EDmarket Board Develops Framework for New Strategic Direction

As a strategic response to COVID’s impact on EDmarket, in December of 2020 EDspaces was sold to Emerald Expositions. We put together a 20-year partnership where EDmarket is the power behind the education conference, and we receive a commission on the top line revenue of the event. Emerald is responsible for all the logistics and marketing of the event. 2021 was the year of transition, and we are pleased to say EDspaces in Pittsburgh was a very successful industry gathering.

The sale of EDspaces has restored our association’s invested reserves, putting us back in a good financial position. Although this is significant, we must highlight the importance of growing membership and establishing new revenue streams for future relevance. Since we can no longer rely on primarily being a meeting planning organization, the EDmarket Board of Directors conducted a strategic planning retreat in Denver in October and during EDspaces in November under the direction of a professional facilitator to identify a new strategic direction.

Our strategy development process represents the association’s efforts to adapt to a different world and to begin thoughtfully investing member company resources in ways that are more likely to help member companies succeed.

Our strategy development process represents the association’s efforts to adapt to a different world and to begin thoughtfully investing member company resources in ways that are more likely to help member companies succeed and continue their contributions to a modern educational environment that delivers improved educational outcomes. We appreciate so many of our members sharing their good ideas and challenges through a series of surveys and interviews about what the future might look like, what EDmarket’s role will be in it, and how as and industry we can get there.

A Strategy Framework was developed following facilitated conversations on the intersection between markets and company needs and the ability of EDmarket to successfully capitalize on these needs. As the market continues to evolve and grow, it is imperative for EDmarket to be laser focused on helping member companies successfully respond to this growth and provide solutions.

To address these issues and assist member companies, EDmarket will work to identify and aggregate the market, create a more educated decision maker, and develop paths to directly link them with member companies. Strategic priorities include:

  1. Recognizing and aggregating a larger market consisting of more educated buyers in the intersection of pedagogy, space, and technology.
  2. Developing a content strategy to educate channel participants on improving operational performance, market trends, and sales strategies while providing opportunities to interact with and learn directly from the customer about their challenges and needs.
  3. Linking customers to member companies who can provide innovative solutions to help them take advantage of expanded opportunities and solve challenges.
  4. Developing a strategy designed to provide information and education to buyers on how best to navigate a complicated product and funding environment.

Successfully engaging and supporting channel participants is critical to this success. One of the keys to these strategies is developing three new EDmarket leadership groups to represent growth areas for Edtech, the Architect & Design community, and educational institutions therefore increasing their voice in the overall direction of the association.

The Board would like to challenge each of you to get involved with EDmarket, which is owned by the members, and reliant on engaged volunteer leaders to produce strong results. Serving on a leadership group, attending industry events, responding to surveys, and keeping up to date via the publications and research conducted by the association are ways you can both stay engaged and contribute to a strong organization.

With your involvement EDmarket will continue to deliver the connections, community, and content you need to expand your industry knowledge and relationships to create an innovative marketplace that impacts the ability of schools, colleges, and educators to prepare our children for the future. Here’s to a strong, vibrant and healthy 2022.

Jim McGarry

Jim McGarry has served as the President of the Education Market Association (EDmarket) since 2011. He works with EDmarket volunteer leaders and staff to provide high quality programs, events and resources to those serving education.