Avoid these Training Pitfalls – Part Three

July 18, 2017 9:35 am, Published by

It’s not only the teaching that matters!

Our experience was far from the seamless experience we help our clients achieve. Having excellent teaching material is not enough to grow your training business. Many organisations forget the check in experience of their registrants. Or more commonly, training organisations do themselves a disservice by disregarding valuable data. The Arlo team recently attended a training course and found both these factors to be lacking.

Checking in registrants

Upon arrival, we were presented with a piece of paper in which we were asked to write our name and initials. There was no enrollment verification and no record of who was attending! This is a big issue for many training providers who use manual processes to record attendance and enter data. The cost of these paper-based processes is immense. They take time, increase the possibility of inaccurate data and offer a poor user experience.

Arlo’s mobile app easily allows presenters to mark attendance or attendees to mark themselves as present. This information is automatically synced back to the registrants record on Arlo’s inbuilt CRM or to your Salesforce CRM with Arlo’s Salesforce integration. The experience is fast, accurate and easy, reducing the time it takes for registrants to check in. Your customer is our customer, our goal is to provide the best customer experience for your registrants.

Using data to create value

Business intelligence is gold! Understanding your target market down to the specific course gives your business valuable insight. This information can help your marketing team generate promotional material that will attract attention. It will help your sales team identify likely prospects. It will help your content team formulate training material that addresses the registrants needs. Finally, it will vastly improve your registrant’s learning experience. Knowledge of what courses they have attended, allows you to provide them with an individualized learning path and encourage them to attend advanced courses to further up skill. By recording registrant information on paper, you are limiting the amount of data you can generate and increase the likelihood of incorrect entry or loss of data.

Arlo’s extensive reporting allows training administrators to report on an individual’s learning. This information could help your clients grow the level of professional acumen within their employees. For professional development and certified course providers, the data that can be captured with Arlo will help you manage professional development points and issuing certification. From a beginners licence for a motorcyclist to professional development for nurses, Arlo’s reporting can show you exactly what is next for your learners.

The benefit of data analysis goes further than managing learning paths and certification. Information on what courses your clients have attended will help you promote other courses which they might be interested in. Arlo’s campaign management tool allows administrators to run targeted campaigns to promote a specific course.

How are you managing checking in and data entry? Save yourself time, money and give your registrants a better first experience. The training company we attended could certainly use some streamlining. Learn more about how Arlo could help you streamline your attendance.

Avoid these Training Pitfalls – Part Two

June 13, 2017 4:41 pm, Published by

Prior to a registrant attending a course there are training pitfalls you must avoid: accurate and timely communication, prerequisite tasks and clear course objectives! To find out more about these read part one of our training experience. Assuming you have these covered, your registrants should arrive on time, with the right knowledge and expectations of course outcomes. However, you can’t stop there! There are a number of pitfalls that need to be avoided on the day of training too. Let us share our experience of a poor training session we attended, with you!

Extra for experts is not just for school homework!

At the training we recently attended, the diverse range in technical ability amongst attendees was evident.

Some learners found the exercises easy while others found it challenging to keep up with.

Because there was no extension work, the advanced learners were left with time on their hands, bored and frustrated. Those who required extra support felt they are consuming everyone else’s time. It is also difficult for the presenter, as they are unable to cater for everyone’s ability.

This could have been managed with a method of teaching called Peer Tutoring.  Advanced Learners could have been asked to teach others consolidating their recent learning and supporting those less able.

Having a range of content differing in difficulty, gives the presenter flexibility to cater to all learners present. Be prepared by having some extra material for faster learners. This material can also double as take home content for those who needed extra support. Good presenters cater for individual needs in content and delivery.

Avoid these pitfalls to improve your training organisation!

May 15, 2017 4:15 pm, Published by

Avoid these training pitfalls

Everyday we help a range of training providers promote, sell and deliver their courses. We have a variety of clients using many different processes, however they all have the same goal, to scale.

We are very passionate about the difference Arlo Software can have on a business by allowing management and training staff to focus on the important things. Many training businesses focus on manual administration tasks at the expense of attendee experience, learning content or training follow-up.

