How To Host A Winning Online Training Workshop
An online training workshop is, essentially, an event. You use video conferencing tools to bring together employees from across your organization into a virtual classroom. This is a big opportunity for your L&D strategy. Here is your chance to replace face-to-face training with something that is more efficient, cheaper, and still engaging. The power of bringing together a virtual team in an online training environment should not be underestimated. Your corporate learners can get to know one another, have fun together, and learn from each other—all without leaving their desk. Hosting a winning online training workshop can transform your learning environment.
Why Host An Online Training Workshop?
An online training workshop engages corporate learners using traditional facilitator delivery plus online training activities, quizzes, and collaborative elements with other “attendees”. The online training workshop is usually done live by an online facilitator or trainer, and it features group and individual messaging tools. Pre-work is recommended so that the attendees are all informed about learning objectives, content, and style. The event can reach a global audience so it replaces the need to travel for onsite training. The software you use can usually record the session so that no one misses the event. Here are just a few of the benefits of an online training event:
- Training costs are reduced with travel, accommodation, and materials costs eliminated
- Online training workshops are a great tool for building a virtual team. People generally feel more confident in contributing if they are online, as they are less worried about being judged
- Online training workshops can deliver an immersive experience through interactive elements. This helps cater to different learning preferences and holds a corporate learner’s attention
- The content can be kept more up-to-date than that of an online training course. You can apply brand-new industry information, trends, or products to show the online training course is of the moment
- They can provide a real boost to employee engagement, increasing a feeling of connection to peers, leaders, and even your brand
Insider Secrets To Hosting A Winning Online Workshop
1. Get Attendee Input
Survey your participants first to find out what the training needs are. Use the training needs analysis to tailor online training content and pre-work. You can also inquire about their expectations for the workshop and personal preferences. For example, how are they going to access the online training workshop and how much time can they set aside?
2. Use Pop Quizzes To Boost Engagement
Include regular “assessments”, disguised as fun quizzes or online training activities to keep employees’ attention and keep them away from distractions. This also allows you to identify their gaps and then adjust your online training strategy accordingly.
3. Cater For All Needs
Interactive elements, videos, quizzes, topics to research offline, simulations, and branching scenarios all reach different learning preferences. Bear in mind that there may also be corporate learners with special needs in the audience, such as those with visual or hearing impairments.
4. Record Live Sessions
Record your online training workshops and use them offline to allow you to catch any time zones you missed. Make sure you vary the host time zone now and again so that colleagues on other continents feel respected. You can even use a video editing tool to add background music, voiceovers, and visuals to enrich the experience or break the online training workshop into a series of microlearning resources for greater convenience.
5. Make It Personal
Include a private message option so people can ask for clarifications or give feedback without the involvement of the whole group. You should also focus on the individuals taking part from all different locations, job roles, or offices. Boost people during the online training workshop so that they feel valued and recognized, and that the online training is real-world and relevant. You might consider inviting guest hosts from within the organization. For example, employees who are knowledgeable about a specific task or skill can impart their wisdom.
6. Use Social Media
Add a social element so people can connect before, during, and afterward. Create a buzz around the online training workshop so it feels like a must-attend event. A great way to incorporate social media into your event is to create a Twitter hashtag or Facebook group. Attendees can discuss topics in real time and share their insights, as well as offer tips to their peers or interact with the online instructor long after the online training workshop has concluded.
7. Invest In A Reliable Platform
Choose your video conferencing platform carefully to ensure that every member of your team enjoys the experience. Make sure the software offers the following features:
- multiplatform-friendly for greater accessibility
- can be tested beforehand by presenters and attendees
- allows for the interactivity you desire
- can record live sessions
- works over varying network bandwidths to reach all participants
8. Build Excitement Leading Up To The Event
The best online training workshops start well before the event. The opportunities to set learning goals, describe participation expectations, and build interest are too good to miss during pre-course communications. Your corporate learners should be looking forward to that invite landing in their inbox and keep that time clear in their calendars. They should know they have an event they can look forward to, where their voice can be heard without judgment or fear. Set the stage in advance, and your corporate learners will be open to a successful and immersive online training experience.
During the event, keep the lines of communication open so that your online facilitator can react to feedback or changing needs. Keep the online training workshop fun and inclusive. Make sure you include interactive assessments at various points to keep engagement levels up. Take the best of your face-to-face content, combine it with flawless technology, and your online training will be transformed.
Do you need to invest in a more robust video conferencing or editing tool for your upcoming workshop? Use our online directory to find the ideal eLearning software vendor for your next live event.