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2018 Contract Training Conference

March 13, 2018 - March 16, 2018

Back by popular demand! The 8th Annual LERN Contract Training Conference 

The only best practices-based Contract Training Conference will include daylong and half-day Pre-Conference Seminars, and an All New Engaged Workshop for industry leaders dedicated to positioning their contract training unit for long-term success.

Plan on joining leading contract training units across North America and more than 100 other contract training professionals for “Information That Works!”.

Whether you call it contract, customized, or corporate training, serving business and industry with customized educational products and services is a mainstay of most continuing education programs. Contract training is the most profitable and cutting-edge continuing education program unit. A successful contract training unit generates visibility, new teaching and learning techniques, partnerships, new programming, and many other positives.

Running a successful contract training unit can be challenging, especially during tough economic times.

Businesses, government agencies, and local organizations have downsized and training dollars have been cut. Clients are more demanding than ever and are requiring a strong return on investment. Staff efficiency is mission-critical since most contract training units are either part of a continuing education program or have less than five staff members.

Efficiencies are critical to ensure high staff productivity. Contract training has shifted from an emphasis on training to a more broad emphasis on providing solutions and solution selling requires a new skill set.

The Contract Training Conference has been designed to give you the skill set necessary to increase sales, improve productivity, and ensure financial self-sufficiency.

Download the brochure for the 2018 Contract Training Conference


March 13, 2018
March 16, 2018


Hyatt Regency O’Hare
9300 Brynn Mawr Ave
Rosemont, IL 60018 United States
+ Google Map


After attending the Contract Training Conference, you will have the information and best practices to:
•Identify industry trends and provide your clients the highest level of industry-specific service and support.
•Prove to your central administration why contract training is critical and must be allowed to follow a different set of rules.
•Shift your contract training unit from selling training to selling solutions.


