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What is “ROL” and why should I care?

Posted by Sarah Rosenberger on Jul 10, 2013 12:43:00 PM

What_is_“ROL”_and_why_should_I_careMost people have heard of ROI (return on investment). Ultimately, it’s a performance measure used to evaluate the efficiency of an investment. But what’s “ROL”? By definition, return on learning is a derivative of ROI used to evaluate the efficiency of an organization’s learning investments. More broadly, ROL can be used to demonstrate product and service value.

Whereas event success was once measured by budgets and attendance alone, organizations now realize they must provide and consistently demonstrate value to attendees given an environment of significant competition, particularly when it comes to professional development. Thankfully, mobile technology will soon play a major role in this transformation to ROL-driven event and association management.

That’s right! A new return on learning mobile application (#ROLapp) has been developed to quantify the value of organization meetings and events, and to then convert these outcomes into year-round membership lifecycle benefits. Additional outcomes include:

  • Putting an end to the “Firefighter Syndrome,” a destructive cycle that impedes strategic, innovative and collaborative thinking and erodes morale, productivity and business outcomes.
  • Developing enduring mobile technology and best practices association staff can rely on to more deliberately launch and sunset products, services and programs.
  • Promoting member engagement and success via a strategy of mass customization and supported goal setting.
  • Leveraging real-time data to aid industry partners in creating and effectively marketing valued product lines.

Consider, for a moment, how engaging your members via a robust mobile application throughout the year (as opposed to at one disconnected touch point during your annual meeting) could significantly increase the real-time feedback you’re able to collect and leverage within each organization department, including membership, marketing and education. For associations, additional objectives of the #ROLapp include:

  • Crowdsourcing high-demand industry subjects worthy of resource deployment.
  • Illuminating professional goals and objectives critical to association members.
  • Connecting association members with personalized resources to support goal attainment.
  • Establishing a robust resource forum curated by an engaged community of members.
  • Evaluating the continued effectiveness of the association’s resource pool.
  • Increasing efficiencies baked into the organization’s process and procedure.
  • Generating measurable ROL data for signature programs.

So, why a mobile application? That’s simple. According to Morgan Stanley, 91 percent of people have their phones within three feet of them 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. This suggests association members will routinely have contact with the mobile devices necessary to download and use this app.

Likewise, conference, expo and meeting apps are already widely accepted as a better alternative to glossy paper guides. Not only do they provide a significant cost savings, but they also offer individuals stronger engagement opportunities.

To join the beta test team of the Results at Hand #ROLapp at the ISAE Annual Convention, please contactkim@resultsathand.com.

To learn more about ROL, please visit us at the ISAE Annual Convention and request the official #ROLapp whitepaper developed by Aaron Wolowiec of Event Garde LLC.

About Kim Harwood

President- Results at Hand Software, LLC

Topics: Mobile, Members, Learning

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