Is online learning effective?

Is online learning effective?

How can you inspire teams via online learning?

Online training and education are widely used by many organisations, associations, and businesses.  But how can you inspire teams via online learning?  Is online learning effective?  Online learning isn’t always instead of face-to-face learning, but it can be.  Online learning programmes and e-learning are an excellent addition to face-to-face training.  E-learning opens the door to teams anywhere in the world; a training programme that has been rolled out once, can be refined, improved and repeated over and over again to different audiences of learners.

But, how can you inspire people to participate and get the most from it?  Here are some key elements to consider when designing and launching an online or e-learning programme.

Content and delivery

Most training programmes can categorised into two core areas of focus: the content that is being delivered, and the method used to deliver that content.  If the content is exciting and useful for the learners and the delivery is slick and easy to use, then you’re on to a winner!

Create exciting, engaging content, and deliver this well; the magic recipe for an engaged audience who will learn the skills and absorb the information being shared with them.  When online learners are motivated and inspired, they can increase their knowledge, learn new skills and improve their performance.

Engage your audience

Engagement may be a heavily used buzzword of the ‘now’ but engaging your learners to become a part of a training programme (rather than just listening to it) is vital.

What’s the best way to do this?  Keep them interested, and excited.

Include interactive elements like scavenger hunts in your training to make the training an open and two-way forum that encourages discussion and interactivity, plus adds an element of competition.

Polls and team-based challenges are simple ways to include this type of interesting and interactive content and promote deeper learning.

Recording and making the content available on demand after the training enables learners to revisit discussions and replay elements later in their own time.  This helps to reinforce the learning of that specific content and information.

Virtual Events environment

Include exciting media

Nobody enjoys reading long, solid blocks of text, or textbooks and learning is no different.  Rather than focusing on providing word heavy content, where possible, include eye catching imagery, interesting and compelling video and other forms of interest for your audiences’ eyes and ears.

This type of multimedia can be incredibly useful to demonstrate processes or concepts ‘in action’.

Test your learners!

If your learners are simply asked to listen and take notes, the likelihood is that they’ll get bored, switch off, and the learning won’t be as deep as it could be.  Including activities that test your audience on the information they’ve been learning is a fantastic opportunity to change the pace of the training, make it fun, and keep them on their toes.  Make your training an active learning session with quizzes and quick fire question rounds are two simple ways for course leaders to ensure the audience has really paid attention!

These types of tests can also be used to see how well the audience is performing, and to see how effective the content has been, providing crucial analytics.

Test your online learners

Make it personal

Allowing the user to take control of their own training experience is a great way to improve its effectiveness.  Clear signposting of content can also help learners access specific content easily and based on their specific needs and their learning style.

Including personalised milestones, test scores, poll feedback, and interactive elements like scavenger hunts will all help the learner create a training that highlights areas they may need, or want, to revisit later, as well as give them ideas for the future.

Positive encouragement and feedback can also be provided.  This will not only allow learners visibility on areas they are doing well in but will provide encouragement and help them understand the material in more depth.

Creating a training programme that includes elements can ensure your audience are excited, and ready to learn the material on offer.

Personal online learning

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The ‘ins and outs’ of Hybrid Events

The ‘ins and outs’ of Hybrid Events

What is a Hybrid Event?  What are the mechanics of a Hybrid Event?  How do Hybrid Events work in practice?

All good questions and although Hybrid Events have been around for a while, and are most definitely here to stay, there’s a lot to know!  Here’s the lowdown from Procreation HQ on what a Hybrid Event entails, the ‘ins and outs’ of Hybrid Events and how we deliver them successfully for our clients.  Also, here are some answers to frequently asked questions surrounding the topic which is close to our heart!

The definition of a Hybrid Event

At Procreation we like to simplify this definition; A Hybrid Event is an event that can include everyone, no matter where in the world they may be.  This could be at home, in the office, in an exhibition hall or in a live face to face main plenary session, and they’re all connected to the same event, same audience, and same content simultaneously.  Hybrid Events are an incredibly powerful way of including every single person, without restriction, and just with an internet connection.  This huge power to drive inclusivity is why they are so popular, and also why they’re the event format now and for the future.

How do Hybrid Events engage attendees?

