Why CEU Events?
It began in 2013 when we decided to get into presenting CEU (Continued Education Unit) courses. CEUs are targeted toward interior designers and architects. The real true interior designers belonging to ASID, IIDA, IDC and architects to AIA need a certain number of CEU credits every two years in order to keep their association status up to date. For the manufacturer, it is a great way to get in front of the trade professionals and educate them about their product category and build the brand awareness which ultimately leads to specification of their products.
I started looking for companies that would guide me towards getting the CEU course done. The experience was a big failure and I couldn't believe the pricing I was getting quoted with very little explanation about the process. There are companies out there that will tell you that CEU course will cost you $15K to produce, and you need to pay high annual fees per region for each instructor. That's when I decided to take matters into my own hands and do my own research on the process and share it with all of you.
I wanted to start with ASID since that was my main target market and later I would expand it in to different associations. What you need to know is that ASID, IIDA, IDC courses, their CE (Continued Education) Providers (Your Company) and attendances are all managed by IDCEC.org. This is where you want to start. Register your company to become the CE Provider with IDCEC. If you are going to create your own course download their "Course Information – Working Papers" and make sure you cover everything they are going to look for when you submit your course for the approval.
With great modesty, I did my first CEU course on the iPad (Keynote) while on multiple work trips to visit my customers just so I can kill some time. Here are "my" guidelines I suggest you should follow when creating any presentation: a) Use beautiful images b) Avoid large amount of text on the slides and make a killer script - your story! c) Invite yourself to your competitor's CEU event or any CEU presentation for that matter. d) Listen, learn and see how things flow during these type of events and trust me...you will learn things that you want to avoid at all costs. The good news is that many CEU presenters that I've seen are pretty bad (mostly due to bad material or being unprepared), so the chances of you being the next CEU superstar are great! Before my comments below start to explode I'd like to say that most of what I've seen were really great presenters that I learned from. The key is to practice, practice one more time, practice "your story".
Now that you went through creating your CEU course (your story) and you prepared yourself to the point that your significant other cannot wait for you to do another practice run by them, you are ready to hit the showroom/design centers to educate trade professionals. The hardest part begins here. You got a location secured for your next event, got invitations ready to be sent out and what's next...I bet anything that the list of designers and architects you have is not up to date and for sure not organized by ZIP code so you could aim only at the leads that are near your upcoming event. So then you contact your reps and showrooms for more leads just to find out that no one wants to share their list with you (if they even have one). Best case scenario is the associations will offer you to post your event details on their calendar. That's when you realize you are on your own to make this a successful event!
Based on presenting over 80 CEUs in a calendar year, I calculated that the cost of doing them is about $50 per attendee. That includes your travel, food and drinks for attendees, creating invitation and small giveaways (notepads, pens, etc.). What's the biggest reason for the high cost? No regular consistency to successful attendance.
Here is where CEU Events comes in, you sign up and start using www.ceuevents.com, and pay the minimal $99/monthly subscription fee. You only need one paid account per company. Instantly you can add your IDCEC (approved) course with unlimited number of instructors to your account. This will allow you and your instructors to immediately create invitations for CEU events at NO additional cost. You can manage all event details that were created by you and all of your instructors. Each event has a unique public URL (sample) that you can send out to your invitees or post it on social media networks for your prospects to RSVP for your next CEU event. Furthermore, in the near future you will be able to upload your contact list for each event that you want the system (CEU Events) to send the invitations to. Consequently, this will allow us to organize these contacts in our database by ZIP code so that next time you have an upcoming event, we'll use our existing database to include any additional leads that we may have in the area. The more we all use the www.ceuevents.com the more qualified attendees you will start getting at your events.
All subscription fees will go towards maintaining the platform and the development of new features. I need to know if you see value to what we are doing now and what we are trying to accomplish. If you do see value in it and want to support this project please sign up today at www.ceuevents.com. If you need a superstar type CEU course created please contact me.
Thank You for your support!
Present More. Manage Less.