Investing in a learning management system to support online educational events may seem intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. Here’s a helpful checklist of key capabilities to look for that will help you deliver a top-notch learning experience for your members.

Studies from Community Brands suggest that members of professional associations prefer to learn through multiple modes versus relying on a one-time per year conference or event as the only source of training and continuing education. That’s one reason why virtual events are gaining in popularity.

Online learning events offer a convenient option that many members seek. They also allow organizations to expand their reach to members who do not attend in-person events. And, they can be a great source of additional revenue for associations.

For the Virtual Events Report, based on a study conducted by Tagoras and sponsored by Community Brands, organizations that have not offered a virtual event were asked about their biggest concerns around online events. Technology topped the list. More than 76 percent said they’re concerned about the complexity of technology.

Investing in new technology can seem complicated, but it doesn’t have to be. Here are five key things to look for in a learning management system (LMS) to support your virtual events and deliver a great learning experience for your members.

Flexibility – Look for a system that allows you to grow your online learning program over time to meet your members’ needs. For example, you may want to offer only on-demand learning now, but as your program evolves, you may want to also offer livestreaming of in-person events. Some capabilities to consider:

  • Live and on-demand delivery
  • Personalized learning paths
  • Assessment and testing
  • Continuing education tracking and certifications
  • Social learning community
  • Mobile-friendly interfaces
  • Ecommerce
  • Configurable reporting

Interactivity – One of the key elements that makes your on-site events appealing is interactivity: talking with other attendees, asking questions, making comments. Interactivity can be brought to virtual experiences as well. Look for a system that supports networking and interaction opportunities in your online learning experience.

Ease of use – Be sure the system you select streamlines and simplifies manual tasks to free your learning staff’s time so they can focus more on providing the content your members need when they need it. At the same time, it’s important to allow your members to easily find the content they need all along their career journey. Be sure your LMS allows your staff to easily tag and categorize content so your members can quickly find the specific content they’re seeking.

Integration capabilities — To create an easy, seamless, and complete learning experience, your LMS should integrate with the system in which you manage your membership data, your association management system (AMS). Be sure to check that the LMS you are considering will integrate with your AMS. Ask the LMS vendor how the integration works, how much it costs, and how much time the integration will require from your team.

Support — For livestream events, be sure your LMS vendor can offer phone and online tech support for your attendees while your staff is busy dealing with your on-site event needs.

Whether you’re just starting a continuing education program or expanding an existing program, finding the right learning management system is a key step toward delivering a great learning experience.

Learn more about how to deliver successful and engaging virtual events. Watch the on-demand webinar, The State of Virtual Events.