by Michael Shapiro | June 10, 2011

A new on-demand video learning site, the Event Leadership Institute, went live at the beginning of the month with a new catalog of professional coursework for planners. The brainchild of Howard Givner -- the event industry entrepreneur who most recently gave you the Super Planner app -- ELI launched with about 25 courses, with more to be added monthly. Interestingly, the site takes the "micro-learning" approach, meaning that each course is divided into several chapters, and planners are free to start with whatever chapter they want.

The current class library is divided into five main categories: Business Ownership, Event Management, Venues & Destinations, Strategy & ROI and Technical Production. The organization is serious about developing quality educational content, says Givner. More than 20 industry vets are on the current list of instructors, teaching what they know, and the ELI leadership spends an average of seven hours with each instructor to help develop and refine the actual presentation.

According to Givner, 90 percent of the classes have already qualified for CMP credits, and the amount of credit is clearly specified for each class description. "We're very cognizant of the CMP blueprint as we develop our classes," Givner told me. "What's proving especially popular is that people can meet their CMP requirements, or continuing education requirements, in multiple settings. For instance, you can watch 15 minutes a day over a coffee break for several days. The system shows a check mark next to the chapters you've previously seen, so you can pick right up where you left off."

À la carte pricing ranges from $35 to $55 per class, most of which are 30 minutes to an hour in length. ELI also offers a subscription-based model for an introductory price of $25 per month or $250 for a year. (In January 2012 that will go up to $35/month or $350/year.) Subscribers can complete as many courses as they wish.

Subscriptions have been live for just one week, but Givner says preliminary response has been great, and that people have been very impressed with the content. The educational model seems well-suited to busy professionals, and that preliminary subscription price strikes me as a good deal, particularly since a one-month subscription will cost you less than even one course at the à la carte price. I'd be curious to hear feedback, even through an anonymous comment, from anyone who has taken a course.