3 Reasons Why Your AIA Continuing Education Puts People to Sleep

Posted On: 
Nov 29, 2017
3 Reasons Why Your AIA Continuing Education Puts People to Sleep

Building product manufacturers with the best intentions can create a AIA continuing education course that does their product and brand a disservice. How many Powerpoint presentations have you witnessed that nearly put you to sleep? Death by Powerpoint is a common saying about presentations that are boring, uninspired, and drab. There are several reasons why AIA continuing education can fail to deliver it’s intended outcome. Let’s explore three of them-

Delivery Format

The delivery format and distribution channel of AIA continuing education can have a significant effect on whether the course succeeds. In a previous blog, we discussed the worst delivery formats. Building product manufacturers are wasting their hard-earned dollars by investing in worthless magazine articles, PDF AIA courses, and other antiquated modes of education. If your primary delivery format is the antiquated PDF format (still used by AEC Daily), then you’re not achieving ROI and wasting your marketing budget.

The Portable Document Format or PDF, was developed over 20 years ago as a way to share documents, including text and images, among users of different computer platforms. Using a PDF or Microsoft Word Document as your primary delivery format for AIA continuing education is a disservice to architects, specifiers, engineers, and other design professionals. PDF education courses perform poorly compared to other modern delivery formats such as narrated Powerpoint courses, video courses, and Prezi presentations.

PDFs offer many disadvantages for product manufacturers. Older PDFs may use media embedded in them that is not viewable on architect’s devices such as Apple tablets, iPhones, and other devices. PDF attachments with viruses were first discovered in 2001. The virus, named OUTLOOK.PDFWorm, uses Microsoft Outlook to send itself as an attachment to an Adobe PDF file. Do you want to educate a specifier via a delivery format that could infect their computer? How are you going to get your product specified when the architect’s computer is ravaged by your lethal education course?

Do you obtain your daily news from a month-old newspaper or the internet? Why would you force architects and specifiers to learn about your building products via a delivery format that is older than dirt and offers poor ROI? Management, marketing and sales members, and building product reps need to invest their budget dollars in a format that increases ROI. The PDF format fails on all accounts. It should only be used as a supplemental resource, never the primary delivery format for an AIA online course.

Education Course Credits

A common mistake that building product manufacturers make is registering the course only for AIA credit. There are about 80,000 AIA professionals in the industry. There are over 200,000 LEED professionals. You do the math. Manufacturers are doing themselves a great disservice by not registering their education course with the Green Business Certification Inc. GBCI is a third-party organization that provides independent oversight of LEED professional credentialing and LEED certification programs related to green building and health and wellness in the built environment.

Education courses with sustainability focused topics and content perform much better than traditional AIA courses. Architects want to know why your product is environmentally friendly. Does your product have a Health Product Declaration (HPD) or Environmental Product Declaration (EPD)? If so, this information should be included in your AIA/GBCI online course. Sustainable content will make for a more interesting and engaging education course and hopefully prevent the architect from falling asleep and falling out of their chair.

You’re Not Bill Shakespeare

You may be the world’s top expert on your building product. However, you might not have the skills or experience to accurately and effectively convey your message. A strong narrative is mandatory for a successful AIA presentation. How many presentations have you endured that were poorly designed? A poorly written AIA online course will cause more harm than good.

An architect will not continue or complete an AIA course if the presentation has misspelled words, cheap graphics, and lacks a strong framework. Designers have multiple opportunities to obtain their AIA and GBCI education. You have a few minutes, a few PPT slides to prove that your course is worthy of their time. If an architect stumbles through the first five minutes of your course due to poorly written slides, a voice over that sounds like it was recorded in a trashcan, and mediocre stock images, then you failed.

Building product manufacturers should invest their marketing dollars in developing AIA continuing education that is developed by professionals. Education courses should produce tangible results such as leads. If the course is a piece of crap, the leads will not materialize and ROI will be abysmal. Professional photography, video services, and script writing are essential for a successful AIA course.

How does your company ensure that your AIA course won’t put architects asleep? What metrics do you use to prove that your course is a success?

For more information or to discuss the topic of this blog, please contact Brad Blank