Remember the old days of training?
It seems like a lifetime ago when my role as a training manager was to "get butts in chairs", as my boss would tell me. It was that simple. Fill the chairs with people and get the training session under way. Filling the chairs used to be easy! People would come from all over the U.S. to attend training programs….it's not the same anymore. As all businesses and all industries are doing more with less, we find ourselves looking for ways to get the work done at a fraction of the cost. Efficiency is the name of the game now.
If you find yourself needing to train employees who are located across the country or needing to communicate information quickly and consistently, consider using audio and web conferencing technology. You'll save thousands of dollars! Many people think of this technology to be used just for conference calls or to share slides in a presentation. Yes, it can be used for that, however, audio and web conferencing technology can offer great benefits to your organization. Consider adding webinars to your communication and training mix and watch your return on investment (ROI) grow.
Back to training; modern-day training scenario. Save thousands of dollars by avoiding the costly venue prices, food, beverage, service charges, transportation and airfare. When using conferencing technology to train a group of people, it's important to apply the same techniques as when training in person. Here are some tips and things to consider to help you get started:
- The invitation needs to wet the appetite of your audience. Add your logo, a speaker bio and speaker photo to the electronic invitation. Having a customizable invitation is a must when sparking the interest of a participant, regardless if they are employees, colleagues or prospects.
- Clearly state the WIFFM – What's In It For Me. The invitation content should focus on the benefit the participant will receive by attending your training program.
- Make it easy to reply and accept your invitation. With unique registration links built into your invitation, your audience can confirm their seat with simple clicks of the mouse. Having a built-in calendar plug-in (such as Outlook) available, upon a participant registering, will increase your attendance rate. Again, make it easy to say "yes – I'll be there!" and help them to show up with the option of a calendar plug-in.
- Customize the registration data you want to collect. Traditionally, asking for name, company and contact information has been the expected information needed when registering for any training program. Consider asking for more strategic information to help you gauge your audience's interests, such as what they want to get out of the program, future topics of interest, other programs they have attended recently, etc. If you want to know what is of value to your audience – now is the time to ask them. It's important to keep the registration brief to avoid attrition, so focus on the 2 most important pieces of information you'd like to gather.
- Registration confirmation. Once someone raises their hand and registers to attend your event, send them a confirmation email and any pre-session materials they might need, by way of attachments. Automated registration confirmations can be set up to trigger at the moment a participant confirms attendance or is approved to attend. What a time saver! Set this up once and this time-saving tool will communicate on your behalf as people sign up for your program.
Reminder emails. A simple step, yet, a critical one. With so much going on each day, we all forget about commitments we've made. Set up an automated email to remind invitees of your upcoming webinar.
- Customize the post-meeting survey for feedback on the program and another opportunity to ask your audience what is important to them. Again, keep it short and simple for best results.
- Create a post-meeting web page with additional resources and/or the recording of the training program. This is a great way to communicate with those who may have missed the original session, yet tried to access the program at a later date. Your messaging can continue long after the event has taken place.
- Recording your training event is an ideal (and low-cost) way to capture the content and make it available over and over again. Recorded content can be shared via email, social media, web sites, electronic newsletters or CD. Maximize your training efforts by recording and re-purposing the content. It's a cost-effective and versatile way to get the biggest bang for the buck.
- How many people will you be training? Do you want to facilitate the event yourself or would you prefer an operator to assist with the event. Would you prefer your audience listen to your presentation by phone or over their computer? Either way, you can achieve profitable results.
If you need help, just call on our ReadyTalk team of experts, who can answer any questions you may have and help you get started. Chat live (on the left-hand navigation) or call 1.800.843.9166. For more helpful "how to" documents and recordings, including a free best practice whitepaper on Training Successfully with Webinars, visit the ReadyTalk Resource Center.