The Skinny on CMEpalooza Company Spotlights

Last week, we hosted our inaugural CMEpalooza Company Spotlight, gathering four employees from Educational Measures for a moderated discussion highlighting the company’s current work and the services they provide, and offering a glimpse into the future of audience response and engagement technology.

A week later, the Spotlight broadcast has been viewed by close to 100 individuals, including 33 who watched the live iteration.

I hear what you are saying, “100 people! That’s it? I could post a video of my cat sleeping for 5 minutes and I’d get 10,000 views in an hour!” And that’s probably true.

But Company Spotlights aren’t videos designed for quick entertainment. People who watched the live version of our 30-minute Spotlight broadcast watched for an average of nearly 20 minutes (engagement among those who watched the enduring version was somewhat less). That’s tells me that a good number of CME folks watched and learned about Educational Measures. Every one of them is a potential customer.

Can Derek or I guarantee that any of those viewers will lead to business? Guarantee? No. Hope? Of course.

Is this broadcast going to be more effective than spending 3 days in an exhibit hall, flying in a team to stand there and pray for traffic? We’d like to think so, but we’re biased. It’s just a different sort of approach, that’s for sure.

So why are we telling you all this? Why should you care?

It’s simple. We want to do more of these. And we think it’s a real opportunity for companies to expose themselves in an innovative way to potential funders and partners in the CME community.

Think about how much time and effort it takes just to get just one individual with any sort of decision making power to talk to you about your company. We’re talking days of emails and/or phone calls, scheduled and rescheduled appointments… all for 30 minutes of face time. With a CMEpalooza Company Spotlight, you get the undivided attention of dozens of people who have taken time out of their day to learn about you for far less effort and energy.

Alas, this is not a free service we are offering, so there is a value proposition that you need to consider. Organizations in the CME space are notoriously stingy about spending money on marketing. We are a face-to-face community, by and large. Catalogs and mailers and email blast campaigns simply don’t work in our field.

But when Derek and I brainstormed the seeds of Company Spotlights, we hoped we had hit upon a unique niche idea that solved a fundamental problem among CME-focused organizations – getting needed publicity without being obnoxiously and overtly pushy. At the very least, we hope it’s something you think about as you consider where your organization is going this year and into the future. We created a separate tab on the CMEpalooza website to host all of our spotlights, and it’s looking a bit lonely right now.

Maybe you are unveiling something unique that you want to promote. Maybe you just want everyone to know that you have talented people doing something better than anyone else. We’ll work with you on the agenda for your Spotlight so that it’s not obnoxious marketing but instead, an informational session that lets you show off your best side.

We have all the information you’ll need to see the ins and outs of these Spotlights right here. Or email/call us – we’re helpful people. Usually.

Hijinks and Hoopla at CMEpalooza Company Spotlight

Crazy things happen when the CMEpalooza Company Spotlight turns on.

People lose their train of thought, reduced to bumbling idiots (or in Derek’s case, more of a bumbling idiot). They tell you about things they wouldn’t dare tell anyone at a cocktail party (“Um, what’s a CME?”). You just don’t know.

Now that we’ve piqued your interest, come join us at noon today for our inaugural company spotlight when we throw the team from Educational Measures under the microscope to learn about ways they are using their technologies to improve the delivery of CME in a variety of settings.

Just swing on over to the LIVE tab on the website to watch the live broadcast. As with our typical CMEpalooza sessions, you’ll be able to ask questions of our panelists during the broadcast and be dazzled with our fancy wardrobes.

Hear Ye, Hear Ye… Behold the CMEpalooza Fall Agenda

Put down your grog of ale for a moment and listen up lads and lassies!

It’s taken a little bit longer than we had hoped, but Derek and I are thrilled to finally be able to present to everyone our CMEpalooza Fall agenda. We took into account feedback we had received from past Palooza participants and tried hard to come up with an interesting mix of topics and faculty. Needless to say, we are tickled with what we’ve been able to put together.

Here is what you’ll find on Wednesday, October 21:

  • Six 1-hour panel sessions, with 1 more open lunchtime slot for a second Gold sponsor to join Genentech (if you are interested in becoming that second Gold sponsor, the details on how to do so are here)
  • Lots of fresh faces to CMEpalooza. While there are a couple folks who will be back for a second or third time around, we’ve mostly tried to bring in new people with a new perspective on the world of CME. We’ve even got an international contingent (if you consider Canada to be international)
  • Several new formats, including the inaugural CMEpalooza Pecha Kucha (what’s a Pecha Kucha, you ask? An exotic tropical fruit, perhaps?)
  • Sessions aimed at folks who work in various settings, including hospitals and hospital systems, member associations, and more.

