A New Mobile App Certificate Course

A new ‘m-learning’ course on mobile app technology is designed to peel away vendor bias and get down to basics.

Although it seems like meeting professionals can download a new white paper or watch a new webinar about event mobile apps every day of the week, there’s actually an information gap, according to Tahira Endean, CMP, who worked as a planner for more than 20 years before joining QuickMobile as manager of event marketing in 2014.

As a planner, “every conversation I had with other planners was that all of their knowledge about mobile apps was very vendor-specific,” Endean said. Most training is delivered in the context of using a particular product and addresses how to use specific apps, including “how they work and all their cool features. But nobody was mapping the features back to project management or to meeting objectives.”

Endean wanted to help fill that gap, but not by creating “just another course from another vendor,” she said. Her idea was to create the Mobile App Certificate Program, an m-learning course — “m” stands for mobile — that would offer a comprehensive, vendor-neutral mobile-technology tutorial strictly through the lens of the meeting planner. The course, expected to launch this month, not only will deliver education about mobile event technology, but also will provide hands-on experience in how education can be delivered effectively via a mobile app, a platform that is expected to dominate online learning in the future.

To help her create content — and ensure neutrality — Endean found an expert partner in Mariela McIlwraith, CMP, CMM. President of Meeting Change, McIlwraith is the co-author of Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility in the Meetings and Events Industry and the executive editor of the Convention Industry Council Manual. Together, Endean and McIlwraith came up with a four-module course designed to give planners a solid foundation in how mobile event technology can help them achieve their goals, beginning with the history and current impact of mobile for meetings, and including using mobile to extend a meeting’s lifecycle, marketing and content management, and analytics and measuring ROI for meeting owners, sponsors, exhibitors, and participants.

The course is broken into one- and two-hour sections based on the 10 domains of CIC’s CMP International Standards. Videos will be delivered on the app in such a way that participants can pick up where they left off in a video if they don’t have time to watch an entire segment at one time, Endean said. Participants take quiz-style assessments at the completion of each module, and can earn up to 10 CEUs toward the CMP or CMP-HC credentials.

The QuickMobile course costs $229, but Endean anticipates that planners will find discounts through membership associations and other ways to reduce the cost. Most important to her was mapping the course to the CMP International Standards. “I didn’t want to do a course,” she said, “unless it could be validated.”

Barbara Palmer

Barbara Palmer is senior editor of Convene.