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If you had told me four months ago that I would be hosting four or five webinars a week and broadcasting live to around 100 people each time, I would have called you crazy. But this is one of the many ways the Covid-19 pandemic has taken me out of my comfort zone, as it has for many of us

During lockdown I saw the industry reassess how it conducts and disseminates its training; and while I’ve always been in favour of face-to-face training and meetings because it’s much easier to build relationships and check levels of understanding, I’ve become more of an advocate of online training than I was before.

I’m still a firm believer that any practical training should be done in a face-to-face environment but with the situation as it is, when will this happen? and will delegates feel safe to attend? I think it’s fair to say that anything that involves theory will likely move online. It’s entirely possible to deliver effective training online as long as there is appropriate content. From the training provider’s point of view, the software needs to have analytics behind it to see who attended and how long they tuned in for, as well as to provide some sort of recap test to assess delegates’ understanding of the content.

Don’t stop learning

Covid-19 has hit our industry hard, and even though it will have significant negative effects for a while yet, it has provided new opportunities for clinics. It didn’t take long into lockdown for clinic owners to realise that the best way to spend the downtime was to look at their business and assess how they could make improvements. This was evident from the attendee numbers on daily webinars across the industry.

This has given clinic owners and practitioners the opportunity to upskill in regard to treatment techniques as well as how to run the business more effectively. Now that clinics are opening again I expect that the number of webinar attendees will start to drop. This where I feel people need to stop and think.

I really hope the amount of quality content that the industry has produced over last four months continues. With the way things are at the moment, if I were a clinic owner I would still be attending webinars for many reasons:

  • During these unsettled times there’s no guarantee that you will have access to quality education face to face for a while
  • No travel required
  • Many sessions are free
  • Webinars provide you and your staff the opportunity to upskill and develop without having to take time out of clinic, as many can be viewed at any time
  • You can easily tap into expert knowledge in fields you may be unfamiliar with

It would be short sighted to think Coronavirus is going away any time soon, and I believe that online education is very much part of the “new normal” we’re now adjusting to. As technology improves so too will the opportunities for quality education. We’ve seen some examples of online conferences which may become the future, but at the moment I don’t feel the technology is there to give delegates the complete “conference experience” as with the traditional live format. However, with the development of VR, you could soon be attending full conferences from the comfort of your own home.

What’s Next

As we move out of lockdown and the industry gets properly up and running again, take some time to choose the next round of online education you wish to attend and build it into your week or month. Think about what areas of the business you still want to improve and what tools you have at your disposal, such as:

  • Cash flow – Find the right level of education for you for the right price for you
  • Staff – What jobs do your staff currently fulfill, and ere could they develop new skills
  • Technology within the clinic – What new treatments can you offer with the equipment you already have available? What treatments would you like to offer, and is there any where you can kick start your training in online?
  • Skillset – where do your strengths lie? Where do you feel you have gaps in your knowledge? What do you find interesting and want to learn more about?

With the increased popularity and importance of online consultations I believe that the influence of online tools on our industry will only continue, and in some cases change how the industry works. Get used to online education as part of your on-going training and development within your business, as it will become a permanent part of the industry. If Covid-19 has taught us anything, it’s the importance of being able to adapt.