the
cpd junkie
Industry check up

2020 dental cpd industry report

For the first time in history, dentistry stopped. At first, our concerns centered on the availability and rising price of masks and for a few precarious months we watched the virus come. Never did we expect it to close down our practices, affect our ability to treat our patients and enforce social distancing throughout the country. As if overnight, public gatherings including dental continuing education became an impossible reality. 

It has been a difficult time for dentists and the dental CPD industry in 2020. Amidst the chaos of practice restrictions, social isolation and cancelled CPD events, there have emerged silver linings.  We found ourselves with more time to work on our businesses and ourselves rather than within them. Many also cherished the additional time with family and a rare opportunity to step out of the rat race.

We also saw a wave of generous creativity as dental educators jumped on Instagram and Facebook Live, Zoom based webinars and podcasts to provide content for the dental community. The “webinar” emerged as a clear winner during the pandemic and became the go to source of dental CPD in the first half of 2020, becoming how most of us spent our evenings in isolation

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WHY READ THIS REPORT

CPD Junkie is not just another cpd list, it is the most comprehensive place to find Dentistry CPD in Australia. Whether you’re a dentist wanting to know what’s best or an organiser with plans to raise the dentistry bar in Australia, the data extracted from CPD Junkie gives insights, trends and an understanding previously unrecognisable. 

We’ve got the data and we’re sharing it to help make dental CPD better.

What You’ll Learn

  • The trends occurring now in Dental CPD in Australia
  • The breakdown of currently available courses in a way you have not seen before
  • Insights into the dentists who are looking for courses and what they are searching for.

The data included in this report is drawn from the  hundreds of events listed on cpdjunkie.com.au and from it’s thousands of users and visitors. At CPD Junkie we strive to provide a comprehensive directory of all CPD Available in Australia and this report is a synthesis of this comprehensive directory.

Considering the recent COVID-19 events and the many cancellations and rescheduled events as a result, there are some unknowns around event cancellations and some assumptions have been made. Including:

  • Live events during the social distancing lockdown of COVID-19 were deemed cancelled even though confirmation of such was not always readily available or obtained.
  • Many statistics and reports are done on the basis of all events listed without regard to whether they were cancelled, rescheduled or moved on-line.

Part One:

INDUSTRY OVERVIEW: CHALLENGES AND TRENDS IN 2020

The dental CPD Industry has been through an unprecedented shakeup during COVID-19. A push towards online CPD has been overwhelming, however many courses and topics do not translate effectively. As such the resurgence in live, hands-on and interactive courses is expected to be strong. It is too early to assess how effective the rebound has been. However green shoots are appearing, especially in the form of new and redevelopment courses and programs.

COVID-19

The impact  of COVID-19 on the dentistry events industry was highlighted in dramatic fashion with the shutdown of ADX2020 midway through the event. The situation evolved rapidly and left most organisers with no choice but to cancel. A few, managed to turn the didactic components of their courses into an online format but many had to simply cancel and or reschedule. 

Another challenge associated with COVID-19 is travel restrictions and an uncertain return to normalcy. Many event organisers are unsure of when they should re-schedule events to and if these dates will be suitable in the near future.

The increase in webinars from Q1 to Q2 2020

ENGAGEMENT

As live events ground to a halt, webinars and online content increased exponentially. This posed an additional challenge – engagement. The battle for attention is ever challenging and with a relatively low barrier to entry compared to live and in-person events, many individuals who would not otherwise host events began hosting webinars. 

Many organisers struggled to keep their head above the noise and stand out among the masses, with webinars running multiple times per day in their peak. Webinar fatigue was also evident within this period with event organisers noting a reduced number of attendees and attendees signing off prior to the end of the webinar. Often free/cheap, webinar hosts found it challenging to convey value in their content and dentists did not have the same level of engagement as live and in-person events.

Online was the only way to learn for the second quarter of 2020.

LIVE, ONLINE

Live, online events, including webinars, are a great way to increase engagement and the richness of the events, compared with pre-recorded webinars. Live events encourage greater participation from attendees with an ability to provide real-time feedback and engagement. Although not perfect, live on-line events are the next best option considering the present challenges around travel and public gatherings.

WEBINARS

With the restrictions on public gatherings imposed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, there was an immediate  influx of webinars in the dental education space. Webinars have proved to be a fantastic way to promote and teach a limited amount of material but also face important challenges such as poor audience engagement, dilution of quality and an obvious lack of “hands-on” teaching.Much of this trend was brought on by generous initiatives from organisers within the industry to help provide dentists with an avenue to grow while being restricted from their clinical practice. The benefit to the organiser is brand exposure and building a subscriber list from webinar attendees which offers a chance to continue a relationship with the attendee. The value of this is significant.

