Sofia Mariasole Boer is Marketing Coordinator at Prase Media Technologies, Italy. She was also included in InAVate’s ‘40 under 40’ class of 2020.
Continuous learning is a crucial pillar for everyone in the tech industry, including AV professionals. As we digest media via apps, social media, webinars – so will we consume learning via a more multi-format approach. Digital education must be diffused to capture a wide audience and keep them engaged – instead of using just a few channels, such as YouTube or branded educational platforms, education must be accessible to fit with audience availability and knowledge levels. The next phase is multi-platform, such as a webinar, a podcast, a written post, and an Instagram TV video. Of course, tech evolution and communication trends will lead to other phases after that.
While some might allocate time for learning, most of us have had to juggle work, family, learning and everything else during the pandemic. Therefore, consuming education on demand has become a necessity. During lockdown I staged 15 webinars, two virtual certification courses, three internal refresher programmes and published two courses on YouTube. The demand is there!
In my experience, investing time in learning is still not a priority for most businesses, because of crowded agendas, lack of human resources or other urgent priorities. People are fitting education into their daily lives by listening to a webinar while driving to a client meeting, or following a bite-sized online course in the evening. Offering on-demand content is crucial to meeting our clients’ needs. At the same time, it is fundamental to give them a way to put questions to an expert at any time, and not lose human contact with the trainers.
Definitely. As mentioned before, if you are not in-person is often difficult to have the audience attention that a learning activity requires. It’s important to design your educational programme so that it is as engaging as it can be. At Prase I worked on the IDEA Video Next Generation, turning our auditorium into a ‘TED Talk’-style set where six presenters had 12 minutes each to talk. This type of approach is tried and tested by big media and now we see it being adopted by business to deliver engaging education.
Like a marketing strategy, your education strategy should include different content for different channels to maximise engagement, with consideration given to tone, format and delivery. Webinars need to be of exceptional quality or people will switch off. Graphics and infographics should be high quality so that they can be viewed clearly on multiple devices, podcasts need to have crystal clear audio to enhance memorisation for learning. For our industry, there is massive potential here.
Digital learning has to evolve as quickly as our industry. As an AV company we have the responsibility to seize opportunities arising from digital evolution: today it could be a podcast series or some lectures broadcast via Instagram TV, and tomorrow a workshop streamed using AR. Recently I worked on a project with the H-Farm Campus, a school that is making even more traditional lectures an experience, thanks to its integrated AV solutions. Students can follow the course in class or from anywhere, making the educational experience really agile. This is what the future of education will look like – it will be a hybrid of in-person, live online and on-demand content with more to come. For sure, digital learning will play an increasingly important role both as a lever for promotion and for keeping our industry competitive.