Let us share our experience of attending recent training.

Communication before the course is key!

Providing registrants accurate and helpful information before a course is vital to their experience and your success. Upon registering for our course, we received delayed confirmation with inaccurate time details. The course finished considerably earlier then instructed. This left us feeling unsure regarding our registration status prior to the course. It was also an inconvenience for attendees who based their transport on the times originally given. Our expectations weren’t met either as we felt short-changed after finishing early yet still paying a large amount in fees.

With Arlo, registration communication is automated. The information is tailored to the registrant providing accurate details on what, where and when they have registered for. Learn more about Arlo communication.

Attendees to your courses are paying for what you told them they would receive. Providing any less than that is inviting a negative reflection on your business. At the very minimum meet the expectations which your registrants have paid for!

Prerequisites allow increased learning potential

Prior to our course we were casually directed to reading material and exercises to complete for the course. Although we are busy at Arlo, we recognized the importance of completing this to achieve better outsomes. However, it seemed like the casualness of the invite to prepare meant that many in the course did not attempt the prerequisite material. Therefore, a large part of the course was spent catching up on that material. This left other attendees covering already known material. With course fees, travel costs, accommodation and the return on investment expectations this experience left a lot to be desired.

Formally asking registrants to cover some prerequisite material is asking of their time. Although this can seem a burden, most registrants will appreciate the heads up. It shows that you want them to achieve success and learn. This sets the expectation that prerequisite material is required for attendance. It also lessens the chances of some registrants getting bored by covering known information. Do not take for granted the financial and opportunity cost your registrants take to attend your course. With these costs come return on investment expectations, personal growth and knowledge. Not delivering a satisfactory ROI will negatively affect your reputation.

Course outlines and objectives increase expectation and excitement

Until we began the course we could only guess what we would be covering. We expected some information on what we would be achieving for what we were paying and for what our business goals were. Receiving this information would also have increased our motivation. We would have looked into the topics, as well as considered how they were going to be used at Arlo. Produce course outlines and deliver on the expectations you set.

In this article we have covered the pitfalls one can fall into prior to the course. Next month we will examine what not to do on the day of your course! Make sure you read this to increase your chance of success!

 

Increase traffic and insight with Arlo & Google AdWords

May 15, 2017 4:10 pm, Published by

Adwords & Arlo

Google AdWords can influence the number of people coming to your website significantly. There are many elements needed to be considered: advertising content, bid strategy, keywords, audience targeting, budgeting,.. the list goes on. Google AdWords done right can drive large amounts of traffic to your training or event site. This leads to increased engagement, registrations and ultimately increased revenue.

Arlo and Google AdWords Conversion Tracking

Combining Arlo and Google AdWords is a smart move if you want to be able to see how effectively your ad clicks lead to valuable customer activity, such as website purchases. AdWords conversion tracking allows you to see what happens after someone clicks your ad. This provides valuable insight into:

  • The return on investment for you to prioritize your budget within campaigns, adgroups or ads.
  • Website user behaviour. Which enables you to see what calls to actions are clicked and which need to be adjusted to be clicked more.
  • Which markets result in higher conversions. For example: what devices or countries do most of your conversions come from?

These benefits will improve your marketing to better target new customers and profitable markets!

Setting up Conversion Tracking

Within the Arlo order settings users are able to enable the Google AdWord Conversion Tracking easily. Once you have found the conversion tags you wish to track simply select where you would like to use them and add their ID and label. Find out more about setting up Google AdWords Conversion Tracking.

Arlo in the Top 20 Most User-Friendly Event Management Softwares

April 26, 2017 11:41 am, Published by

 

Capterra, one of the leading business software review sites recently released its Top 20 Most User-Friendly Event Management Software report for 2017.

“Capterra released a new report to help event professionals find the right software to fit their needs,” said Rachel Wille Senior Product Research Analyst at Capterra, a group that researches event management systems. “The Top 20 Most User-Friendly Event Management Software report lists software vendors on three criteria: usability, customer services offered, and customer reviews. Arlo ranked 9th with a score of 80.”

