Virtual Edge Institute Certifies First Digital Event Strategists in Industry

February 2, 2013

Digital events no longer are something that event planners are worried will replace their live events. Instead, digital events are becoming an important part of an organization’s strategy to extend the life of their three-day physical event to something that can be available 365 days a year.

With the increased demand in holding digital events, there’s also a need for qualified professionals to produce them.

To that end, the Virtual Edge Institute is the only entity that currently offers a certification program for lDigital Event Strategists and at the recent Professional Convention Management Association’s annual meeting in Orlando, two people - Rick Naylor and JoAnn Klinedinst - were the first to complete the program.

Naylor is president and CEO of Toronto-based meeting and events production company Accucom Corporate, and Klinedinst, is vice President of professional development for Chicago-based Healthcare Information and Management System (HIMMS).

They both fast-tracked the 16-module online learning courses in which they enrolled in late October in order to prepare for 2013 initiatives.

“The demand for education specifically on digital events is great, so we’re not surprised at the speed at which some students are pacing through the modules,” said VEI Executive Director, Michael Doyle.

He added, “Several others are nearing completion and will soon sit for their exams, as well.”

Created to address the growing need of associations, marketers and event and learning practitioners to understand how to successfully plan, design, build and execute digital engagements and environments that achieve strategic business objectives, the Digital Event Strategist Certification program launched in late 2011.

There currentlyare  53 students enrolled in the program, with another 50 preparing for entrance.

“The content of the DES program is phenomenal,” said Klinedinst, who holds two other industry certifications as well.

She added, “It’s a tremendous body of knowledge. And I just can’t say enough about the instructors and the quality of the resource material that’s part of the program.”

Naylor said, “Digital events are not a fad. I feel like they’re becoming an expectation. I’ve got clients asking about the technology. So I was motivated to learn. The DES program has a lot of great information, and I was surprised that I didn’t know as much as I thought. I’ve already been streaming content at my events. But I was floored by how far some of the corporate events have taken digital.”

Freeman and bxb Onlin have partnered with VEI to offer scholarships to cover the full fees for those meeting the posted criteria. Certification fees include a $175 application fee, $595 for modules and $325 for the final exam.

The DES Certification program is housed within VEI’s online learning portal – Digital U – providing students with access to online study materials, and accessible via mobile devices for convenience and to explore the mobile content experience.

Digital U also houses a multimedia library of educational content, including over 90 hours of video recordings from past Virtual Edge Summits.

The Digital Event Strategist Certification is designed for individuals in associations, corporations, government and academia.

VEI currently is accepting applications for both the DES program and scholarships for its second class of students through Jan. 31. For more information, and to find application and scholarship forms, visit www.digitaleventstrategist.org.


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