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How to Transform Your In-Person Training Into Engaging Virtual Training with Zoom
March 25, 2020 by Zoom

In-person training is one of the most effective ways to onboard new employees and get them up to speed on your company, processes, and teams so they can start contributing quickly. But that’s not easy in this time of social distancing, office closures, and widespread work-from-home mandates, and many organizations must learn how to effectively deliver this critical training on the fly. And Zoom is no exception!

Zoom Basecamp logoEvery month, Zoom hosts “Basecamp” — a four-day live training for new hires at HQ in San Jose, California, or at our Denver office. It’s designed to immerse new Zoomies into the organization. Topics include best practices, product training, and tools training, as well as the opportunity to network and socialize with new coworkers. 

But last month, Zoom’s sales enablement team transformed this in-person training to a 100% virtual session using only Zoom technology. This new format allowed the team to create an interactive, informative, and engaging training that the participants loved.

Zoom sales enablement pros Mike Fisher and Heidi Kalmar, who led concurrent Basecamp training sessions in the U.S. and Europe, have compiled their learnings to help others who might need to quickly pivot their training plans. Here are their best practices for transforming in-person training into engaging virtual training using Zoom.

The value of Zoom 

Zoom is an amazing technology for hosting virtual events! It allowed our own sales enablement team to create a very similar experience to what new hires have experienced past Basecamps. The agenda was packed with breakout sessions, active workshops, Q&A, whiteboarding, moderated sessions, panelists, and group collaboration. 

Here are some ways the team used Zoom Meetings for Virtual Basecamp and some best practices to ensure an impactful training experience for new hires. 

Break it up

Zoom’s typical in-person Basecamp training is delivered 8 hours a day, over four days. Virtual Basecamp, however, had to be structured in a way that enabled participants to learn, retain information, and be engaged. That meant breaking up the agenda into digestible chunks.

Consider these scheduling tips:

  • Plan to deliver 5 to 6 hours (including breaks and a 30-minute lunch each day) of training every day over several days.
  • Breaks at every hour are critical in keeping participants engaged. A good rule is 50 minutes of learning and 10 minutes to stretch those legs or get coffee, allowing all participants to focus for a set period of time with limited distractions. 
  • Designating a Zoom DJ to play music during breaks replicates the in-person experience and clearly signals when a session starts and stops. 
  • Assign follow-up camps and additional learning paths in the LMS as a follow-up to Virtual Basecamp. This allows you to shorten the agenda and still deliver relevant information to new hires. 

Get creative with content 

Zoom ensures you can flexibly integrate and screen-share content. Our platform allows you to share pre-recorded video clips and PowerPoint presentations, demo live products, whiteboard key points, and annotate slides to reinforce importance as you present. Some best practices when designing your content:

  • Mixing video and live presenters enhances the attendees’ learning experience and breaks up the day. Variety keeps engagement high!
  • Grouping similar topics on the agenda allows for easier transitions between presenters and provides a sense of learning continuity.
  • Local recording and cloud recording (in paid Zoom accounts) capabilities allow the team to store valuable information in the LMS to revisit at a later date and transfer knowledge between peers. 
  • Workshops, group assignments, and active learning activities are encouraged in live training as well as virtual training. The Breakout Rooms feature allows facilitators to assign participants into smaller groups to work on assignments, deliver messaging, and reinforce learning through activities and challenges.

Ensure retention and engagement

It takes a lot of effort to transform an in-person training to 100% virtual, but it takes perhaps even more effort to ensure that the information is sinking in and being retained. Our sales enablement team put A LOT of hard work into retention and engagement for Virtual Basecamp:

  • We created “Basecamp Leaderboard” to track the number of points participants earned each day by answering questions, using In-Meeting Chat and the Raise Hand feature.
  • Non-Verbal Feedback, which allows participants to select yes/no to answer questions, allows facilitators to quickly gauge who is paying attention and who is lost in virtual training land.
  • Zoom Meeting Polling not only breaks up the slides and presentations but allows participants to see results of the polls live.

Create lasting and meaningful relationships

The best part of in-person training is the opportunity to not only meet other new hires but also network with your extended teams. Helping new employees build relationships, creating a sense of team and community and allowing them to interact in a social setting, is all part of creating lasting and meaningful relationships.

But don’t worry! That can still be accomplished using Zoom in a virtual training:

  • Upgrade your typical icebreaker: Ask your participants to share their name, where they live, their role, and what they’ll be doing at Zoom, but also ask them to change their Virtual Backgrounds to a picture that shows something or someone who makes them happy. These backgrounds can then be used throughout the duration of your training as ways for people to connect and share stories. In Virtual Basecamp, this allowed the group to get to know each other on a different level when interaction can otherwise be limited.
  • Schedule a virtual happy hour: This is exactly what it sounds like, and is just as fun! Encourage participants to get a beverage of their choosing and have the group spend 20 minutes mingling and sharing stories, with the Zoom DJ playing music videos in the background. 

Zoom Basecamp

Create engaging virtual training

Working from home or attending a virtual training can be difficult. Concerns around engagement, participation, difficulty in delivering the right messages, and retention of information are all relevant. With the help of Zoom, you too can take in-person training and turn it into a 100% virtual and engaging reality! 

Zoom Basecamp

But don’t just take it from us! Learn how a Zoom customer shifted its in-person onboarding training to virtual training in our April 2 webinar, “How HubSpot Moved Their New Hire Onboarding Online.”

Register for the webinar

Ready to host your next great online training? Contact a Zoom product specialist today to learn how video communications can elevate remote digital training. For additional tips on hosting other virtual events, check out our blog, “Best Practices for Hosting a Digital Event.”