In my discussions with dozens of training clients over the past year, one theme that came up regularly was the difficulty of finding long-term vendor/partners for POA meetings.
Here are the kinds of concerns I’ve heard:
“A training vendor will start off well, but then things get stale after a few quarters, and we move on to someone else.”
“Our partners do great with modules and workshops, but the POA training is often a mixed bag.”
“We’re not seeing much creativity.”
I’ve wondered about this problem/opportunity for quite some time, and while I think there are probably multiple factors at play, here is one thing that may be at the root: fundamentally, POA training is driven by last-minute scrambling.
Most of our training projects, which involve long cycles of design (including instructional design), review, and implementation, require a set of skills and practices that are more systematic and long-term-ish. But POA meetings are often marketing-driven, and marketers are used to a different agency type of relationship that regularly involves rapid change and quick turn-around. And a lot of stuff is going down in the couple weeks before a very hard deadline.
Are training vendors equipped for that? I think many are not.
Marketing agency relationships (retained AOR) and training vendor relationships (project-driven) run on very different business models. I wonder if this isn’t why it’s difficult for vendors to succeed with POA training.
Maybe there are some other reasons as well. What are your thoughts? What are you doing to make your POA training effective?
George Ericsson says
One other factor – the AOR are now large multi-facet organizations with their own Training division. They are competitors with traditional training companies and work to pull POA and other training business to their division. Solution – training vendors must see marketers as customers – build relationships, understand needs and set scope/timing/staffing to meet their needs.
Jeff Taylor says
Training Directors/Managers should be able to develop POA training on their own. What are their organizations paying them for? Vendor managers? By working closely with their internal brand teams and their brand teams respective agency, any training team should be able to develop and design workshops to support the delivery of the most recent POA materials, clinical studies, etc. Certainly specialized skills training is an exception, but I would dare say that the majority of workshops at POA meetings can be developed internally. As for the last minute scrambling…. nature of the beast I am afraid!!!