Networking in the industry doesn’t just have to be about expanding your social circle. A new way to network was presented at the 2017 VRMA National Conference — an Education Hub. This model emphasizes the importance of learning from your peers, and being able to teach them what you know too.
What is the Education Hub?
Consider the Education Hub to be fast-paced, short session or discussion featuring a new idea, hot topic, or trending issue. Those who engage in the Education Hub can expect an intimate environment with a supplier—condensed into 20-minute educational discussions.
How did the idea come about for the Education Hub?
In general, we are always looking for new ways to build excitement around education. The idea came about to feature informal/intentional learning to the expo hall of the National Conference. What the Education Hub does is it provides attendees, if a current issue arises in the industry, with an outlet to discuss the timely topic. With great flexibility in the schedule, we are always able to add topics as needed.
Overall, what we aim to do with the Education Hub is to introduce new learning formats and speakers, create a level of intimate interactivity and make the presenters approachable.
For those presenting in the Education Hub, what are some tips on how to effectively condense their topic in the 20-minute timeframe?
The best piece of advice is to focus in on one specific idea to share. Think about it as a single, intriguing story you’d like to share with your friends as soon as you see them. Speaking specifically to the materials that are presented, a good tip is to create your presentation slideshow so that it is visually inclined and only around eight to 12 slides in length.
What types of topics tend to be most effective in this format?
When you are only limited to 20 minutes, the topics that tend to work best in this time frame are those that are more high-level in nature; condensed case-studies and personal experience stories would work well in this format. Overall, more open-ended discussion topics lend well to the Education Hub.
In what ways can we expect the Education Hub concept to evolve going forward?
Going forward, it is not too farfetched to envision the Education Hub as the forum where attendees can come to learn about new or even controversial ideas. The format is designed to be flexible where new topics can be covered all the time.
In addition, the Education Hub can evolve to become more of an exploratory education lab –where we test out new session topics or types, or even give a spotlight to new speakers that you may not typically see on the agenda at the main conference.