Hybrid Events expand possibilities to increase audience participation.  Hybrid Events not only increase audience sizes by including multiple locations, but allow for multiple functions to improve discussions and interaction.  “But HOW?” we hear you ask… Well… here’s a few examples.

A session can be delivered live, in a room, to attendees in that room.  Speakers can be physically in the room with this audience, contribute remotely via video link from another location, or usually a combination of the two.

The same goes for the audience.  They can be in the room, at home virtually, in an office, and from multiple locations around the globe.  The beauty and simplicity of the Hybrid Event model?  They all engage and discuss the same content, at the same time.

This engagement can be via live polling, word clouds and Q&A sessions which can be moderated and facilitated as any live event would be, but the audience is not limited to just those who can be there in person.

Hybrid Events engage

Endless possibilities of Virtual Events

Hybrid Events are born from an ethos of positive collaboration.  Breakout rooms can be set up in the same fashion as what’s been described earlier in addition to a core track that might take place in a Plenary Session.  Breakout discussions, best practise sharing and education and learning knows no limits with a Hybrid Event.  The Event simply needs to be managed professionally, well planned for and for Production and Crew to be in place to ensure each element goes without a hitch.  The audience can be anywhere in the world and engage with specific live content all at the same time (and this can be translated simultaneously too.)

Exhibitions are a hugely untapped and exciting opportunity for organisations who use the Hybrid Event model.  Most business professionals would agree that personal interaction at an exhibition stand can be one of the most valuable interactions that happens at an event.  According to Statista (2021), 81% of survey respondents value face to face interaction with potential vendors as very, or extremely, important.

With a Hybrid Event, the stand and exhibitors can be physically in the room, with this supported by a virtual stand managed live by additional team members who can be located anywhere in the world.

Picture this, an exhibition in Paris, with two staff on the stand to talk to delegates.

A stand with Digital capabilities that allows these staff to demo products/services to the people in the room.

Now imagine a Chinese or German attendee, who can’t make it to the exhibition in person and who don’t speak French.  No problem.  A Hybrid Event solution can allow attendees and staff to log into the Hybrid Event digitally, from New York or Shanghai and interact as they would in person.  Your potential reach increases greatly, and the possibilities really are endless.

How to use Hybrid Events

In summary

Meeting Spotlight’s recent survey concluded that “73% of Event Planners Expect Hybrid Events to Be More Common in the Future.”

We’re 100% inclined to agree.  While Virtual Events are considered by many as a temporary solution during the Covid era, the benefits that the Hybrid Model now offer are numerous. Organisations are using Hybrid Events to improve collaboration and inclusivity, engage wider audiences, increase their capabilities to share content and drive better conversations and all in a sustainable way.  If you’re not onboard with Hybrid Events now, you will be involved in them in some way in the future.

For more information on “Hybrid Events” please contact the team at Procreation and we’d love to chat further!

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How can you measure Event Success and ROI?

How can you measure Event Success and ROI?

How do you measure an event’s success?

What data can (and should) you capture and how can you use this to quantify successful areas of your event?  What statistics can you use to identify areas for improvement?  These are all big questions!  And where’s the best place to start?…

Virtual and Hybrid Events provide opportunities to measure, analyse and improve the user experience which are unparalleled elsewhere.  ROI and user experience analytics might sound techy and complicated terms but in reality these analytics are clever and ingenuously simple (that’s the good bit!). When you set up your Virtual Event in the right way you can use these metrics, and results, to make your events best in their class.  Let us take a look at how…

ROI and KPI’s

Every finance director loves a statistic – quite rightly.  You need to know the money you’ve invested in an event is well spent.  But one of the difficult things when you’re creating something, well, creative, is to attach numbers and statistics to it and to make that success quantifiable.  Event organisers can feel when an event went well, but it’s important to be able to illustrate this in clear, undeniable black and white facts to other stakeholders too.  It might sound complicated and daunting but – this is the fun bit – it’s 100% possible and straightforward.  The key is to approach it correctly from the beginning and work out the stats you need before you start designing the event itself.

Event ROI - set objectives

First step: Get your objectives and KPI’s straight

Define how and why you are running your event and the desired output and outcomes.  Once you have these objectives outlined you can decide which KPIs you’ll use to measure them.  Your KPI’s will be the things you can measure which illustrate your objectives in a statistical way.

