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.”