Why Live Training Is NOT Dead

by John Ferrare, Enerdynamics CEO

There is no question that companies are increasingly using online training to accomplish what live training once did. After all, online training can be incredibly cost-effective and, perhaps more importantly, employees don’t miss work for a day or more by attending a live seminar. There is also the presumption among some managers that employees will find time during lunch breaks or weekends to do their online training, thereby saving even more company resources. So does that mean live training is dead? Absolutely not! Here are three reasons why I believe live training still has an important role for workforces:

Reason #1: When content needs to be current

When it's critcal that content be current, online training simply cannot compete with a live event. While online training works well for basic curriculum that doesn’t change often, it doesn’t work well for dynamic content that needs to reflect the latest trends, industry data, current events, etc. Not only is it impractical to update an online course every time an event requires it, it’s just not economically feasible. It's much easier to update a live seminar's content just before the actual seminar date. An example is Enerdynamics' Future of the Utility seminar. This two-day live seminar explores the challenges and opportunities utilities face as their basic business model confronts new technologies and customer desires. We teach this for a leadership development group at one of the largest gas and electric utilities in the U.S., and the content changes practically every month. And for this client, presenting the absolute latest information is a worthwhile investment.

Reason #2: When customization makes a big difference

While we can and do customize our online content for individual clients, this is sometimes not practical or cost-effective. This year our most popular seminar is How Your Utility Makes Money. This is a half-day and very basic look at the utility financial model. While most of the content is generic across the U.S., the devil here is really in the details. I developed and regularly teach this class for seven different utilities across the country, and through my experience what really engages audiences is content that is specific to their utility and their state. Whether that be specific incentive programs, authorized ROE and capital structure, or even the political environment in which their utility operates, I am convinced what makes this class so successful is the relevance I’m able to bring with the customization to a specific utility. We actually have an online version of this same course available, but so far those who hire us to teach the live version continue to do so rather than opt for the online alternative.

Reason #3: Networking is still important

One of the real benefits of bringing employees from different work groups together is the power of professional networking. These include simply introducing employees to colleagues from different work groups as well as sharing experiences and perspectives. With proper facilitation, the end result is always better when employees from different areas of your company meet and share. The value of lasting relationships that often develop from a live training event really cannot be quantified.

Is live training dead? Most definitely not. In fact, live training (when done in the right circumstance for the right reasons) is alive and well...and still worth the time and effort!

Enerdynamics has more than 30 live electricity and natural gas seminars available for clients looking to train groups as small as eight people at a site of their choice. Each seminar can be highly customized and is updated with the latest industry data. For details, visit our live seminars page, call 866-765-5432 ext. 700, or email info@enerdynamics.com.

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