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News roundup from Training Solutions and the IT Training Show


Last week we promised a final news roundup from the Training Solutions show. Having waded through acres of promotional material and chatted to several of the exhibitors themselves, TrainingZONE brings you the following summary of offerings at the show which caught our eye:

Blue Beetle Productions were formed late last year as a team of actors, trainers and presenters. They use participatory techniques including role play to help make their training sessions accessible, allowing delegates to concentrate on the learning points of the sessions. Types of content covered include presentation skills, team working and assertiveness. They will be training 1000 catering staff at the NEC in the next few months. If TrainingZONE's experiences are anything to go by, this training is well overdue (memories of being chased down a corridor by one canteen employee come to mind!) and if successful may even lead to the customer being served with a smile!!

A number of companies are now offering technology platforms on which companies or trainers can build their online learning content. Riding high, literally, on the current interest in online learning, software provider Centra was turning heads at the exhibition with a 10 foot tall lady on stilts. You can find out more about Centra at

Another established name moving into this market is They have recently signed an agreement with content developer, which will offer a means of providing 'web streamable' content for online learning. They will be offering a range of IT courses for the SAP system using the new technology. BlueU has also become a distributor for Red Hat Linux training using e-learning.

TADS offer both video and multimedia production for training providers, and can carry out the whole process from scripting through storyboarding to post production. You can find out more about them at

Viviance new education bill themselves as an Education Service Provider (ESP), rather like an ISP. They also develop web-based training, providing a customised service for companies to put training onto the web.

One potential problem of e-learning is that its virtual nature can mean that students feel isolated from tutor support. Interwise are using new technology to create a real-time relationship between tutor and student by allowing both of them to interact via the computer screen. It creates a classroom-type environment, even though students and tutor can be many miles apart. Students can ask the tutor to speed up, slow down or explain topics in greater detail by pressing a button and typing into a box. The tutor can then reply to one or all of the students in the same way. The system also uses two-way audio, and sessions can be recorded to be played back later if, as often happens, someone is called away from the training (although this may not necessarily be a good thing!). UK managing director Sarah Perry says: "it seems the majority of training providers are trying to jump on the online bandwagon with a variety of different offerings....blending live interactivity and self-paced learning is the key to an effective e-learning solution". Interwise are currently providing platforms for training for SAP and R3, a financial software package.

Emotional Intelligence has received a lot of interest of late. The Centre for Applied Emotional Intelligence launched the first team EI indicator at the show, designed to assess a team's emotional culture and to pinpoint blocks to effective working. They are offering a post-graduate Certificate in Applied Emotional Intelligence for senior HR managers, independent consultants and trainers.

Keyturn training were busy getting people to blow up balloons last week - they were running several team-building exercises at the exhibition itself, where the teams were asked to build models of the likes of the Eiffel Tower from balloons and Sellotape - over 13,000 balloons were blown up in three days! Keyturn offer both open courses and tailored training in personal skills, sales and management development (open courses take place in their training centre at Rugby), and action points from any training sessions are followed up four weeks later. You can find out more about the services they offer at

EmergeSmart has an impressive list of clients including SmithKline Beecham, Ericsson, Microsoft and Shell, but their name isn't one which immediately springs to mind when listing suppliers of customised training. In fact, EmergeSmart aim to offer an' end to end' solution, providing input at any stage from formulating an e-learning strategy to building content. Work for clients so far has included projects on induction, competency development and 360 degree feedback.

Fancy a trip to Legoland? You can do just that, and hopefully create some building blocks of your own for future training sessions by attending one of theTraining Shop's sessions, entitled '101 Ways to Liven Up Your Training'. The sessions will aim to give a practical taster of some 'non-conventional training techniques' for trainers to use and explain why they work. Sessions are running in September, November and December, and cost £350.00 + VAT. More details about this and other workshops are available at

One last feature of the event TrainingZONE sadly missed out on was witnessing the show director, Frazer Chesterman, being levitated live on one of the stands - apparently it really did happen!


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