Education & Support
Using well considered educational content and events to drive engagement
Elements of Success
Hold new participant orientation a minimum of 2 times per year and schedule the orientation to coincide with enrollment periods. Provide an early education session to new participants that gives an aggregate view of utility offerings they may be able to leverage during this program – consider having a representative from the utility onsite to answer questions.Hold monthly educational events
Monthly educational events provide participants the opportunity to gain new knowledge and to spend time with their peers in the program.
- Focus on innovation at educational events. You want your effort to be seen as providing information participants may not have access to otherwise.
- Rotate host locations for events to showcase participants, sponsors or vendors.
- Survey participants on a regular basis about topics of interest to be sure you are meeting your participants’ needs.
- Plan to repeat your most well attended sessions at least each year, if not more frequently. Events should be free for participants and held at times most convenient for participants. Incentivize attendance by providing breakfast or lunch, when possible. Limit attendance to participants to encourage peer to peer discussion of experiences, successes and challenges.
- Make sure that the event participants are the actual implementers familiar with the program and their participating property’s progress. This is a great way to engage engineering staff in the program, which is valuable as continuing education for both the engineer and influencing project implementation.
Host special events for larger or complex issues
For more complex or larger issues, like financing or available utility offers, schedule special half day events to allow enough time to cover the topic completely.
Provide the opportunity for networking
Plan for some stand-alone networking events in addition to the networking that will occur as part of other educational events.
Offer program and district specific communication opportunities
Define what type of education communications will come from program management and how often those will go out so partners can be clear about what their options are for specific education opportunities within their own district such as downtown.
Provide employee and tenant engagement support
Provide templates and materials to share with employees and tenants of participating buildings to increase their awareness around participation.
Offer continuing education credits
Offer continuing education credits for the monthly education seminars – this is important to participants.
Use education events to showcase new technologies and practices and how those can be successfully implemented to increase participant’s interest in moving to implementation.
- Provide an early education session to new participants that gives an aggregate view of utility offerings they may be able to leverage during this program – consider having a representative from the utility onsite to answer questions.