The challenge with Webinars is engagement and attendance. On average, Webinars have a 46% attendance rate across industries.¹

1. https://99firms.com/blog/webinar-statistics/#gref

BLENDED LEARNING

Some event organisers took things one step further and introduced blended learning models. Creating online components for didactic portions of their courses and reserving the hands-on components to later in the year with hopes that restriction will be lifted to allow for such events to proceed. 

Similarly, others are offering on-line and virtual hands-on teaching by mailing out the necessary components to participants such that they can follow along online instruction on their own typodonts at home or in their practice.

Part Two:

By providing an outstanding tool for dentists in the form of our comprehensive directory of CPD events, CPD wish-lists and CPD logs, CPD Junkie has grown a large user base. Our users gain ongoing value in the form of newsletters, educational e-books and much more. 

From our users and subscribers  we have been able to collect a lot of data pertaining to their CPD interests, budgets for spending of CPD etc. This data-set is unique and offers unmatched insight into the most engaged members of the dental industry.

CAREER STAGE

Student
14%
First Year Graduate
21%
2nd-3rd Year Graduate
21%
3-10 Years Since Graduation
20%
10+ Years Since Graduation
25%

LOCATION OF USERS

Top 3 States

VIC
37%
NSW
29%
QLD
27%

INTERESTS

TOP 5 DISCIPLINES SELECTED BY OUR USERS AS AREAS OF INTEREST

Part Three:

The data in this section is derived from CPD Junkie’s comprehensive listing of over 300 courses that were listed for the first half of 2020 and does not take into account all the cancellations discussed in Part 1. The data is beneficial in providing a quantitative overview of the dental CPD industry that was in place for the first half of 2020 and where the industry will hopefully return to once restrictions associated with the COVID-19 pandemic have been lifted.

FORMAT OF DELIVERY

The delivery of Dental CPD has evolved and even prior to the COVID-19 Pandemic, a lot of CPD courses were offered online vs In-Person. In-Person and hands-on courses remain the most popular method of CPD delivery.

CPD TOPICS

There were CPD courses listed on CPD Junkie covering 20 different disciplines within dentistry. Here are the 5 disciplines of dentistry with the most CPD events on offer in the first half of 2020.

COST OF CPD EVENTS IN 2020

There is large variety when it comes to CPD events. Free events, mostly in the form of webinars were quite popular in the first half of 2020. Here is the breakdown of CPD cost of the hundreds of events listed on CPD Junkie for the first half of 2020.

LOCATION OF EVENTS

Part Four

OPPORTUNITIES FOR EVENT ORGANISERS

It has been a challenging start to the year but there are a lot of opportunities for creativity and novel marketing approaches to build awareness for events and promote contents in the second half of 2020 and beyond.

1.

ELEVATE YOUR ONLINE EVENTS

With the COVID-19 pandemic making public gatherings in the near future an uncertainty, consider taking your events online. As mentioned, many have run webinars in the early parts of 2020. The market is flooded with webinars as the barrier to running one is quite low. How will you stand out? Consider higher production value live or recorded lectures and hands on components to create more engaging and higher quality content to stand out above the competition. Some of the industry leader in this space are using multiple cameras, video editing and creative formatting to create a more immersive experience for online course attendees. With more and more courses being taken online, you will need to get creative to stand out.

2.

GO LIVE WITH SOCIAL MEDIA

The attention is on social media and to stand out in 2020 and beyond, event organisers need a good understanding of social media to engage with an audience and to promote and sell out events. To engage with an audience and to stand out among the competition, event organisers need to provide value to the audience. 

With the improvements of Facebook, Youtube and Instagram Live features, one great way to engage with your target audience is by hosting live talks, interviews or even tutorials. This novel feature is being used by some industry leaders in dentistry and other fields but is an area that has a lot of potential.

3.

LET CPD JUNKIE DO THE WORK FOR YOU

CPD Junkie can take the guesswork out of marketing your CPD events. As Australia’s most comprehensive CPD directory, we have the audience as well as the data to help promote your events to the people who want to hear it.

Targeted. Effective. Simple.

From Full listings to Ticket sales, we’re currently helping event organisers sell out their courses, despite the COVID-19 pandemic. 

If you found this useful and know a colleague who may be interested, please share the report with them:

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