It’s simple really.  Here are some examples…

  • Educational event: Here you will likely be looking specifically at knowledge or confidence on a content topic, peer to peer networking and test or assessment results.  Example KPI’s: Poll results, speaker Q&A’s and results from gamification you build into the event.
  • Sales conference: You are likely to want to look at things like new prospects, networking, conversations, customer needs analysis and ultimately conversions and sales revenue.  Example KPI’s: New contacts, qualified leads, pipeline figures, orders taken, revenue, and chat Q&A.
  • Product launch event: Here you are likely to be looking at user and customer opinions and qualitative feedback. Example KPI’s: Polls, website and social media engagement and Net Promoter Scores. (There are some more great ideas here).

Second step: Work out the KPI’s you’ll need

Here is a list of some great KPI’s that can be used to analyse Virtual Event success.  Not all will apply to every event, obviously, you’ll need to make sure the KPI’s for your event are unique to your event and measure your objectives as outlined in point 1.  But, here’s a great starter for ten to get you thinking…


  • Registration numbers
  • Attendance numbers
  • Live polls
  • Clicks
  • % of game zones used
  • Types and methods content consumption
  • Social media engagement
  • Audience Q&A
  • Online search traffic
  • Breakout attendance
  • Exhibition stand interaction
  • Revenue generated
  • Feedback surveys
  • Hot spots
  • Chat rooms
  • Net promoter scores
  • Gamification results (i.e. Leader boards)
Virtual Event ROI - KPI's

Third step: Run your event and collect your data

Once you know what data you need, set up your event to include a dashboard for stakeholders to be able to see that data.  This can be done before, during and post event and should be collected and analysed post event.  The sky’s your limit and dashboards can be made to suit the requirements of the event and stakeholders.

Fourth and final step?  Analyse your results

Once your event has finished and you have collected your data, now is the time not only to measure your results and work out your successes, but also to analyse areas of improvement and change.  Those who are best in their class will look at continuous improvement throughout all of their events, and the key?   The stats that help you do this…

Virtual Event ROI - analysis

It’s clear that Virtual Event are fantastic at providing data led insights that can drive much positive change within an organisation, and also be a direct route to customers, staff or other relevant audiences.  For more information on how to approach metrics for your Virtual or Hybrid Event, get in touch or read more on our Metrics page.  Either way we’d love to hear from you.

Procreation HQ

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Virtual Events vs. in person events.  The pros & cons.

Virtual Events vs. in person events. The pros & cons.

What are the pros and cons of Virtual Events?

Sharing experiences and interacting with others with the same interests are two of the most exceptional and natural ways to make and create long-lasting relationships.  Both in business and personally.  It will come as no surprise, therefore, that this is why events are crucial activity for most businesses.  From marketing to sales to internal communications and training, human interactions at ‘events’ (in whatever form that may be) are vital in supporting business growth, performance improvement as well as staff wellbeing and development.  Events are powerful and important; it’s as simple as that.

Today there is an excellent range of technology available to facilitate events online and in person.  There are, however, pros and cons of both so it’s worth considering all of the options before planning starts.  Here’s our low down of the pros and cons of Virtual Events and some key pointers to bear in mind…

