Embracing the Digital Shift: How AAFP Successfully Pivoted to Virtual CE Programs & Boosted Profit Margins

Embracing the Digital Shift: How AAFP Successfully Pivoted to Virtual CE Programs & Boosted Profit Margins
The American Academy of Forensic Psychology (AAFP) offers continuing education (CE) to mental health professionals–programs that were, historically, in-person. However, in 2019, they started facing a big problem: they were being squeezed on both sides with declining attendance and increasing costs for their in-person CE workshops. In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic greatly exacerbated these problems, further accelerating the need for change. This prompted AAFP to seek an alternative solution to replace their in-person offerings with a virtual experience.

The Challenge

AAFP's core problem was the sustainability of their in-person CE workshops due to declining profit margins. The organization had already reduced the number of annual in-person workshop series from six to four. With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, AAFP needed to find a way to pivot to virtual CE offerings quickly to continue fulfilling their mission.

The Solution

The CONCEPT team proposed that AAFP pivot from in-person workshops to live, virtual program offerings sprinkled throughout the year. This approach would also allow AAFP to develop a library of on-demand training content that could generate revenue year-round.

The Implementation

AAFP approached CONCEPT in July 2020 with in-person programs scheduled for September and October 2020, as well as January, February, April, June, and July 2021. The CONCEPT team was able to seamlessly translate this in-person program schedule into a live, virtual lineup, including handling marketing, registrations, and customer service.

The Results

AAFP experienced higher attendance rates for live, virtual programs than they had in the last five years for their in-person workshops. Despite the costs associated with developing live and on-demand programs, AAFP still managed to earn a very healthy 70% profit margin. Plus, they continue to earn royalties from ongoing registrations for the on-demand programs that were created from the content captured during the live sessions. Lastly, the wider reach of the virtual events allowed AAFP to broaden their network by engaging professionals who have historically been unable to travel to attend in-person workshops.

Pivoting to live, virtual CE programs and creating an on-demand library of royalty-earning programs have been financial successes for AAFP. However, AAFP leadership felt something was missing: networking. As a result, AAFP decided to offer an annual conference event alongside a series of live, virtual CE programs offered through CONCEPT four times a year. This hybrid model has worked well to continue the mission of providing continuing education programming, increase overall revenues and profit margins for AAFP, and allow for in-person networking opportunities.


The collaboration between AAFP and CONCEPT successfully transformed the organization's CE offerings, resulting in increased attendance, higher profit margins, and a wider reach. The hybrid model of virtual programs and an annual in-person conference has proven to be an effective and sustainable solution for AAFP, catering to the evolving needs of today's professionals in forensic psychology.

Additional Forensic Resources

Since its inception in 2009, CONCEPT has built a strong reputation by providing high-quality professional training to over 27,000 mental health professionals in 72 countries. With an extensive database of over 50,000 mental health professionals, CONCEPT offers over 1,000 hours of training content in forensic mental health which will be further expanded as it merges content with PAU course offerings. All training programs are based on the latest research and evidence-based practices, which enables participants to incorporate relevant, up-to-date information based on a solid scientific foundation into their practice. In addition to professional training, CONCEPT provides free resources to promote lifelong learning and to allow participants to stay at the top of their practice throughout their careers.

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