We’re breaking new ground, live streaming our next members meeting on 21 September from London, with Jo Cook facilitating in Scotland. We put Jo in the hot seat to find out more about the challenges she’ll face.

Live streaming from London to Scotland with you facilitating in Scotland, sounds incredible. Tell us more about what is happening. Has this been done before?

Not like this! There are always organisations that will beam things like the CEO’s presentation around, but not necessarily engaging people in the way that we are planning. What gets presented in London will be live streamed to our Scotland cohort and we’ll have discussions and activities in the room, just as people will be in London. There will also be an opportunity to network online with both groups, so that the geographic separation isn’t felt as strongly – we hope!

What experience will you be drawing on?

I’m used to hosting live online events, so being able to switch my focus between different things, such as the room and the live stream, and maybe something like Twitter, is something I’m good at. Also through Training Journal I’ve done a fair amount of live video with things like Periscope and the #TJwow webinars, so I’m used to being in the hot seat.

Of course, it will be incredibly useful to draw on the great facilitation skills that so many in L&D have, to get the conversation going, to keep it on track and focused on what people can learn and take back to take action in their organisations.

What’s the reaction when you tell people what you’re doing?

They’re incredibly interested. They think it’s a great idea, especially in the charity sector where budgets are even tighter. For every charity to get one or two people down to London, with the associated expense and time away from work, it would be so costly. People are interested to know how the logistics will work and what they can get out of it, which I hope is going to be a lot!

What technology are you using?

A variety. We have Learning Now TV coming to London to do the recording and live streaming, which is pretty awesome from a quality perspective. If we didn’t have that though, we could have looked at Periscope live video, or for something more private perhaps a webinar platform or Skype. I’ll also look at using some cloud apps or platforms for us to communicate as one big group.

What are the challenges, and how are you overcoming them?

It’s the unknowns that are the greatest challenge. If the live stream goes down, I’m not an expert in the topic we have a speaker for in London. So what do I do!? It all comes down to the planning, making sure we have slides, that I’ve been briefed, we have a backup like Skype or an audio line and so on.

Is this the future for live events do you think?

I think it is for some types of events in some sectors. It’s ridiculous in this day and age, with the technology we have, that people are always flying around or travelling for hours and hours for something like this. We’re aiming to provide an amazing learning experience that is partly remote. What could possibly go wrong!?

Jo Cook

Jo Cook is the Deputy Editor of Training Journal and also runs a virtual classroom and webinar train the trainer company. She offers free webinars at www.LightbulbMoment.info Contact her on Twitter @LightbulbJo or email Jo@LightbulbMoment.info