As we count down to the fourth annual Skilljar Connect — Customer Education’s premier industry conference — we thought we’d ask some of our customers why they’ve attended in the past and what they’re most looking forward to this year. See more in our series of Skilljar CONNECTions here!

View the full agenda for Connect 2021 and register now!

Heather Deavrer, Sr. Manager Education Services, AuditBoard

Skilljar CONNECTor:
Heather Deaver
Role: Senior Manager, Education Services
Company: AuditBoard
Industry: Risk & Compliance Software
Favorite Thing About Connect: Getting inspiration
for new ways to use Skilljar

I know I can go to Skilljar Connect and almost anything throughout the day will apply to what I do. There may be some sessions that benefit  my role more than others, but I can get something from every session. — Heather Deaver 

Heather Deaver used Skilljar when she was a Training Manager at a previous company. When she moved to AuditBoard in 2019, it was a no-brainer which customer education platform to use. She had finalized a contract with Skilljar and traveled to Skilljar Connect within three weeks of starting at AuditBoard. With conference budgets limited, she and her colleague, Bill Kelleher, Customer Education Manager, choose Skilljar Connect as their must-attend industry event!

Skilljar: Can you tell us your biggest takeaways from attending past Connect conferences?

Heather Deaver:

Very often in our industry, you can find yourself more or less on your own without other team members who do what you do. There’s generally no one in your same boat, doing exactly what you do, whom you can brainstorm with and get different ideas and perspectives from for Customer Education. For me, that was the biggest benefit of attending Skilljar Connect — learning what other people are doing and seeing if there are things we could bring back and incorporate into our own training.

Bill Kelleher:

Most other industry conferences are geared towards internal training and you have to pick and choose what you can get out of them.

Skilljar Connect’s focus on Customer Education allows you to really hone in on those things that other companies are doing well, that you can apply to your own business. — Bill Kelleher

At Skilljar Connect, it’s nice to go into a conversation with someone and just be able to talk shop. Most people in this space are very big sharers. There aren’t a lot of secrets and everyone is very willing to help, step up, and just extend the whole industry itself.

Skilljar: What was the most actionable takeaway you were able to incorporate for your business right away?


The standout presentation for me was the keynote from Mary Manning Chapman, VP of Education Services for the Technology & Services Industry Association (TSIA), on acquiring and retaining learners to drive product adoption. We’re still an emerging industry in many ways, so the numbers she was able to share told us what we should be going after to make our programs more effective. I also learned so much from the roundtables on different topics, such as localization. 

(Note – Mary Manning Chapman will also be presenting at Connect 2021!)


The session on different approaches to monetizing training was super interesting for me. I took a lot away from that because I was implementing a free training program, and the session discussed the different stages of free vs. paid training and how you can implement a program in increments. I used that information in approaching our program design.

There was also a presentation on certifications that was very insightful, concerning the need to have the certifications be legally defensible. We used that takeaway as we built out our partner certification program, asking such questions as: What do we want the certification to mean? How official does it need to be? If your certification is intended to help someone get a job, then it really has to stand up to that. 

The Connect sessions gave us guiding principles to create content and so we go into the process with a lot of intention. — Heather Deaver 

Skilljar: What are you most looking forward to at Connect 2021?


In former positions, I’ve managed our instructor-led training, and then when I came to AuditBoard, I wanted to have options for e-learning as well — and we used Skilljar to make that happen. The integrations available with Skilljar just aren’t available on other platforms. And so I would definitely be interested in hearing more about Skilljar’s future roadmap. And also, how are other customers using Skilljar to have more of these interactive, live experiences or blended learning experiences?


I love seeing some of the tactics other folks are using. At past Connects, we’ve seen some really creative uses of the software, how they repurpose some of the things that already exist, and finding out-of-the-box ways to get more out of the platform. It’s great to hear it straight from someone who’s actually out there doing it.

There are some really interesting things you can find out by either seeing examples that are being shown at Skilljar Connect — whether at a keynote, or a session, or the education expo. — Bill Kelleher 

Skilljar: What advice do you have for learning professionals who may be on the fence about attending Connect 2021?


Connect is very focused on the whole customer education ecosystem, meant for people who are using the software day in and day out. You’ll find folks who are in your situation, whether you’re new or established, and be able to pick their brains. We’re all very proud of what we do, so no one’s holding back. Everyone’s very willing to help. That, in and of itself, is worth it. 

The Skilljar team puts together some really nice sessions to go along with all of that peer learning – and that’s huge. — Bill Kelleher


Because we don’t have unlimited education and conference budgets; we have to choose the conferences we’re going to attend carefully. And we choose Skilljar Connect over the others because it’s focused on Customer Education. It takes effort to try and make a conference a good fit – you have to cherry-pick what you’ll attend and who you want to talk to. You don’t need to do that at Connect, it’s all relevant. 

View the full agenda for Connect 2021 and register now!

Thanks Heather and Bill, we look forward to seeing you November 15 -18 at the Fairmont Sonoma for Connect 2021