With over 400 other softwares in competition, Arlo was pleased to be recognised in the Top 10, as the 9th most user friendly Event Management Software. At Arlo we strive to make the event and training managers job easy, by providing a full solution to promote, sell and deliver courses and events. A lot of effort is put into developing friendly user interfaces, simple yet robust usability and quality support.

Arlo Dashboard

Many thanks to all our customers for you honest and helpful feedback. At Arlo we are committed to providing a solution that assists our clients. Feel free to see what our clients have to say about us on our Capterra profile.

To learn more about the Arlo solution have a tour, or try out our 30 day free trial!

Refocus & Prioritize – Pareto Principle

March 24, 2017 9:29 am, Published by

Are you running your training or events business but finding yourself weighed down in administration and time consuming tasks? These tasks consume the time you have available to engage in activities which will grow your business. Having your head down in the day to day running of a business takes your eyes off the horizon of where you could go. This is part one of the Refocus & Prioritise series, in this part we will be examining the Pareto principle and how it can apply to our businesses.

What is the Pareto Principle?

The Pareto Principle is commonly referred to as the 80/20 rule where approximately 80% of effects originate from 20% of causes. This phenomenon was originally identified by Vilfredo Pareto who identified that around 20% of his pea pods produced almost 80% of the total peas from his garden. The same link was then shown in one of his studies that 80% of Italy’s land was owned by 20% of the population. Joseph Juran then took the principle and applied it to defects. (Teich & Faddoul, 2007).

The same link can be said of a lot of tasks which many training and event managers find themselves doing day to day. Generally speaking, 20% of the tasks will produce 80% of the growth for the business. Tasks like manually entering paper registration data into a spreadsheet to later use for communication and payment reconciliation may be required for a business, but taking into account the time it takes and the alternative solutions the effect this has on a business is minuscule. Knowing this, there is serious prioritization needed to ensure that you are spending sufficient time on the 20% of tasks that will create 80% of the effect.

Bruce Lee puts it this way:

“It is not a daily increase, but a daily decrease. Hack away at the inessentials”

How can we use the Pareto Principle to Refocus and Prioritize

A Pareto Chart is a powerful way to identify out of a group of tasks, which have the biggest impact. Lets use an example to understand how it is utilized. Sam runs a first aid training school he has been tasked with reducing the number of complaints the company receives and increasing customer satisfaction. Sam was given 100 bits of feedback from customers. They were grouped broadly in 5 sections:

  1. Paper forms are inconvenient to scan or post to Sam when registering. 44 Complaints
  2. People can’t keep up with Sam’s business because there is no blog. 3 Complaints
  3. People can’t get through on the phone, it always goes to voicemail because Sam is busy. 36 Complaints
  4. People don’t like Sam’s social media profiles because the tweets are infrequent. 5 Complaints
  5. People arrive late because it takes a while to find the physical location of Sam’s business. 10 Complaints
  6. People don’t like the music they hear while they wait for the voicemail to begin. 2 Complaints

Let’s first graph the number of complaints:

Now if we work out the cumulative percentage of the complaints (orange line) for each category and order these from highest to lowest we see Pareto in action:

Paper forms and the phone always going to voicemail make up 80% of the complaints that were received as can be seen above.. The 80:20 or Pareto principle suggests that Sam should focus his attention on these two problems before tackling location and the other issues. One solution which Sam could implement and which many businesses worldwide are implementing, is using Arlo for online registrations. Arlo’s online registration allows you to capture the data you need, store it securely and recall it in seconds. Learn more about Arlo’s online registration here, and also customized registration forms to gather targeted information.

Obviously this is a very simple example, but the theory holds. It is not limited to number of complaints, Sam could look at dollars spent, expected return, hours taken etc. The Pareto Principle should never be used in isolation, it proves to be one way event and training managers can think about prioritization and in turn refocus on the things that will grow their business.

In next week’s issue we will be looking at John Maxwell’s rule of 5!