Virtual Events environment

Pros of Virtual Events

  • Flexibility.  Virtual events are totally flexible.  If you can host an event in person, there is almost always a way to replicate that format, in some sense, online.  The Covid pandemic has shown us that after all and Virtual Events have increased by over 1000% in 2020!  Unsurprising really.  The options and scope to create bespoke and immersive environments are unlimited.  In a virtual space if you can imagine it, you can create it.
  • On demand content.  According to Intrado 20% of Virtual Events attendees view the content on demand.  That’s a staggering figure.  On demand content is very useful as it means people who cannot attend live for a variety of reasons can still access and engage with that content later on.  Sometimes even those who do attend live sessions also want to re-watch sessions or look through content for a second or third time.
  • Inclusivity.  In person events have the potential to leave people out; whether this is a result of geography, time, cost or a number of other potential factors.  Hosting an event online, however, means that there is no reason that everyone can’t be involved.  This is a real plus for company culture and team morale, especially if the event in question aims to include large numbers or people from different locations or job functions.
  • Speakers. The difference between a Virtual Event and live event on the speaker and presenter front is that Virtual Events open up many new possibilities often made impossible at a live event.  There may be a speaker or presenter that would never have presented in person, but who can present virtually, from the comfort of their own home.  While attendees won’t get that in the room buzz in the same way, high calibre often heavily booked speakers can be live streamed from anywhere in the world right to the audience, virtually.
  • The environment. According to, in 2018 38% of US business travel was for meetings and events.  In person events will always be important, but even if you shave a portion of those types of events from the calendar and replace with virtual, the reduction in carbon emissions for travel (and hotel stays) is huge and the impact on the planet, positive.  Businesses have a duty to reduce their unnecessary environmental impact and switching to virtual events is a phenomenal way of making a big difference, quickly.
  • Cost efficiencies and increased ROI.  Costs for Virtual Events can often be much lower than in person meetings and gatherings (although they still require a lot of thought, expertise and careful planning to do well.)  Overheads such as accommodation, food and beverages, venue hire, insurance and security – to name a few – are not required when you’re delivering your conference virtually.  This often-reduced cost of virtual events can contribute to a better ROI for the company picking up the bill.
  • Reporting and data. A Virtual Event provides a LOT of data that is really useful for the host, exhibitors, trainers and many other stakeholders. Data collated from an online event environment can be used in so many ways and can provide real insight into attendees’ interest and interaction with content, networking, exhibitors’ products and much more.  Live events certainly provide that in person experience and all-important body language, but that’s much harder to measure.
  • Scalability. Virtual Events are not limited to a venue with a specific number of breakout rooms or specific number of seats in an auditorium.  They can be scaled up and down and cater for any number of attendees. On one of our recent Virtual Events we had 100 breakout rooms running concurrently! The option to add new tracks to an agenda exists always and can generally be implemented quickly compared to a live event. Another upside to this is ticket sales – the sky’s your limit with a Virtual Event! 
  • Reduced barriers to networking. Tools that Virtual Events offer such as regular polls, live chat and Q&A’s can remove barriers that may exist at in person events and help calm nerves.  While it’s an important part of many events, most humans feel ‘a bit icky’ about networking.  According to Markeltic, 81.8% of virtual event organisers use event polling to improve interaction and engagement with content and for networking.  For online networking, it actually might be a lot easier through a screen than in person.
  • Reliability. Even if there’s extreme weather, an ash cloud (or a global pandemic?), a Virtual Event should still be able to take place. Attendees can view the content from their own homes and as long as there is a good team delivering the event, there’s really very little that would cause it to be cancelled.
Virtual Event custom branding

Cons of Virtual Events

  • Limiting audiences.  The polar opposite to the positive argument for scalable flexible Virtual Events, is that of exclusive, sometimes small, in person events.  Being invited to a VIP must attend event with its exclusive panel and audience is something very special indeed.   Sometimes, smaller, highly targeted event audiences create a huge buzz in a room that’s very hard to replicate elsewhere. 
  • Change of scene. ‘Business holidays’ and business travel can be an upside for many.  There’s a big world out there and being able to visit new places first-hand and experience new cuisines, culture, music, sites and scenery of a destination can be an absolute joy.  This type of destination business travel can create a huge sense of enthusiasm and job satisfaction that isn’t quite the same online.
  • Disruptions.  If you’re attending an event in person, your priority is that event.  You’re in it, you’re there, and it’s all consuming.  If you’re attending an event online, as enthusiastic and engaged as you may be in the content, you’ll still probably nip off to change the dishwasher over or feed the cat (we’ve all been there.)  The sense of true escapism and focus of a live experience is difficult to match.
  • Informal interactions. While Virtual Events provide lots of opportunities for networking and engagement with speakers, opportunities to engage with other attendees can sometimes be fewer at virtual events.  While you can structure a virtual agenda to include a lot of ‘stuff’, sometimes memorable moments at live events are spontaneous, unplanned and unstructured.

In conclusion

In conclusion… there will always be the need for in person events to happen, and there’ll always be the need for Virtual Events too.  The important thing?  When planning an event, consider the event’s objectives and look at the options.  Virtual, live, hybrid, there’s so much that can be done to make the experience memorable and positive for all involved.

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