Numbers Are Your Friends: Data, Benchmarks, Reporting & Pricing, Greg Marsello Core Day 1, Wednesday, March 14 10:10 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Understand the LERN Financial Format and Ideal Percentages and how to price. Discover the Key Contract Training Benchmarks. Find out the data to collect and the reports to generate.
Measuring and Documenting Training Outcomes, Rick Walsh Advanced Day 1, Wednesday, March 14 10:10 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Increasingly, customers want to know the outcomes they are getting from the money they are investing. If you can’t measure your outcomes, how will you convince anyone that it was a good investment? Learn simple ways to identify and develop measures, how to implement the measurement, and then, how to report the results in an effective way.
Skill Gaps: A Case Study in Identification, Development & Implementation, Julie Bundy, Des Moines Area Community College Member Presentation Day 1, Wednesday, March 14 10:10 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Contract training units are being pushed to provide solutions to industry skill gap challenges. Learn how Des Moines Area Community College successfully met the needs of an important local client.
Lead Generation: Keep Your Contract Training Program Vital, Amy Lasack Core Day 1, Wednesday, March 14 11:10 a.m. –  Noon Contract training units fall into the trap of being just order takers. This breeds stagnation and hinders growth. Learn strategies and techniques on how to become a proactive contract training unit by generating qualified leads which translates into new opportunities and relationships.
Contract Training Process Mapping, Greg Marsello Advanced Day 1, Wednesday, March 14 11:10 a.m. – Noon Documenting policies, processes, and procedures should be a top priority. Learn the processes to map and tips for successful contract training policy, process and procedure documentation.
Improving Needs Assessment, Rick Walsh Roundtable Day 1, Wednesday, March 14 11:10 a.m. – 12:00 noon Learn five needs assessment best practices and then engage with other session participants to identify additional strategies and techniques for improving needs assessment.
Lunch NA 12:00 noon – 1:10 p.m. Gather with your contract training colleagues for lunch and additional sharing and learning
Winning Proposals that Lead to Contracts, Greg Marsello Core Day 1, Wednesday, March 14 1:10 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. Understand the difference between a proposal, MOU and contract. Discover the four proposal development steps that help close the sale. Also get tips on instructor contracts.
Planning for Growth, Eric Johnson Advanced Day 1, Wednesday, March 14 1:10 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. Winning contract training units plan. Learn how to build an effective one-year business plan and a strategic plan that builds unit capacity.
Contract Training Best Practices: Real Experiences, Member Presentation Day 1, Wednesday, March 14 1:10 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. Learn 10 contract training best practices through Red Deer College Contract Training in Alberta, Canada. Learn from Red Deer College’s success, failed attempts, and insights gained growing from an individual contract training model to a strategic sales network.
Getting the Most Out of Your Resources, Greg Marsello Core Day 1, Wednesday, March 14 2:10 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. With limited resources, contract training units must be more efficient and productive. Learn how to best structure your contract training unit, as well as receiving nine staff productivity best practice strategies.
Facebook & LinkedIn Marketing: Generate Leads and Convert Prospects into Customers, Katie Lynch-Morin Advanced Day 1, Wednesday, March 14 2:10 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Facebook and LinkedIn contain a wealth of leads and conversion opportunities but posting the occasional update is no longer enough. Learn how to use audience demographics to reach the right people; effective ways to tap into the power of social analytics; and how to proactively generate leads and drive people to your website. Leave with a clear road map to social media success.
Increasing Sales, Rick Walsh Roundtable Day 1, Wednesday, March 14 2:10 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Find out seven winning tactics for increasing sales and then engage with other session participants to identify additional strategies and techniques increasing sales.
Being Positioned for the Next 3 Years, Panel Panel Day 1, Wednesday, March 14 3:10 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Use this opportunity to ask contract training unit winners what actions they are taking to remain relevant, financially self-sufficient, and growth-oriented.
Lead with the Jack of Spades: Lessons in Leadership, Rick Walsh General Session Day 2, Thursday, March 15, 8:30 a.m. – 9:20 a.m. Increase your ability to keep yourself focused and effectively lead others. Identify barriers in your thinking that prevent you from achieving your optimal leadership potential. Leading effectively is an easier task once you recognize your Jack of Spades!
Having the Right Sales Collateral Mix, Katie Lynch-Morin Core Day 2, Thursday, March 15 9:30 a.m. – 10:20 a.m. Although selling contracts is all about relationship building, you must have the right sales collateral. Learn how to professionally present your website, sales kit, social media, and eMarketing.
Contract Training: More Than Customized Training, Eric Johnson Advanced Day 2, Thursday, March 15 9:30 a.m. – 10:20 a.m. Contract training is shifting from information to solutions. What other services can you sell alongside customized training? Learn about curriculum development, consulting services, business consortiums, learning management systems, and much more.
Traps Even the Most Experienced Sales Staff Fall Into, Amy Lasack Member Presentation Day 2, Thursday, March 15 9:30 a.m. – 10:20 a.m. Kirkwood CC Training Services is a winning contract training unit, but even winners must work on continual improvement. Learn the actions being taken to help sales staff increase their performance and sales.
Maximizing Project Management, Greg Marsello Core Day 2, Thursday, March 15 10:20 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Implementing project management best practices ensures
the successful implementation of contracts. Discover how to
initiate, plan, execute and control, and close a project. Increase
client satisfaction with purposeful project management.
Running Your Contract Training Unit Like an Entrepreneur, Eric Johnson Advanced Day 2, Thursday, March 15 10:20 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Whether your contract training unit is small or large, running your unit like a start-up entrepreneur is critical. Learn strategies and techniques for making your unit more dynamic and successful.
Expanding Your Product and Service Mix, Amy Lasack Roundtable Day 2, Thursday, March 15 10:20 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Discover six winning methods for expanding your product and service mix and then engage with other session participants to identify additional strategies and techniques for product and service mix expansion.
10 Actions You Must Take in 2018, Greg Marsello Closing Session Day 2, Thursday, March 15 11:40 a.m. – 12:00 noon Wrap up the Conference by finding out LERN’s Top 10 Contract Sales Actions for 2018. Learn how to build an after-conference Action Plan to guide the implementation of your best ideas from the Conference.

Pre-conference Sessions

All pre-conference sessions take place on Tuesday, March 13.

New! Contract Training Best Practices: Everything You Need to Know to Succeed
Presenter: Greg Marsello
Cost: $195
When: 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Whether you are new to contract training or seasoned without formal training, this pre-conference session is for you. Discover the nine key contract training best practices winning contract training units follow. Learn about finances, selling, marketing, proposals to agreements, needs assessment, and much more. Leave with the benchmarks for success, the templates you should be using, a pricing formula, strategies for lead generation and nurturing, and an implementation checklist. There is no need to reinvent contract training at your institution when you can find out exactly what the winning contract training units are doing.


Sales Mastery: The 10 Biggest Sales Problems and How to Overcome Them
Presenter: Rick Walsh
Cost: $125
When: 1 p.m. - 4 p.m.