Here are some more materials on the Pareto Principle:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zPoA6dzKmtg
http://pyovevlibrary.blogspot.co.nz/2009/07/pareto-chart.html
http://www.brighthubpm.com/monitoring-projects/65152-explaining-paretos-8020-rule/

Arlo’s top 5 blog posts – March 2017

March 21, 2017 2:41 pm, Published by

Here are some of the most interesting and insightful blogs the Arlo team came across this month. Take a read with your next cup of coffee and stay up to date with all things trainings, events and business.

We love sharing what’s helped us, feel free to pass these on to help others!

20 Life Hacks for Event Planners

EventManager Blog
Productivity is the key to managing your life but this can be hard to find and while we can’t control the amount of hours in the day, we can make a difference in how we spend them… Read more

How to Conduct an Effective Training Session

Training Today
Learn tips and techniques for effective workplace training. All the planning has been done. All the preparation is taken care of. You know your training needs, you’ve set goals, management is behind you, you promoted your training schedule, and prepared materials, space, and people. The time has finally come: Training day is here. Read more

3 Reasons Why Employees Aren’t Engaged with Training Programs

TJ Coyle – Training Industry

There are so many reasons why employees don’t engage with training programs that we could fill a season of late-night icon David Letterman’s “Top Ten.” For the sake of time, we’ll stick to the Top 3… Read more

People-based Marketing: The Gold Standard

Forbes
People-based marketing represents an industry shift from targeting devices to connecting with the right people at the right time, with the right message. Rather than targeting ads to devices based on cookies, which is fraught with inadequacies, marketers can now reach people across the many devices they use, thanks to persistent identity… Read more

Evaluating the Impact of Learning Programs

Emmy Monticelli – Association for Talent Development
What are you measuring? What is the purpose of your evaluation? How do you define a successful learning program? With whom are you sharing the results? How you are currently evaluating the impact of your learning programs?… Read more

 

Google AdWords Basics – Negative Keywords

March 10, 2017 12:52 pm, Published by

Increase the performance of Google AdWords

In the last Google AdWords blog post “Keywords made easy”, we studied the various types of keywords. Negative keywords play just as an important role in optimising your campaigns. Specifically, negative keywords can mitigate the chances you spend money on clicks not related to your business. We will look at what negative keywords are, what they do and how best to identify and enter them.

What are ‘Negative’ Keywords? Are they ‘bad’?

Google defines negative keywords as words that “let you exclude search terms from your campaign”. At first glance this may not seem desirable. However, to have an effective campaign there must be clear targets.

As important as the keywords are to choosing who to target, to effectively target them, we must choose who not to target. This will put our ads in front of the people who are most interested, which will increase the return on investment (ROI) we can expect from our AdWords spend. The theory is simple,  if a negative keyword shows up in a search term, your ad will not appear. Let’s examine an example to better understand the concept.

If Paul uses keywords: lemon, cherry, banana and market, he might assume he is covering his market. If someone searches cherry market, Paul’s ad will show. However, Paul’s ad will also show for financial market, which is not Paul’s market.

Paul must then enter the word financial, or financial market as a negative keyword to avoid paying for this click in the future.

Entering negative keywords

Here is a simple method to check whether you need to add some negative keywords to your campaigns.

1. Check your search terms – Paul should go into his Fruit campaign and he will find the search term, “financial market”.

 

2. Add the word as a negative keyword

a) At the ad group level – so “financial markets” would only function as a negative keyword under the Cherry Market ad group.

b) At the campaign level – so “financial markets” would only function as a negative keyword under the whole Fruit Market ad group.

c) Negative keyword list.

The third option – negative keyword lists – can save you a lot of time. Negative keyword lists can be shared across all your campaigns or a selection of your campaigns. By adding the search term to the list, it will function as a negative keyword across all the related campaigns.

This very high level guide covers off the main details of negative keywords! Make sure you use them within your campaigns to better target your customers and increase your ROI!

 

Growing your business with email marketing

March 1, 2017 2:42 pm, Published by


Quality email based campaigns can be an effective means for increasing registrations and growing your training or event business. However, with business email addresses becoming a traded commodity, the number of marketing emails one receives is ever increasing. There is a stark difference between the spam emails and the carefully crafted opportunities delivered by marketers. These 3 tips will assist you in creating and sending email campaigns that fall in the later group and increase the ROI you receive from your email marketing.

