Results From UNICON’s Latest Pulse Survey
By Nora Anderson & Eric Bergemann
UNICON Benchmarking Committee Co-chairs, 2021-2022
Just over one year ago, UNICON launched its first Pulse Survey of members who were just beginning to face the rapid and significant effects of a global pandemic. That survey was drafted on Friday February 28th 2020 – launched on March 2nd 2020 with results shared within a week on March 6th. The survey results provided strong signals of a disruption to our schools and our field. Three more surveys conducted in the spring as well as our Annual Benchmarking Survey confirmed expanding disruptions, but also gave some sense of major transitions in learning delivery and methodologies to global executive learners.
The UNICON Benchmarking Committee conducted its fifth pulse survey of the membership in February/March 2021. 61% of members responded to this survey, which included several questions asked in 2020 Pulse and Annual Surveys, along with new questions reflecting our industry’s changing environment.
The two major themes noted in UNICON’s 2020 Benchmarking Report were confirmed on a full year basis: very significant revenue impacts and continuing rapid pivot to digital delivery. And there are signs of stability on projections for the upcoming year.
Examples of some key findings:
- Nearly three-quarters of responding UNICON members see the global pandemic causing “a substantial change in executive education demand requiring new formats and/or services.” European schools were particularly likely to agree, with Asia/Oceanic schools less so. There was broad agreement on this response across schools at different revenue levels.
- Projected topline revenue suggests a stabilization for most schools in 2021, with almost two-thirds of schools anticipating no negative revenue impact or under 10%.
- Two-thirds of schools reported 3-4 hours as the optimal length of time for maintaining participant engagement in Live Online delivery. One-third of higher revenue schools report 5-6 hours as optimal length.
Other questions addressed Exec Ed staff levels in 2020 (reductions, additions and redeployments), the mix of delivery methods, and program quality in 2020. The entire report is only available to participating schools, but there will be a *new* Pulse Survey issued to members this spring – and we strongly encourage all to participate.
We thank those schools who participated in the first Pulse Survey of 2021 and look forward to seeing you at the Director Conference in April!