Many state architectural licensing boards and AIA membership requires continuing education credits each year. The number of required credits is less than 1% of the annual work hours - slightly more than two eight-hour days total time required for education. Can anyone really remain current with ever-changing industry trends with this amount of education? There is hope by helping each other.
Learning opportunities abound. Sharing opportunities must be created. Recognizing that information gained may be valuable to others is the start. Listening to new information and new ideas and thinking about their potential application helps inspire sharing opportunities.
Seeking Sharable Content
Educational events can provide a variety of content. Some may help you, alone. Some may offer greater reach. Selecting events providing opportunities to share will enrich the entire experience.
As one example, last week I had the opportunity to attend Arc-US in Hollywood, Florida. Arc-US is an annual event where the organizers bring manufacturers together with America's top rated architects and specifiers.
The event provided meeting opportunities to:
- Make new connections with suppliers.
- Learn about previously unknown products.
- Discover how new information may help our clients and their projects.
During the one-on-one meetings, I heard the presentation, and listened for the opportunity. My meeting notes will remind me of the supplier and the product. More importantly the notes from this event will include who of our clients may benefit from the information.
Become a Sharing Resource
Learning new information and improving my own knowledge is helpful. Sharing new information with others who may benefit builds a reputation as a trusted resource. Attending the event takes time. Sharing also takes time. Plan the time following each event to share information.
Sharing is easy: email, blog, tweets, Facebook, LinkedIn. Take your pick to suit your audience or use every one to share with the world.
Sharing actually accomplishes two things:
- It reinforces what you learned during the event, improving your ability to recall the information later.
- It reinforces client and colleague contacts by providing selected information you know will be useful to them.
So what better way to end an event? "Hello, I just attended this event and thought of you. Here is what I learned that applies to your current project…"