On the forefront of social learning.
Training Magazine Network builds a community and boosts revenue with Adobe Connect.
Grew membership from 3,000 to 155,000 in the years since implementing Adobe Connect
Scale platform to deliver webinars to up to 1,000 participants simultaneously
Actively engage all participants with peer interactions
Reduce crashing and technical errors that affect the webinar experience
Generates $700,000+ in annual revenue through sponsorships
Grew membership from 3,000 to 155,000 members
Builds confidence in the brand with reliable and engaging webinars
Cultivating a leading social learning community
One of the defining movements over the past decade has been the rise of social networks. People are finding and forming communities with like-minded individuals around hobbies, interests, and professions, no matter where they are in the world.
At Training, the 55-year-old professional development magazine for training and workforce development, the team saw the potential of social networks early on. It had the idea to build a community specifically for professionals and thought leaders in the digital learning field.
“Training Magazine Network was the first platform dedicated to social learning,” says Gary VanAntwerp, Vice President, Communities and Executive Producer, Webinars at Training Magazine Network. “We wanted it to be a true social learning community where members could exchange ideas, share resources, and promote learning around the globe.”
One of the primary ways that Training Magazine Network connects with members is through hundreds of free webinars held every year on a wide variety of topics, including training, best practices, and thought leadership. But it’s critical to the organization that these webinars not feel like passive lectures. Instead, the organization wanted to encourage an environment where hundreds of participants get to known each other, share their experiences, and have deep conversations about topics important to the learning community.
"Our growth was advancing faster than the webinar technology at the time, making it difficult to build a loyal following amongst members and sponsors. We looked at other webinar platforms with a focus on stability, reliability, and an engaging learning experience for a strong community,” says VanAntwerp. “Many of our presenters and partners recommended that we look at Adobe Connect, and it was the answer that we were looking for. Adobe Connect has worked out extremely well for us. It has the reliability and flexibility that we need to create interesting conversations for up to 1,000 webinar participants.”\
“In the years since we implemented Adobe Connect, we’ve built a strong, loyal base of members, growing from 3,000 to 155,000 members.”
Vice President, Communities/Executive Producer, Webinars, Training Magazine Network
Cultivating trust and growing memberships
Training Magazine Network webinars frequently have anywhere between 500 to 1,000 attendees. With Adobe Connect, the organization no longer has problems with crashing and capacity overload. Any number of participants can join the conversation and share their experiences with learning.
This reliability has proven to be essential for growth. The organization runs about 250 webinars annually. Sponsors praise how smoothly webinars operate. They have confidence that a Training Magazine Network webinar will run smoothly, without crashing, errors, or security issues that may occur on other platforms. As a result, sponsors tend to come back frequently with ideas for new webinar content.
“About half of our webinars are now sponsored,” says VanAntwerp. “Our webinars have gone from a zero-revenue program to generating nearly $1 million annually since we implemented Adobe Connect. Without Adobe Connect, I don’t think we could offer free learning opportunities to our members.”
The reliable Adobe Connect webinars also build confidence and trust for members. Members know that they won’t have to wrestle with crashes and errors. Instead, they can focus on learning something new. Members can even participate on mobile devices—about 12% to 20% of webinar participants take advantage of mobile view.
“In the years since we implemented Adobe Connect, we’ve built a strong, loyal base of members, growing from 3,000 to 155,000 members,” says VanAntwerp. “In fact, Adobe Connect helps us add roughly 300 new members every month.”\
“Adobe Connect has allowed us to grow our community by giving us the reliability and flexibility that builds confidence and engagement in our webinars.”
Vice President, Communities / Executive Producer, Webinars, Training Magazine Network
Building thriving communities
Reliability isn’t the only reason for the tremendous growth at Training Magazine Network. Adobe Connect provides many different ways to present information and make things fun and informative for sponsors and participants. Presenters can customize the virtual room with their branding and any number of custom meeting pods that add interactivity to a webinar.
When participants first join the virtual meeting room, Training Magazine Network displays multiple chat pods that encourage participants to answer questions about their experiences, challenges, and best practices. Through these conversations, participants get to know their peers very quickly. During webinars, combinations of multiple polls and chat pods are frequently used to display questions and further engage audiences.
Presenters can draw on virtual whiteboards or ask participants to mark where they fall on a virtual chart. Presenters can open links in a separate pod to show a demo or walk the audience through a webpage. This allows sponsors or speakers to seamlessly engage audiences with their websites or resources much more effectively than just adding a link to the notes of a chat box.
“With Adobe Connect, participants never feel like they’re the only one in the room,” says VanAntwerp. “They can join in conversations and have meaningful discussions with other participants to gain a deeper appreciation of the topic. Members also continue to expand their knowledge of a topic when others post resources in the Adobe Connect chat pods. With members having upwards of 10 years of industry experience, this is a huge benefit, especially in a free community offering these events at no charge.”
Participation doesn’t end when the webinar is over. Training Magazine Network encourages its members to watch interactive recordings** of webinars that they’ve missed. People can scroll through chat, view and click web links, and download resources on their own time, unlike MP4 recordings. Adobe Connect automatically indexes the recording by section. Interactive recordings also allow sponsors to maximize their audience reach since Training Magazine Network members can access archives of more than 1,100 recordings.
“Adobe Connect has allowed us to grow our community by giving us the reliability and flexibility that builds confidence and engagement in our webinars. As well, Adobe customer support has been responsive to our needs since day one. We appreciate their partnership over the past decade,” says VanAntwerp. “Adobe Connect is good for us, good for our sponsors, and good for our members.”