If you’re looking for a way to fill out your training curriculum but are on a budget, or if you’re an instructional designer looking for some good information, today’s Web site, Padgett-Thompson , is for you! You’ve probably even received some of this company’s fliers by mail in the past.
Last week I reviewed the home site for the American Management Association . Today’s Web review is on PadgettThompson , a seminar company owned by AMA. Padgett-Thompson is one of the AMA’s three training divisions, which train more than 550,000 business people annually in over 500 cities nationwide. The company offers half-, one-, and two-day seminars at what its Web site calls “popular” prices.
You can view the seminar offerings by location or by topic. When searching by topic, you will find that all seminars are categorized into 12 areas:

  • Accounting and Payroll
  • Communication Skills
  • Customer Service
  • Facilities Management
  • HR and Training
  • Management
  • Organization Skills
  • OSHA Compliance
  • Purchasing and Negotiation
  • Sales and Marketing
  • Support Staff
  • Warehousing and Inventory

Each area contains a list of linked seminar titles; just click on a title and you will get a full description of the course and its cost. From that page you can also view the seminar schedule as well as register for the course. Additional information about Continuing Education Units is available on these full-description pages.

Career tips
This is the section I found most interesting and helpful. Any instructional designer or writer will find these tips of use, over time. The tips comprise short lists and ideas, culled from the Padgett-Thompson seminars, and are just the kinds of “nuggets” I would want to take away from a seminar. Here are some titles in this section that caught my eye:

  • Achieving Inventory Accuracy Using Cycle Counting
  • Avoiding the #1 OSHA Violation
  • Cooling Off Hot Heads
  • Good Writing is also Good Editing
  • What To Do When A Team’s Morale Suffers
  • 7 Listening Skills To Solve Customer Complaints

From here, you can sign up to receive future tips, via monthly e-mail. The home page also offers a Newsletter link from which you can view sample copies of the Padgett-Thompson newsletter as well as subscribe to it. As a fan of e-mail publications, and a reader of many, I found this newsletter to be quite good—good enough that I signed up!

The rest of the site
The Product Center offers books, software, audiotapes, and CD-ROMs that relate to the seminars offered. You can look at and purchase these items from the site.

The rest of the site contains the typical Web page stuff. There is a FAQ (called Common Questions), A Help Desk, a place to Request a Catalog, and a link that takes you directly to Register for a Seminar. There is also a section that discusses on-site training for your organization.

Overall impressions
This site is designed to describe and sell training seminars, and it does this quite well. The Career Tips section is not only good marketing (repackaging of Padgett-Thompson’s existing material), but also a useful addition to the site. I encourage a visit, whether you have any current training needs or not.

Kevin Eikenberry is President of the Discian Group , a learning consulting company in Indianapolis.
If you would like to comment on this article or to suggest other Web sites for review, please write toKevin .