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David Lumley

Revolution Learning and Development Ltd


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Online Networking Event


 Hi All,

I'm thinking about arranging an online networking event for trainers.  I think it may have been mentioned on here before but I can't seem to find the post.

It may look like discussing a topic of the month or have people send questions to add to an agenda or even regular masterclasses - I'm open to ideas.

It will take place on our online training and meeting platform so there is no real cost as the over heads for that are covered already with training.

I guess initially before I put any major effort into putting something together, just a few questions:

1.  Is thsi something you currently do, have tried or are doing and if so how is it going?

2.  Do you think something like this would work and be beneficial?

3.  Would you join in if an online networking event for trainers is available?

Any thoughts would be great.

Have a fantastic week


27 Responses

  1. a long time ago in a land far away…..

    ……well actually it was February last year……there was a bit of discussion and Martin Couzins (then the stand in Editor) asked me about setting up same under the auspices of TZ……we got quite a long way inot actually scoping it and planning it (which sounds terribly formal but really describes a half dozen emails) before Martin moved on and Jon came back…..and it hasn’t moved any further.

    Please get in touch if you want to look at having a go at getting this off the ground

    Rus Slater

  2. Great idea…but

    Hi Dave

    Great idea but would much rather attend real life events.

    Maybe I’m just old fashioned but the on line events I have participated in have been at best "dull" or "clumsy"…happy to be proven wrong on this.

    (This can also be said of some "real life" events I have attended…poorly thought out and no clear aim)

    I used to go to QIA (Quality Improvement Agency) meetings every quarter where we helped to develop teaching resources for schools and colleges. These worked really well because we had a clear agenda and the results of the meetings were real resources that were used in real classrooms throughout the UK and still are…

    Something to think about maybe?

  3. online networking

    Hi Dave, Rus and Steve.

    This is a subject that came back from the member survey as something that people would definitely like to see more of, so Steve, if you’re not up for it, no worries! I’d like to start more offline/face-to-face networking opportunities too.

    Rus, do you have the exchanges you had with Martin to hand? It would certainly be good to get this going again.



  4. Thanks for the replies….

    That was my inital thoughts Steve.

    I thought that it may appear a bit clunky and could end up in chaos, but I think there are may benefits to it to.

    The events that I have been to in the past are either too far away, too expensive and not directly related to training and development.

    i think if it was well structured, a clear agenda set and real purpose to it i.e. there is real value to attending then an online event could be very useful to us all.

    Rus, if you have any information on the work that was carried out for this to date that you would be happy to share, i’m happy to start thinking about how to move this on.

    I’m thinking that maybe a pilot event at first, with a small group, just to see how it works out.  Maybe if there are few more interested people we could hold an online meeting to disuss the hows, whens and whys.

    Be grat to hear more thoughts.


    — Managing Director Revolution Learning and Development Ltd

  5. Debates


    As we are on the subject of sharing ideas…

    I quite often check into this message board to see whats going on, most days in fact.

    Unfortunately, most days very little is going on so I go elsewhere to see some interesting debates…

    How about the TZ staff get involved in some of the Q and A’s to at least provide some content to agree or disagree with? TZ could even pose some questions to promote some banter?

    Just a thought…


  6. debates

    Hi Steve, I’d be keen to start something regular like that.

    I don’t engage with the community as often as I should, partly through good old-fashioned absent-minded neglect and partly through a million and one things pulling us all in several different directions.

    One way to start would be to post a regular question in Any Answers perhaps?

    or I could just publish more articles about NLP. That would do it!


  7. NLP

    Good idea Jon

    Just post "NLP is there any science behind it?" and stand back and watch for a few months ūüėČ

    It would be good to see this message board more active as it could be a great learning tool and link in to the community Dave is trying to establish.


  8. When & What?

    For me the question would be ‘When?’ i.e. when would the event be taking place, my availability and planning would play a role so that would be an important issue.

    And the second question would be ‘What?’ in terms of what the subject is. If it’s not something that interests me then clearly I wouldn’t participate.

