Making Your SEMA Show Educational Experience Worthwhile

By Jim and Wendy Kirkpatrick, Chuck Udell

Chuck Udell
Jim Kirkpatrick
Wendy Kirkpatrick
Two weeks ago, in the first installment about how to make your 2014 SEMA Show educational experience more worthwhile, we saw that applying the first two Kirkpatrick Foundational Principles can lead to more SEMA Show seminar participants utilizing the concepts they learned and increasing the profitability of their companies regardless of size. These two principles are:
  • The end is the beginning.
  • Return on expectations (ROE) is the ultimate indicator of value.

This week, we will address how following the other three principles will further ensure that what you learn by attending SEMA Show seminars will make a difference in your company. The remaining principles are:

  • Business partnership is necessary to bring about positive ROE.
  • Value must be created before it can be demonstrated.
  • A compelling chain of evidence demonstrates your bottom-line value.

Business Partnership Is Necessary to Bring About Positive Return on Expectations (ROE)

This third Kirkpatrick principle is all about actions that need to occur before and after formal training to produce the required ROE. A strong Level 3 application/execution plan is critical. Before training, business owners and managers must work with their team members in order to prepare them for training by identifying what success will look like, and designing an effort throughout the learning and performance processes to maximize results.  

Even more critical is the role of managers after training. They are the key people to reinforce newly learned knowledge and skills through support and accountability. The degree to which this reinforcement and coaching happens directly correlates to improved performance and positive outcomes.

Value Must Be Created Before It Can Be Demonstrated

Currently, many aftermarket companies are putting most of their resources into the part of the training process that produces the lowest level of business results (the actual training class). They are spending relatively little time on the pre-training and follow-up activities that translate into the positive behavior change, subsequent results and the return on expectations (ROE) that organizations seek.

To create ultimate value and ROE, strong attention must be given to post-training application activities. It is essential that managers stay involved and use their influence to ensure that critical, appropriate post-training behaviors occur. Without these, you will not see the results you are expecting.

A Compelling Chain of Evidence Demonstrates Your Bottom-Line Value 

Following the Kirkpatrick Foundational Principles and using the Kirkpatrick levels of training evaluation will create a chain of evidence showing the business value of the entire business partnership effort. This chain consists of quantitative and qualitative data that sequentially connect the four evaluation levels of the Kirkpatrick Model and show the ultimate contribution of learning and reinforcement to the business.

For more information about how to maximize the value of your training investments, register for free at, or e-mail Jim and Wendy Kirkpatrick at or Chuck Udell at After registering, you will receive instant access to the online Resource Library containing more than 60 items, as well as a complimentary subscription to the weekly e-newsletter containing quick tips, current news and program discounts.