In an age of retail strife, building relationships with local interior and lighting designers can open new revenue streams. Looking for an easy way to get on a designer’s radar? Host a continuing education unit (CEU) course in your showroom.
Designers take these courses to improve their skills and as part of their society membership, and as an industry professional yourself, you can lead an Interior Design Continuing Education Council (IDCEC)-approved CEU seminar in your showroom. Read on to learn the steps.
1. Register as an IDCEC provider.
Visit IDCEC.org and register as a course provider. If you represent a corporation, non-profit, manufacturer or dealer, you’ll register as a corporate provider, which costs about $295 USD for an annual membership.
2. Pinpoint your audience.
Do you want to attract interior designers, lighting designers, technicians or design students? The answer doesn’t have to be hyper-specific, but the more you can focus in on your audience the more you can create a course that will meet their unique needs.
3. Develop the course content.
This will likely be the most time- and energy-consuming part of the process. Developing your content boils down to marrying the knowledge you want to share with what your audience needs to know. When creating the course, pay close attention to IDCEC’s standards. Subject matter must be generic and non-proprietary — you’re teaching how to do or approach something, not making a sales pitch. Clearly define your learning objectives.
4. Submit your CEU application.
Once you’re finished with content creation, submit your course to IDCEC, pay your fees and wait. When submitting, include materials like handouts, a script, your presentation slides, your learning objectives and an instructor bio. The IDCEC site features helpful templates for planning and checking that you have everything you need. The review process should take about three weeks.
5. Market the course.
Once approved and scheduled, it’s time to market your class on social media and email, if you already have a designer email list. If this is your first CEU course, make sure to emphasize that in your posts — it’s no small deal and shows an impressive commitment to education. Create and promote a Facebook event so you can keep track of who is coming and organize key event details in one place.
6. Set up your showroom.
Don’t wait to start the setup process until the day before your class. At least a few weeks in advance, you should assess your space, select the right spot for the class given the expected attendance and test any equipment you need. If you need to rent chairs, a projector or other equipment, get that in order as early as possible. The week of the class, go on a snack and refreshment run. No event is complete without snacks.
7. Teach the course.
It’s showtime! Practice your presentation several times beforehand so you know you’re on track for time.
8. Submit course attendance to IDCEC.
Within five to seven business days of teaching the course, send IDCEC the class attendance so they can confirm everyone’s credits.
9. Get feedback.
IDCEC will automatically send CEU surveys to attendees, which are available to providers on request through emailing [email protected] Read through the responses to see how your audience thought you did. With these survey responses, you’ll be better prepared for your next teaching experience.