In this session, we’ll focus on 10 ways most salespeople sink their ships – and more than 10 ways to keep yours afloat. Don’t learn it the hard way, come get the list and get to work on creating the success you deserve. A veteran sales professional will guide you through this session to sales mastery. Don’t waste time doing things that don’t work. Laser in on what these productivity boosters and sure-fire winning strategies.

The ABC's of Needs Analysis
Presenter: Eric Johnson
Cost: $125
When: 1 p.m. - 4 p.m.

One of the essential components of Contract Training is Needs Analysis. In this Pre-Conference Workshop we will explore proven ways for you and your team to conduct an effective Needs Analysis. Learn how to identify the real needs of clients through active listening, and a guided inquiry model. Not only will you receive templates for capturing the needs of clients, but you will get to practice the learned strategies in this session through an applied case study. Come to this
workshop ready to engage, challenge and have a bit of fun.

Inbound Marketing: From SEO to Content - How to Get Customers to Come To You
Presenter: Katie Lynch-Morin
Cost: $125
When: 1 p.m. - 4 p.m.

In this session, you’ll discover how an inbound strategy will help customers find your contract training unit and identify you as their preferred solution provider. You’ll learn how to effectively apply key inbound marketing principles to your current marketing strategy and identify ways to improve your current inbound methods. We’ll brainstorm real inbound ideas you can use in your unit and you’ll take home an inbound toolkit that includes solutions and strategies for
content creation, SEO audits, planning and more.

Location Information

Chicago: LERN is returning to Rosemont, Illinois for the 8th Annual Contract Training Conference due to the easy access both nationally and locally.

Rosemont is home to O’Hare Airport.

The hotel offers complimentary 24-hour shuttle service to and from the Shuttle/Bus Center located near terminal 2 at O’Hare approximately every 20 minutes. The CTA Blue line has stops near the hotel at the Rosemont Station and at O’Hare, Airport.


To make reservations, call (847) 696-1234 or (800) 233-1234 and ask for the LERN Contract Training Conference rate. The rates are $162 single, $187 double, $212 triple (only includes two breakfasts), and $237 quad (only includes two breakfasts), plus taxes and fees. The rate includes breakfast.

Hyatt Regency O’Hare
9300 Bryn Mawr Avenue
Rosemont, IL 60018
(847) 696-1234

Registration Information

Registration Fees


  • Inbound Marketing: From SEO to Content: $125
  • Sales Mastery: $125
  • The ABC’s of Needs Analysis: $125
  • All-Day Pre-conference: $195
  • Leadership Strategic Planning Workshop: $195
Conference: Includes reception, breaks and lunch
  • U.S. Regular Rate: $495
  • U.S. 2nd Person: $445

There Are 5 Easy Ways To Register

Register Online

Register by Email:

Send your registration information to info@lern.org.

Register by FAX:

Complete the Registration Form and fax it, toll-free, 24 hours a day to (888) 234-8633.

Register by Phone:

Have your Registration Form ready and call Tammy at (800) 678-5376. The phones are open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (CT) Monday-Friday.

Register by Mail:

Complete the Registration Form and mail it to:

LERN Conference Registration
P.O. Box 9
River Falles, WI 54022

Cancellations/Substitutions: Must be requested in writing. Email is acceptable. Cancellations made prior to Feb. 19, 2018 will receive full refund. No refunds if cancellation is after Feb.19, 2018. OK to substitute, but if substitute is not a LERN Member, additional fees may apply.

LERN International Awards

For the first time at the 2018 Contract Training Conference this March in Chicago, LERN will be presenting Contract Training Awards.

The LERN Contract Training Awards recognize LERN member Contract Training Teams for exemplary use of contract training best practices.

Although there are no specific submission categories, the following are example award submission areas: sales kits, sales plans, scorecards, websites, lead generation campaigns, programs and services, and needs assessment tools. To receive a Contract Training Award, your organization must be a LERN member and in attendance at the Contract Training Conference.

Gather your Contract Training Team and share with LERN best practices you have successfully implemented so they can be judged with other submissions. The winning award submissions will be shared during the Contract Training Conference, as well as throughout the year in the LERN Club.

Contract Training Award submissions are due by Friday, Feb. 16.

Click here for LERN 2018 Contract Training Awards Directions and Submission Form.

If you have any questions about the LERN Contract Training Awards, you should contact Greg Marsello at marsello@lern.org.