Are you a training consultant looking for a networking opportunity? Or perhaps you’ve got a particular problem with a client and are looking for some solutions? Either way, the American Society for Training and Development’s (ASTD) Consultant’s Special Interest Group (SIG) might be the answer.
The consultant’s SIG, which typically meets on the first Friday of each month for three hours, has a goal of offering networking and the exchange of ideas, according to the ASTD SIG website. D. Mike Smith, the former leader of the SIG, sees it as a tool for helping consultants be successful.
“Our SIG is geared toward sales and marketing efforts for the consultant,” he said. “We try and have topics that will help our business owners grow their business.”
Smith said there is time for networking before the meeting, then typically they have a guest speaker on a topic of interest to the group, and then close the meeting with some additional networking.
An additional feature of this particular SIG is what Smith calls the Hot Seat. In the third hour of the meeting, if the speaker has concluded, a volunteer will be asked to offer some sort of issue that he or she might have, or has heard about.
“The volunteer has three minutes to describe the problem or issue,” Smith said. “Then we go around the room and each person offers a positive suggestion on how the problem might be remedied, with each person offering a new idea on how to solve the problem. We also have a person volunteer to take notes so that the person who raised the issue can focus on the answers. This is a great way to take a negative and turn it into a positive.”
Those interested in this SIG can contact either Stuart Smith or Mike Brenner, the new co-leaders of the group, at [email protected]
If you have an interest in attending other local training and development meetings, the following lists some of the standard groups:
The Philadelphia Chapter of the American Society for Training and Development – The next meeting will be September 15th at the DoubleTree Inn in Plymouth Meeting. For more information, email the chapter at [email protected]
The Corporate Trainer’s Special Interest Group SIG – Typically the last Wednesday of the month. Contact Mark Spool at m[email protected]
The eLearning SIG – A forum to discuss eLearning technologies and uses, this group meets the third Thursday of the month. Contact Karen Lubrecht or Margaret Uhrich at [email protected]
The Trainer’s Edge SIG – The Trainer’s Edge exists to improve trainers potential and to conduct a review of the nine CPLP areas of expertise (AOEs) of the Learning Profession. This SIG meets on the fourth Saturday of the month. Contact Scott Knutson at [email protected]
The Organizational Development SIG – This SIG focuses on the art and science of Organizational Development with emphasis on practical application in organizations. The OD SIG typically meets on the third Saturday of the month. Contact George Palumbo at [email protected]
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Scott Knutson is a senior manager of Training Operations at Elan Drug Technologies and facilitates the American Society for Training and Development Greater Philadelphia Chapter’s Special Interest Group called the Trainer’s Edge.