We’ll be checking in regularly over the next few months with updates on each session, video interviews, learner polls, and other cool things. In the meantime, we’re taking a nap.

CMEpalooza Fall Agenda Coming Soon (We Promise)

I’m not lying — it is coming soon. We’ve got our top interns working on it as I type. Look — here’s one proofreading Scott’s work.

On the other hand, the guy we hired to work with all our faculty has been slacking off lately. Here he is supposedly following-up with everyone involved in our CME Pecha Kucha.


I mean, Miller Chill? Gross. He could have at least gone with a microbrew.

Anyway, we hope to have the agenda up on the website within the next week or two. We’re just finalizing a few things and then we should be good to make it all public. In the meantime, don’t forget about our first CMEpalooza Company Spotlight coming up next week on Wednesday, June 24 from noon-12:30 p.m. ET with Educational Measures in the spotlight. Scott will be leading the proceedings, but I’ve seen the agenda and it should be an interesting conversation, especially for those of you interested in the use of technology in education. Join us!


Our First Company Spotlight — Wednesday, June 24

As I am sure everyone remembers — or at least the 12 of you who tuned in — a few weeks ago we had a suspense-laden drawing to coincide with the launch of the latest addition to our online family, the CMEpalooza Company Spotlight. At the headquarters of Educational Measures — our winner — we’re told there were champagne corks a-popping, fireworks a-bursting, and high fives a-slapping (or was it just a muted “Oh goody”? I can’t keep these things straight).

Anyway, we’re excited to announce that we’ve agreed upon the date and time for the first of hopefully many Company Spotlights… Wednesday, June 24 from noon-12:30 p.m. ET.

I am sure a lot of you are scratching your heads wondering why exactly you’ll want to tune in and what exactly we’ll be talking about. And while I won’t give away too many secrets, as with all of the Company Spotlights we’ll hopefully be broadcasting (your organization can get one of your own by going here), the focus will be on the cool kinds of things our featured company is involved in. So for Educational Measures, you’ll probably hear about how audience response technology is evolving, the right way (and the wrong way) to take advantage of the technology they provide, and how they are changing to meet the shifting needs and wants of today’s learners.

Rest assured this is not a capabilities presentation. While there surely is a promotional element to it, our goal is to highlight the cool and interesting things Educational Measures is involved in and not to bore anyone with slides and numbers and company-speak. I’ll be moderating (Derek will probably be there in the background looking like a schlub, as usual) to make sure we touch upon topics that our community will be interested in hearing about. There will be opportunities for our audience to ask questions as well, just like in our other CMEpalooza events.

While we hope you can join us live, each Company Spotlight will also endure on our website, as well as YouTube for anyone who wants to check it out once the camera lights blinks red (ie, I hit the “End broadcast” button).

Wednesday, June 24. Noon ET. Tell your friends.

CMEpalooza Spring Infographic

Yay, data!!!

[does “Happy Data” dance]

[looks around]

[realizes he’s the only one doing a “Happy Data” dance in the coffee shop]

[sheepishly sits back down]

Now that we have that out of the way…hey, check out our new CMEpalooza Spring Infographic! Am I thrilled beyond words that 7 of 8 sessions have received over 150 views in the first month? Yes — yes I am. Am I a little disappointed that we only got 71 responses to our viewer survey? Meh — I’m not surprised. As always, I’m just thrilled that people take the time from their busy schedules to watch our sessions. Anything beyond that is a bonus.

A huge thank you to infograph-ed for once again putting this together for us. If you have a moment, please stop by their website to check out all their fantastic work.

And now, on to the infographic.


Archive Revamp

In 1982, a 9-year-old Derek liked nothing better than piling into the back of my family’s ’79 gray Mercury Cougar and heading out to the Milford Shopping Plaza, where I could buy a pack of Fleer baseball cards for a dime at Ames (RIP). [Brief side note: the 1982 Fleer set has some of the worst lighted cards of all time. Just check out hipster-Mike Schmidt’s card]


As soon as we came home, I would rip open the pack, throw out the bubble gum, and immediately file each card behind the appropriate team index card in my baseball card shoe box. That single shoe box turned into two shoe boxes, and then a 3-ring binder, and then multiple binders, and then boxes and binders, and eventually an entire closet in my bedroom (where they still are today. I promise to pick them up soon, Mom!) I spent hours and hours going through those cards, sorting and organizing, organizing and sorting. I was a little obsessed.

