Flexible in the face of change. UnTech10 Unconference.

Below is an hour-long webinar we presented to over 100 various certification and licensure association executives on the topic of transitioning their certification testing and training program from an offline setting into an online one. I wouldn’t normally post it here, as we will make it available on our ProExams.com website, but I found this event to be interesting for a couple of reasons, which are worth commenting on.

Basically, this webinar event was never meant to happen and was established in response to the cancellation of the American Society of Association Executives Technology Conference which our company was planning to attend in Washington DC at the beginning of February. The event was cancelled 2-days prior to the show’s expected launch date due to one of the largest snow-storms to hit the city in the last 100 years. We had planned to have 5 people at the show, had shipped our booth and even had one employee stranded in DC when they made the call to cancel.

What I found amazing, in light of the last minute cancellation, was that there was an immediate effort by some of the Social Media enlightened in the ASAE group to create an “Un-Conference”. There were of course people already in the DC area who had planned to attend the event, plus thousands who couldn’t make it due to the weather, who still wanted to enjoy the connections of the conference. Within 24 hours of the cancellation, there was a website, twitter hashtag, Flickr photos, Slideshare account, basically an entire online community created around the UnTech10. Interestingly the community that was created online at that time has continued to persist with real relationships and business opportunities happening.

At the same time, the group recognized that many of the exhibitors of the planned conference will have missed the opportunity to present their company to the delegates, and a business opportunity was born. A company called Peach New Media which specializes in webinar, live training and online community work for associations created what they called the Technology Toolbox Seminar series and allowed 12 of the exhibitors to sponsor and present an online learning session on the topic of their choice. These new webinars were FREE to viewers and were marketed to tens fo thousands of association professionals.

So, from a weather related disaster, to a very well attended webinar event whose audience was perfectly aligned with our product. NO TRAVEL COSTS, NO COST TO THE AUDIENCE, and DOZENS MORE SALES LEADS for us vs. the traditional trade show experience. In my opinion this is the future of conferencing and education. Of course attending trade shows will always be important, as shaking hands and looking into the eyes of our potential clients is important, but this is a very price effective second choice and will be used more and more to replace events.

If you have an interest in losing an hour of your life and learning about Psychometrics and Online Testing, fill your boots.

If you would prefer to read more about how UnTech10 happened, I recommend this great blog post.


Webinar Summary

Yardstick Software Inc. operates two business that specialize in helping Associations bring their examination / testing programs and online continuing education online. We hope to share with our listeners the fundamentals of an assessment program (online or paper-based), psychometrics 101, why online delivery works, and in some cases why online delivery may never work. We also plan to review some of the technical details that you should consider when making an investment in web-based exam and e-learning applications, and finally a rough idea of pricing for program delivery.

Seminar Objectives
1) Assessment Program Fundamentals & Psychometrics 101
2) Things to consider when transition from a paper-based to web-based program
3) How do you choose between online delivery vs. offline delivery
4) Technical / IT considerations when looking to take your programs online
5) Budgetary pricing ideas for online exam and online training programs

Greg Sadesky, PhD, Senior Psychometrician – VP – ProExams As the big man on campus for our ProExams™ Professional Testing Service, Greg applies his expertise to ensure that your tests are fair, sound, and interpretable. He works with our partners to demystify the process at any stage of the assessment cycle. An avid hacky sack athlete, Greg is passionate about rock climbing and loves to play the upright bass.

Chris LaBossiere – Co-CEO of ProExams.com & ProTraining.com As one of the founders of Yardstick software, Chris works to see our company grow through satisfied customers and strategic partnerships. A pilot and motorcycle junkie, Chris is happiest when he’s riding around town or flying above it, hunting with his dog Murphy, hanging with his family, or simply enjoying coffee and the morning paper.

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