Proving ROI is up to you

Kevin Holland at the Xtreme ASAE blog is talking about the bane of a planner's existence: Proving that attending the meeting was worth the time and cost of sending people to a show like ASAE. That ROI depends on people putting what they learn into practice, which is a tough thing to do when you're immediately upon your return buried in e-mail, projects, and deadlines that didn't go on hold while you were gone.

I find it helps to create specific actions you'll take, designate who's going to take them, and set deadlines. Then follow up, and follow up again. I was shamed into doing this after a speaker who led a great session—I learned tons that I planned to use— called me a couple months later and asked me what I was doing with what I learned. As embarrassing to admit as this is, I couldn't remember what his session was about, much less what I learned or what I did with it! I immediately pulled out my notes and got working on it. Way too easy to let things slide.

As a post-show blog idea for ASAE, wouldn't it be great to use it as a followup mechanism by asking people to talk about how they're putting what they learned to use? Could be a good reminder for others, too. That is, as long as someone remembers and cares enough to share.

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