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How IRI Australia used Arlo to navigate a global lockdown

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When the world was suddenly faced with the COVID-19 pandemic, traditional face-to-face courses were out, and live online was in. IRI Australia adapted quickly, and their registration numbers went through the roof. They have some advice for other training providers looking to make the same transition.

IRI provides data and insights to retailers and FMCG manufacturers, working closely with them to support and improve the running of their businesses. Sydney-based Solutions Training Manager Margarita Sanding has been with the company for 3+ years, bringing with her more than 10 years’ experience in the learning and development industry, with a focus on IT.

IRI is a global industry leader who is at the forefront of new technology trends, to adapt and improve the way they run their business and support clients. But, just a few short years ago, IRI Australia was running their event registration process out of an excel spreadsheet, sending email updates to clients manually, and did not have a catalogue of upcoming courses on their website.

Cue Arlo.

“I felt completely overwhelmed with the volume of admin involved with organising events. Arlo has helped reduce this. I can replicate events really easily, the waitlist feature is great, and being able to create visibility of our courses through our website means our customers can find information at their fingertips”, says Margarita.

IRI delivers an extensive range of training courses globally, on a large scale, so the company was an early adopter of live online and elearning through the Arlo platform. When COVID-19 hit they were in a good position to continue delivering courses, but it didn’t come without its challenges.

With more than 90% of their courses due to run as face-to-face they had to work quickly to move these online. Margarita says the Arlo training management system enabled them to easily make modifications to their course information, easily find and contact participants via email to let them know of changes, and quickly unpublish courses through the click of a button. All without any stress.

IRI was unsure how their clients would respond to the move, given they still typically prefer face-to-face courses. However, in a world where that is not an option, it has been a push for people to register for online courses – and their numbers have gone through the roof.

“We’ve never had as many requests for self-paced courses as we have had in the last fortnight. As we return to normality, it will be interesting to assess whether or not virtual delivery holds interest past COVID-19, when face-to-face will resume.”

Margarita Sanding – Solutions Training Manager

With the current climate driving people to register for online courses, training providers are keen to adapt their traditional face-to-face courses to webinar, but some are holding back as they don’t have the confidence or experience. We asked Margarita to share some advice.

1. Talk to others. Try and identify other businesses who are currently delivering webinars and engage and create connections across the L&D network as a support community to help you. We don’t grow unless we collaborate with others. Guaranteed, everyone has their pitfalls and didn’t get it right the first time – lean on them and learn from them.

2. Know your webinar software. See what each platform delivers, see how it fits with the training sessions that you intend to deliver, as each have unique features. Really get to know the tool you’re using, so when you’re running a live online webinar, you are at the forefront of the platform you are using. This makes it easier for your clients to adapt to this new way of learning and see the value in it.

3. Modify your content to ensure it’s driven and timebound. We optimise our content to 90 minutes, and we’re now looking to reduce it to 60 minutes. You will lose people beyond that.

Margarita has also found support in the team at Arlo – through our own webinars, content on our blog, and quick responses to her queries from the support team.

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