    If the event passed both those hurdles then I’d be up for it to experience the process and see if I got anything out of it.

  9. What Would Make It Interesting?

    OK, so some interest here and also from Twitter to.

    If it was to happen, what would make it interesting?

    What subjects should be discussed (just initial ideas)?

    When would be the best time to hold it?



    — Managing Director Revolution Learning and Development Ltd

  10. Suggestion

    If it was to happen, what would make it interesting?

    Something controversial. (E learning, NLP, Use of fluffy toys, Asking adults to do innaprpropriate things to break the ice (what ice?)

    What subjects should be discussed (just initial ideas)?

    Do adults really need "warming up" what’s the point of Iccebreakers?

    When would be the best time to hold it?

    2pm is usually a good time for me?


  11. definitions as well


    I think you’d also need to define what is meant by "discussed"……a screaming heebie jeebie about a controversial subject will be just as bad as a tedious sales pitch by someone wanting to grandstand their Next Big Idea.

    We also need to remember that that which is of interest to some people (eg CPD-changes in social care legislation) is not of interest to others (Business Networking- who want to meet prospective clients/partners/associates) but if we are only looking at getting 8 to 10 people on a session this isn’t so much of a problem.

    I’m trying to get Jon up to speed with the discussions I had with his "predecessor" so we have a chance of moving this forward


  12. Agree

    I agree Rus,

    I guess that will form part of the overall structure, but was more looking for some ideas on topics etc.

    Also need to consider, if it does move forward how best to get the message out there about the dates etc.



    — Managing Director Revolution Learning and Development Ltd

  13. No Ideas

    Nearly 200 reads and no ideas…well done everybody. Should be a great debate.

  14. Sarcasm

    Please note only 10 places available for first debate. Anyone not declared an interest by the year 2020 will lose out.

    You have been warned…get in quick!

  15. I am keen!!
    Did I make the cut??? I am interested, topics like:

    1. Cut the jargon and get back to basics.
    2. Points to make you the preferred trainer.
    3. Discuss and compare course notes & outlines…….
    4. hmmmmmmmmmmm……………………..yes………..

  16. ideas

    Hi Steve, (and everyone else).

    I’d say ‘no ideas’ is a bit unfair, as I got in touch behind the scenes with the first three people pretty much straight away. This is genuinely something I’d like to get going, and am going to try as hard as I can to not let this get sidelined again. I put it in today’s news bulletin too, that will give it more exposure at least.

    Dave, the originator of this post, is coming back to me later this week as he seems like he has a potential structure in place already that could work.

    More info as and when.



  17. Online networking for trainers

    I only found this thread through today’s newsletter but am certainly interested – I’d be interested in a variety of topics – e-learning and online learning being a particular interest at the moment as we seek to expand what we currently offer.

    As for timing, I find either 10 or 2 to be good times

    Linda Walker

  18. Response

    Hi Dave,

    In response to your questions I am an active member of a group called consultants anonymous. We meet every six or eight weeks either face to face or online. We have ‘members’ all over the country and indeed a couple who join us from overseas via the internet.

    We have tried with limited success to hold meetings whilst networking live online. The main issue seems to be trying it on the cheap. Have tried skype and different venues utilising shared internet access. We get lots of drop outs due to ‘internet connection issues’.

    When the IT works, the group interaction is good and beneficial to all. However our experiences so far have not been ideal. The networking and learning does work better when we meet face to face but that limits the number of participants due to proximity or tying in with other work.

    If you have cracked the ‘online issues’ then I would be interested in group networking online.

    Best wishes,

    Peter Ramsden

    Paramount Learning



  19. Online Issues

    Hi Peter,

    Thanks for the feedback.

    The online platform we have seems to be very stable and over the course of the past 4-5 months we have delivered live online courses via it with groups ranging from 2 to 12 people.

    in that time we have experienced very little issues with it.  The server it sits on is very stable and the software itself, after months of trialing and testing various dofferent options seems to be able to handle the traffic.