These days, I channel my organizing itch into other things, like categorizing our 300+ books by genre and author’s last name (I was not aware that other people don’t do this). Last week, I set my sights on the CMEpalooza archive, which I’ve never been very satisfied with. Now that we’re approaching close to 50 archived presentations, it seemed like we should have a better way of organizing them than just by date. I thought that stratifying the sessions by topic might make the archive more useful and beneficial to those not looking for one specific session.

In the end, I came up with eleven different topic areas, from Accreditation to Technology. Some sessions are listed under more than one area and some areas only have one or two sessions. Take a look and let me know what you think. Am I missing any topics? Do the names I gave the different areas make sense? Are there any sessions that are misfiled or missing from a topic area? I’m hoping this organization of sessions makes the archive a more valuable resource to all, so please feel free to tell me any way that it can be improved. All feedback appreciated!

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner

For those of you who were unable to watch yesterday’s CMEpalooza Company Spotlight raffle, here is the video. It is eight minutes of the most riveting content you will watch today, unless, like me and Scott, you are a Sixers fan and plan to be glued to your TV for the NBA Draft Lottery tonight (they have a 0.28% chance of getting the #1, #6, and #11 picks in the draft. In Hinkie we trust!) If you’re wondering who won, I don’t want to ruin the surprise, but I’ll give you a hint: It rhymes with Meducational Easures.

Here are five things to look for in the video:

  1. Unbeknownst to me, Scott showed up to the Hangout wearing a suit and tie. This made me laugh for a solid 5 minutes.
  2. Yes, that’s a Duff beer shirt I’m wearing. Keeping it classy as always.
  3. Scott apparently has no idea what a potluck is. He clearly didn’t grow up in a Mennonite home in Lancaster County like yours truly, where potlucks are a weekly occurrence at minimum.
  4. A fairly decent explanation of what our vision is for the Company Spotlights. Like the original CMEpalooza, we’re going to give it a try and see how it goes. Hopefully it turns out to be something beneficial for the CME/CE community.
  5. The hat hanging on the wall over my shoulder is different than the one hanging over my shoulder during CMEpalooza Spring. First person to correctly identify the difference wins the picture hanging behind Scott (I didn’t run this past him, but I’m sure he’ll be fine with it…)

How to Watch Today’s Raffle

At 1 p.m. ET today (Monday, May 18), we will be broadcasting a live drawing for a CMEpalooza Company Spotlight. All you need to do is go to the LIVE tab on this website to watch it.

There are 12 entries. The numbers attached to the entries here are the same ones that will be used in the drawing. We’ll be using a simple random number generator to select the winner.

  1. Global Education Group
  2. Intelligent Medical Decisions
  3. ArcheMedX
  4. CMEology
  5. Genentech
  6. Infograph-ed
  7. Decision Simulation
  8. CME Outfitters
  9. Improve CME
  10. Educational Measures
  11. Advanced Studies in Medicine
  12. Academy for Continued Healthcare Learning

Good luck to all.

CMEpalooza Company Spotlight Raffle

There are still a few dwindling hours to enter your organization in the raffle for a free CMEpalooza Company Spotlight (entry deadline is 11:59 p.m. ET today). We’re up to 10 entries so your odds are being selected are reasonably good. If you have been dilly dallying about to entering, just send me an email saying, “Scott, my company would like to enter” and you are in. We have pharma companies, online education platforms, medical education companies, and others all in the mix so far, so don’t be shy.

Using my advanced math skills (don’t try to duplicate my methods as it takes a very complex Excel formula involving derivatives, factors and other terms that you wouldn’t understand), our 10 current entries each have an equivalent 10.0% chance of being selected as the winner of our raffle. If we get more entrants, I’ll adjust the formula and let you know once my supercomputer is finished crunching numbers for an updated calculation on Monday.

We will be unveiling the winner of the CMEpalooza Company Spotlight raffle during a LIVE broadcast on Monday, May 18 at 1 p.m. ET so set your calendar as “busy” now to join the million of others around the world for this momentous moment. Unlike those other selection shows you may be used to seeing, we won’t take 59 minutes building suspense before choosing the winner. Figure on maybe 2-3 minutes explaining what this whole Company Spotlight is, going down the list of entrants and their assigned numbers, and then I’ll fire up a random number generator to choose the winner. You’ll be back checking for the latest celebrity news in 5 minutes.