Believe it or not, there are many benefits to virtual workshops, Shuttlerock LIVE being a prime example.
The concept of virtual workshops has been thrown directly into the limelight in 2020, with many experiencing the format for the first time out of pure necessity. This article discusses some of the benefits that come along with running workshops virtually, and how Shuttlerock LIVE have been utilizing the format to collaborate with our clients.
Hosting a workshop is a sure-fire way to energize your teams, encourage new ways of thinking, and even provide a catalyst for real behavior change. But ask anyone who’s tried to take part in a ‘virtual’ workshop, and you’ll probably be faced with a fairly pessimistic outlook, fuelled by an experience with unreliable technology, disengagement, or just subpar results.
For years virtual workshops have been the ugly duckling of the knowledge sharing world. But ever since the global pandemic put a hold on in-person education, the perception towards online sessions has been rapidly changing - and for the better!
Here at Shuttlerock, we’re very aware of the challenges that remote facilitation brings, but for the most part, believe virtual sessions can be just as great as large conference room events, and here’s why...
The show must go on; benefits of virtual workshops
1. Easier Accessibility
Traditionally, in-person workshops were reserved for those who had the financial means to attend them. For a company, this dictated who and how many employees were allowed to participate, as the cost of flying out team members or bringing people together across time zones can be high.
Nowadays, with more teams and organizations becoming widely dispersed as a result of both the global pandemic and changing work patterns, workshop attendance is not only restricted to how far your financials stretch, but also the physical inability to come together in large groups.
Hence, the primary benefit of online workshops is that they make it convenient and affordable for a larger audience base to attend. As attendees that were once prevented by the obstacles and expense of travel, have now been granted the opportunity to take part from the comfort of their living rooms or workspaces.
Done right, virtual workshops can be more productive compared to traditional in-person events.
Firstly, without the sheer amount of logistical planning needed for in-person events (venue, catering, security etc.), the actual time it takes to go-to-market with virtual workshops can be significantly shorter. This can lead to a higher yield of workshops being run and ultimately, more knowledge sharing and money in the bank!
Not only this, but a fair bit of time is saved in the build-up to the session and throughout the actual workshop day. For online sessions, you don’t have to factor in the time and cost associated with loss in productivity as a result of workshop travel. Furthermore, some participants on the day will find it easier to contribute due to the fact they don’t have to physically stand in front of the wider group, i.e. the ‘safety of the screen’. In turn, this can lead to more collaboration and higher output in less time.
Make no mistake, it’s harder for audience members to focus for extended periods of time on digital mediums. There are distractions galore, and unlike in-person sessions, you can’t exactly keep tabs of who’s surfing the web. But the beauty of it all being virtual is that no one’s bound to sit inside all day, and with pre-planned session breaks, attendees can switch back to day-to-day business all by the click of a ‘leave call’ button.
3. Digitally Accessible Format At Half The Price
The rise of working remote has done wonders in normalizing video conferencing and on-screen methods of collaboration, all with the added bonus of saving time, money, and your carbon footprint!.
Sure, the digital medium lends itself to some unique challenges, including bandwidth issues and time delays. But as an audience, we’ve become more relaxed to these ‘uncontrollables’, so if a participant has to mute themselves to tend to a child, or to fiddle with their webcam to get video working, then so be it!
Depending on your needs, there is a range of video conferencing software available, with subscriptions that are much more cost-effective than any in-person venues will ever be. The ability to seamlessly record and disseminate the sessions, also allows everyone to focus on the tangible outcome during the workshops and sustain the momentum built in-session by watching back what was discussed.
"The New Normal"
For organisers, virtual workshops do require solid preparation and testing beforehand to ensure a smooth process for all. But as a participant, there is absolutely no reason to resent or resist online facilitation.
Sure, your screen may freeze, you may have a dozen heads staring at you, and your curious house pet might make a feature. But innovation doesn’t wait for anyone. So deferring your workshop participation until you can meet in-person, only means missed opportunities.
In fact, my bet is that you’ll be pleasantly surprised that virtual workshops really don’t suck - well, anymore!
Here at Shuttlerock, we’ve dived headfirst into the virtual workshop space, with the launch of Shuttlerock LIVE. Instead of taking our normal production/studio route, advertisers join Shuttlerock LIVE’s expert designers for a virtual creative workshop to experience a day of learning, collaborating, and creating a optimized ad creative; in real-time!
These virtual creative workshops sessions are broken down into learning blocks and practical build sessions, with plenty of breaks to allow for ‘business as usual’ during the day.
Brands joining us from all around the world have realized through our LIVE Virtual workshops that you can still come together to interact, learn, and develop great ideas together - even when you’re not in the same place!
Here’s what some Shuttlerock LIVE customers had to say:
“We came into this with just a handful of static images and came out with an EPIC video asset for our new cheese delivery service. Jon (our designer) is an actual wizard. He didn't overlook any detail (seriously, even the crumbs were animated). We are beyond stoked with the outcome and can't wait to get it rolling.”
- Ayla Empey, Digital Marketing Specialist @ REVEL Global
“The workshop layout was super easy to understand, we had a couple of changes to the creatives which were made live in front of us, and the designers were just incredibly helpful to work with. We wouldn't hesitate to work with Shuttlerock again”.-Matthew Lovemore, Account Manager and Head of eCommerce @ Growth Marketing Solutions
Convinced of the value of virtual workshops? Book your own Shuttlerock LIVE today and join in on the video creation fun!