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whose own research proves that CEU acquisition is a major conference draw. In reality, it’s the opposite. Often the ratio of participants involved in pursu- ing certification is less than 10 percent.


TURNING OFF ATTENDEES And sometimes the focus on CEU detracts from the overall quality of the program — instead of offering content that solves attendees’ problems, confer- ence organizers settle on education that simply fulfills certification require- ments. When a conference marketing campaign makes gaining CEUs the main takeaway, it may even turn off prospective attendees. Instead, confer- ence marketing should hype the fact that solutions are being offered — not certification credits! CEUs do become “golden handcuffs”


when a government agency has man- datory requirements for a profession to receive annual CEUs to maintain a licensure. But that’s the only time that the CEU may be a magnet for attendees


— and even then, there are numerous free-to-low-cost options available that don’t require additional travel expenses or premium registration fees.


.


Dave Lutz, CMP, is managing director of Velvet Chainsaw Consulting, velvetchainsaw.com.


+ ON THE WEB The Accreditation Council for


Continuing Medical Education provides a basic understanding of CME at accme.org/21st-century-milestones.


PCMA.ORG SEPTEMBER 2012 PCMA CONVENE 41


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