Mark Williams the director of Creative Studios Derby, a specialist Adobe training studio.
At the beginning of March this year Creative Studios had at least 5 months of Adobe training booked in. This included classroom courses here at the studio in Derby, onsite training at various locations around the country, lectures scheduled in for students at various Universities and evening courses prepared for QUAD.
Then it all stopped, face to face training ground to a halt for over 5 months!
Things changed dramatically, suddenly I was giving a lecture to 60 students through Microsoft Teams then training 6 staff from EON over Zoom whilst they were all sat in their own homes. This was completely new territory.
I had to adapt create new training methods and materials that would work virtually and buy new equipment to help things run smoothly with no technical hiccups.
Marketing for new business was a nightmare virtually everyone I contacted were on furlough or working from home with all budgets (including training) put on hold. This did however give me time to refine the virtual offer with the small number of delegates that were attending.
The support of existing customers during this period has been invaluable. Without a doubt the biggest thing that has got us through the last 6 months is the relationships that have been forged over the years with our customers. They trust and appreciate the value of continuous training and the damage it can do if you don’t keep your staff up to speed with current software.
Personally, I don’t think there is any substitute for face to face training, however this forced situation did make me realise there is a place for virtual training. Its great for short sessions with existing customers who want some refreshing or more advanced training. Its not good for big groups of people that do not know each other!
Now we are halfway through September and the doors are open in the studio, we have a limited capacity due to social distancing restrictions but its great to be back in the room with fresh faces coming in.
With the virtual offer now refined I’m offering it as post course support. Hour slots for any issues that they may encounter when back working at their desk, Zoom works great for this and I will continue to do it this way.
I still think we have a long way to go before we are anywhere near normality but hopefully its heading in the right direction.
[See our latest workshop with Mark - https://info.mainframederby.co.uk/en-gb/mainframe-digital-essentials-indesign-online ]
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