EDmarket Unleashes the Power of Virtual Member Communities 

In this age of digital connectivity, business networking has transcended traditional boundaries, giving rise to virtual professional roundtables as potent platforms for collaboration, idea exchange, and industry advancement. In our role as the leading industry organization, the Education Market Association (EDmarket) has created several virtual industry groups which meet on a regular basis connecting members who have similar interests or challenges. They include: Leadership Councils, Chairman’s Roundtable, Bold Women Collective, ECPLS Professional Certification, and the NexGen Rising Stars.  

Unlike general networking events, EDmarket virtual member roundtables often revolve around specific industry challenges, demographics, or topics. This targeted approach allows participants to engage in discussions directly relevant to their expertise, interests, or career path. As a result, attendees can deep-dive into the nuances of their subject, share specialized knowledge, and gain valuable insights that might not be readily available in broader networking settings. 

Virtual discussion groups are redefining inclusivity by eliminating geographical constraints and broadening the spectrum of voices and perspectives that foster a rich and vibrant exchange of ideas. These online forums have emerged as dynamic spaces where participating members from diverse backgrounds converge to share insights, discuss challenges, learn from one another, and collectively navigate the complexities of the education industry.

The interactive nature of virtual member meetings fosters meaningful engagement. In March 2024 the brand new Bold Women Collective, met for the first time, providing an ideal mix of education, motivation, and deep dive discussions in break out rooms where people shared experiences and challenges. Under the direction of EDmarket leaders Deb Kerr, Darlene Akers, Jolene Levin, Tammy Andreyko, Pam Dempsey, and Chelsea Adicks, the Bold Women Collective is off and running!

Mentorship can play a pivotal role in career development, and professional roundtables can serve as fertile ground for fostering mentor-protege relationships. The EDmarket NexGen Rising Stars are paired with our past and current Chairs to share their wealth of experience, providing guidance on navigating complex industry dynamics, solving business challenges, and making strategic career decisions. These mentorship connections not only empower newer members but also will contribute to a culture of continuous learning and growth within the education industry. 

EDmarket Leadership Groups serve as mini “think tanks” where industry challenges and opportunities are dissected and addressed collaboratively for the good of the industry. The collective intellect of diverse members often leads to innovative solutions and novel approaches to common problems. The synergy created within these virtual spaces can be a catalyst for industry-wide advancements, propelling professionals and their respective fields forward. 

The roundtables are not just about sharing insights but also about fostering continuous learning. The EDmarket Certified Learning Space Specialist (ECLPS) under the direction of Dr. Lennie Scott-Webber, Dave Broz, and Jolene Levin, brings together a wide variety of changemakers in school districts, A&D firms, and dealer/manufacturer industry partners. Through a combination of online presentations and expert-led discussions, participants can learn in both self-paced, asynchronous and collaborative online problem solving with instructors and peers.

The new EDmarket Chairman’s Roundtable, debuting this spring, was established for CEOs/C-level EDmarket member executives to network, stay abreast of industry trends, technological advancements, and emerging best practices. These discussions are intended to improve business strategy through an exchange of ideas, expertise, and strategic conversations, all while building connections with members within the industry. Through quarterly virtual meetings, the Chairman’s Roundtable helps CEOs and their companies become more successful and prepare their business for an uncertain future.

The future of professional networking is happening at EDmarket. 

Getting involved in one of the many EDmarket programs that provide for virtual engagement allows individuals to establish themselves as thought leaders in their respective domains. Sharing expertise, contributing to discussions, and showcasing innovative ideas can elevate one’s professional profile. Thought leadership cultivated in these forums often extends beyond the virtual roundtable, opening opportunities for speaking engagements, collaborations, and increased visibility in the industry. 

The power of EDmarket’s virtual member roundtables lies in their ability to transcend physical limitations, foster focused discussions, and facilitate meaningful connections among professionals. As the digital landscape continues to evolve, these virtual forums are playing an increasingly crucial role in shaping the future of networking enabling participants to create a broad industry network fostering meaningful connections and lasting industry friendships.

Let us know if you are interested in participating in one of these existing groups or if there is another professional group or interest we can help facilitate. The future of professional networking is happening at EDmarket. 

Jim McGarry, EDmarket

Jim McGarry’s wealth of knowledge and expertise in manufacturing and distribution in both the commercial and education space has served the Education Market Association (EDmarket) well since 2011. As President/CEO of EDmarket, he facilitated the board’s communication of a redefined mission to connect people who want to succeed in the education market by providing events, resources, and leadership to those who serve education.