Staying connected proved a lot harder than staying home during lockdown for most business owners. We anticipated various scenarios for Threesides as marketing campaigns were paused suddenly but we couldn’t have guessed how valuable our video skills were about to become.

As our own staff departed the office to work remotely and we discovered the best tools to connect with them, our clients jostled on how to do the same with their customers. Overnight our core business moved from digital marketing to online training. Services we had always provided but the demand expanded at an exponential rate, almost overnight. Different clients had different challenges so today’s blog addresses various challenges and the right tool to meet the challenge but the one central element to all of these tools was video.

Challenge 1: I want to move my presentation to a webinar?

Tools to try: Zoom Webinars, Microsoft Teams Live

You might have the gift of the gab with a room full of people when it comes to training or you are great at coaching your clients one-on-one but that doesn’t mean that Mum or Dad handed down the technical genes to move your training skills to an online platform. With practice our training clients adapted well to online delivery but it was the platform selection, registration and promotion that bamboozled most. Even when they got comfortable with Zoom or Microsoft Teams as their platform of choice, they then discovered that there is a difference between a Zoom Meeting vs a Zoom Webinar and Teams Live is actually Microsoft’s webinar tool not Microsoft Teams Meetings.

For some clients they stayed with the meeting features of Zoom or Teams. For example, Ondina who provides masterclasses and networking opportunities for her leadership clients, Zoom Meetings made sense because everyone is on screen, she liked that everyone was displayed with equal sizing and it had the intimate feeling of a group/tribe (like the Brady Bunch for those who remember!).

To see webinar functionality in action though, visit Nexis Accountants and Business Advisors who used Zoom Webinars to provide their clients with timely information about the rapidly changing COVID-19 government stimulus packages. To compare, centreRED IT utilised Microsoft Teams Meeting for the first webinar in their COVID-19 Recovery Ready Webinar Series and adopted Microsoft Teams Live for second webinar in this series. For participants, the differences are not obvious but as the presenter, Zoom Webinars was easy to set up while Microsoft products are better known for security and Teams Live itself, has scalability and integration with your other Microsoft products in its favour.

Challenge 2: How do I treat a patient online?

Tools to try: Coviu

For health professionals that needed to continue to provide an essential service while managing the safety of their staff, COVID-19 was a massive challenge. Canberra Knee Clinic (CKC) were forced to stop surgeries but that did not mean they could stop seeing patients, particularly those in post-operative stage of treatment. During lockdown the clinic required contact with clients to check in and see how they were coping and to do so, we supported CKC to implement Coviu, a telehealth platform. This video conferencing tool markets its security well but it was the easy set up that should be commended.

Challenge 3: How do I run or sell a course online?

Tools to try: Talent LMS

I think its time our business embraced online learning, how hard can it be?

Well that depends on your understanding of online learning and what you are trying to achieve. Let’s start with the basic questions?

  1. Do you want to charge for it?
  2. Do you need to keep a record of participant attendance?
  3. Do you want to test competence? e.g. quiz or test
  4. Do you want participants to submit activities or examples of work?

If you answered yes to one or more of the above, in most cases you need a learning management system (LMS) to host your course. After testing and implementing various products, we have a clear favourite, Talent LMS. For one clear reason, it is easy to use! Whether it was setting up the account, adding users, uploading pretty much whatever file format we needed, to designing quizzes and courses and then charging for them. Every step of the way was either intuitive or there was a tutorial on how to do it. Within a week we had a platform established for Home Affairs who only a few weeks earlier had planned to deliver their training courses face-to-face but had to adapt quickly due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Challenge 4: How do I run an event online?

Tools to try: Facebook Live Events

You thought the meat raffle at your local club was dead during COVID-19? You were wrong!

The RUC, a popular bowls club located in the heart of Canberra, moved super quickly with the times and adopted Facebook Live events to keep their Friday Meat Raffle and Thursday Trivia events alive. Not only did it keep the club connected with patrons, it increased their social media engagement and allowed them to continue to fundraise for the local junior rubgy club. Still going, the Meat Raffle has also engaged local politicians to host the event each week.

Challenge 5: Zoom or Teams? What’s best for online meetings?

Tools to try: Zoom Meetings, Microsoft Teams Meetings

So this will be short. We use both! If you have concerns for security or you want better integration with other Microsoft products, then Teams. We use this for meetings/chat with one or two staff.

If you want lots of people on the screen, the answer for now is Zoom but use a password to help with security. We used Zoom for our team meetings because Microsoft Teams would only show four people at a time. They are working on increasing this but it wasn’t available yet.

Challenge 6: Where do I host all my video presentations?

Tools to try: Vimeo

So you just want somewhere to host your videos? Vimeo not only is great for hosting but if you are collaborating with others and they want changes the review/comments tracking is superb. You can tag exactly where in the video sequence you need a change and leave a comment. Sharing and embedding is as easy as YouTube but if you replace the video with a new version, it keeps all your stats. But what video content do we host on it:

  • Interviews we recorded using Teams or Zoom
  • Professionally produced video content e.g. training presentations, TV adverts, etc.
  • Webcasts

For a great example of how we use video for training purposes check out the Destination Southern NSW Chat Series on the Threesides Vimeo Channel.