    That’s not to say though that there may be connectivity issues lets say for example if a local network firewall blocks some aspects of it.  I know we had this issue with one or two of the software options we trialed, but the one we currently have seems to overcome most connectivity issues as although the software itself is very complex, the connectivitiy side if it is kept relatively simple.  As long as those wishing to use it have a webcam, microphone and headphones, and have flash installed then connection shoudln’t be an issue.  Not to get overly technical, but the ports used for connection to the system are common, meaning most networks don’t block them.

    Hopefully as the project moves forward we can have an ‘Open Day’ where I open up a room for those interested to pop in during a period of time to take a look and test it out.  This will give us a real good indication as to whether any issues that have’t cropped up for us to date rear their head.


    — Managing Director Revolution Learning and Development Ltd

  20. Tempted

    Hi all,

    Like Linda I only found this through the newsletter but I am tempted in being involved based on the caveats mentioned above. Would also be interested in helping it get going too.


  21. On line networking

     Until I read Dave’s post at 15:25 I thought this was not offering much more than I am getting through posts on selected LinkeIn Groups, but this brings it into another zone.  I’m interested!

  22. Further thoughts….

    BTW the "original discussion" mentioned above is at

    Over the past year I’ve used two major webinar platforms to deliver online virtual classrooms; Webex and Citrix’s GoToTraining.  Both had virtually no connectivity problems in spite of having people in the room in Dubai, Prague London and Newcastle.  One delegate even joined from under the stairs in the departure lounge of London City airport, using her mobile phone and laptop. TZ already hold a licence for delivering via Citrix (sorry, Dave, if that treads on your toes, as I know you have invested a lot in creating a bespoke system)

    The main question that I addressed with Martin Couzins (Jon’s "predecessor") was the issue of what balance should there be between

    a) networking; delegates meeting each other and raising awareness of their own profiles and capabilities


    b) CPD; delegate learning new, or new to them, material, topics, models etc.

    What we decided was to go for a combined one hour event for up to 10 people with a selected relevant "topic" presented to provide some CPD type input, followed by a networking opportunity where, for instance, each attendee would be given one minute to verbally grandstand themselves, their capability and their work, possibly with a visual as well. We could then have a short free Q&A chaired session for people to ask questions about either the topic or the networking element.  People could then obviously make contact with each other out-of-session later if they wanted to.  Assuming that it took off, in leter sessions other attendees could be the "Guest Speaker" and I had offered to manage the process; calling for topics/volunteers, scheduling the programme, setting up and hosting/chairing the events on TZ’s Citrix virtual meeting room.

    As not everyone has a webcam and as the video element is the major cause of buffering and connection problems, just a word doc or a ppt slide would be the best. The event slides of both the networking and the presentation would be available to all attendees after the event. The event would not be recorded so that only attendees could benefit.

    Inevitably we would have to be aware of confidentiality/identity issues and so the suggestion was that people MUST have completed a full profile on TZ, ie you can’t turn up calling yourself Bilbo and remaining completely anonymous as this would make others uncomfortable (let’s face it, you wouldn’t go to a CIPD branch meeting with a paper bag over your head!)

    I hope this helps people to understand a bit more


  23. Great Stuff

    Thanks Rus, I like the ideas and will add them to my thoughts which I am on with now.

    I’m not precious about what system we use.  I looked at GoToTraining in the past, or at least the demo and strugled to see how everyone involved could shre their webcams and join in that way. As far as I could see it was only audio and sharing a PC screen. Am i right in saying that?



    — Managing Director Revolution Learning and Development Ltd

  24. F2F Networking

    Gentlemen…found your discussion via my Google Alerts.  If I might offer some help – as a certified trainer for Contacts Count, I teach the skills & strategies of F2F networking.  While I’m not in the UK, you might want to take a look at the book, "Make Your Contacts Count" for specific skills that could support your networking.  See or my website,  Congratulations on your continued attempts to increase your networking circles – let me know how I can help.


  25. Online Meetings: Good News for Training

    The message here seems to be that online networking generally does improve the training experience. Studies of online meeting news have repeatedly shown this.

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