want to hear more about Tobin Conley’s take on the future of online learning? Listen to the full episode here!