ASPEN’s Extra-Mile Commitment to Professional Development Fosters Richer Learning Outcomes Across the Community
For nearly five decades, ASPEN, the American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition, has been dedicated to improving patient care by advancing the science and practice of clinical nutrition and metabolism. With more than 6,000 members from around the world, ASPEN is a community of dietitians, nurses, pharmacists, physicians, scientists, students and other health professionals from every facet of nutrition support clinical practice, research, and education.
For associations serving the healthcare industry, often the biggest challenges are around keeping up with the fast pace of healthcare advances, coupled with serving a community that’s navigating substantial time and travel constraints.
Such was the case for ASPEN, yet they were forward leaning in how they leveraged technology to ease and conquer these challenges to make learning more accessible and more fruitful. Technology-wise, ASPEN had a jump start on digital to greatly expand education offerings beyond the physical meetings.
THE SOLUTION PARTNER:
In 2005, ASPEN tapped Digitell to capture education sessions at their annual conference and create CD sets for the ASPEN clinical nutrition care community. Keep in mind, back then, CDs were considered the state-of-the-art method for disseminating learning content and course work.
Through the years, ASPEN continued to refine their strategy, making meaningful advances each year to ensure best possible outcomes. In 2010, live streaming conference education sessions to a remote audience was introduced, which expanded ASPEN’s reach significantly.
Fast forward to today, ASPEN boasts a rich array of omni-channel education offerings that have been well received, be it at their physical events, online, or in a hybrid capacity. With a robust ASPEN eLearning Center, powered by Digitell, participants can quickly access the learning they need when they need it.
Director, Education & Research
“The partnership that ASPEN has developed with Digitell is invaluable.
For fifteen years, the team at Digitell has been sharing new ideas allowing ASPEN to be more innovative in what we offer to our members and customers while at the same time willingly taking feedback and suggestions from ASPEN to improve existing or to create new offerings. The partnership with Digitell has become so seamless that members and customers view the entire Digitell team with which they interact as a true extension of the ASPEN staff. Digitell treats ASPEN’s community as their own and helps carry out the ASPEN mission and on a day-to-day basis.”
A CLOSER LOOK AT THE ASPEN EDUCATION STRATEGY:
Looking back on this 16-year collaborative partnership, here are few factors that set the stage for a successful program:
Success Factor #1: Early Adopter + Steadfast Commitment to Continuous Improvement
In 2010, when Digitell launched a suite of virtual conference solutions, ASPEN was among the first to explore this new frontier. “We were in Las Vegas that year and we decided to broadcast select sessions from our conference to a remote audience. That went so well, we thought, ‘What else could we do?’”
Each year, ASPEN would add new elements and with each iteration, the Digitell team would weigh in with recommendations and ideas gleaned from supporting dozens of other healthcare conferences. This ongoing collaboration proved to be a catalyst for innovation, as ASPEN and Digitell strived to enhance experiences across the entire learning journey.
Success Factor #2: When Mayhem Strikes (like COVID), Adapt Fast
While other associations scrambled amid the pandemic, the shift to all virtual for ASPEN was swifter and easier, as they already had a decade of experience mastering this realm.
Still, the timeline for flipping their Annual Conference to 100% virtual was ambitious. In March 2020, as conferences were halted, the ASPEN annual conference was just three weeks away. Suddenly, five tracks of education sessions had to be converted, not to mention testing and perfecting dozens of other logistics details.
“We had already built out our event within the Digitell system, but when the mandatory work-from-home orders were issued, we had maybe a week and a half to convert every element to virtual and test it. Digitell was excellent in supporting and guiding us through this transition. They even took over managing our corporate sponsors who were doing satellite symposia.”
By March 2021, with COVID still lingering, ASPEN expanded their virtual programming, hosting more education sessions, signing on more sponsors, and adding a virtual exhibit hall to the mix. Yet again, feedback from participants was extremely positive.
A glimpse at chat box comments from the ASPEN virtual conference community:
“Terrific to have this video. Thank you, ASPEN, for this incredible conference.”
“Wow, this was outstanding!”
“You all ROCK! Thank you for this amazing presentation.”
Success Factor #3: Smart eLearning Investments Improve Revenue Performance
With 10+ years of experience leveraging digital channels to advance learning, ASPEN has been particularly adept at keeping expenses in check, while steadily dialing up revenues.
The ASPEN learning community is now graced with a wealth of professional development opportunities, all housed within their eLearning Center, which is hosted by Digitell.
From individual courses and multi-week learning series to podcasts, webinars and more, ASPEN learners appreciate the powerful and sophisticated keyword search capabilities within Digitell’s OPUS DX platform. More than just an LMS, it’s a complete solution that can be customized in hundreds of ways to enrich the learner experience.
Adding monthly webinars to their education portfolio, ASPEN has expanded the learning runway to year-round and sponsors are eager to support these and other rich education experiences. Repurposing content to create education bundles by specialty has been another strategy that’s moved the revenue needle for ASPEN.
VP, Sales & Marketing Digitell, Inc.
“We value our long partnership with ASPEN that’s included more than a decade of live streaming for hybrid events, plus the past two years producing fully virtual events. ASPEN is the type of client that asks how they can do more for their members and collaborates with Digitell to deliver experiences that exceed their members’ expectations. Our joint strategies have resulted in attendance growth for both international audiences and first-time attendees.”