Concise, Clear and Call

At Arlo we have used email marketing heavily, over 90,000 recipients have received an Arlo email. These emails have varied in sizes, styles and content, however, the most effective always are concise, clear and have a specific call to action. Short and snappy emails are far more likely to be read. Don’t pad your emails, it not only wastes your own time, but wastes the reader’s time. Instead, use bullet points and short sentences to keep your email to a few small paragraphs or event lines.

Make sure the content of your email makes sense. Ask yourself, “what is the purpose of this email?’ or “what am I trying to communicate?”, then evaluate whether your target reader receives the information quickly and as you intended.

In the same way, make sure that the desired action from your email is as easy to achieve as possible. For example, “Watch the Arlo service video to find out more about our solution”. Is not as clear as, “Watch the Arlo Service Overview video to learn more”.

Which is not as clear as, “Watch the Arlo Service Overview video below to learn more:


Personalisation

Try as much as possible to create personal emails. One of the giveaways of a spam email is impersonal emails, especially in the greeting. “Hi Sir/madam” on face value is likely to warrant an email rule to always send these emails to trash folder. First names give your email a much better chance of getting a quick scan of the email. From this quick scan, the next key is your emails presentation.

Presentation

Using a number of DIFFERENT fonts, styles, sizes, paragraphs,        spacings and c       olors

 

will not help you get people to read your email.

It makes it much harder to read and gives it a very unprofessional look.

Clearly presented content with consistent formatting is much easier on the eye, professional and appears as if effort was put into the communication. It is startling how many email I receive myself with a great deal of inconsistent paragraphing, fonts and colours. These features can be used to emphasise different points or call to actions within an email. But when used in excess the trash button is increasingly emphasised.

These 3 tips are some of the most crucial starting points for enhancing your email campaigns and growing your training or event business. In the next email campaign blog, we will be examining Campaign Monitor and how it can be used to send large numbers of styled emails. Arlo has a Campaign Monitor integration which you can utilise the send communication to leads. Get ahead and have a look before the next installment.

Google AdWords basics

February 27, 2017 2:18 pm, Published by

Keywords made easy

Keywords have a critical role in any organisation’s Google AdWords campaign. Keywords are the conduit between what potential leads are searching for and your advertisements. For any organisation, it is critical to understand the different types of keywords and when to use each.

Broad Keywords

Broad keywords have the least specific relation to search terms, as the name implies. A broad keyword loosely associates with any search term that contains similar words. It is also worth noting that spelling errors and synonyms can also appear using broad keywords.

For example, let’s use Arlo as our subject and assume we use a broad keyword to get AdWord clicks regarding our event management software.

As we can see, there are two search terms that aren’t relevant to Arlo, but may in fact display our advertisement. The first two search terms are the only search terms worth paying for.

Exact Keywords

After spending a lot of money on the incorrect search terms above, we need to tighten up our AdWord Keywords. Exact matches are a great way to ensure you only pay for the precise search term you want. Thus keeping costs down!

Exact keywords are denoted by ‘[ keyword  ]’ and as the name suggests, will only match search terms exactly. No spelling mistakes, no variations, no extra words. So our “event management software” keyword, would be entered into AdWords as [event management software]. As promised, Google will only display our advertisement to the users who search “event management software”.

 

Phrase matches

The exact keyword might be too exact. Our advertisement will not show for people who search for “free event management software” or “event management software plugin”.

A phrase match will show search terms that match a phrase, plus some variation. It is denoted by speech marks. For example the phrase keyword, “event management software”, will show the ad for the search term – “free event management software” or “event management software plugin”. Unfortunately, the advertisement will not be shown for “management software for live event with presenters”, because the phrase is not searched.

 

Broad Match Modifier Keywords

Again the phrase match might still be too limiting. “Management software for live event with presenters” may in fact be a quality lead at Arlo, but they would not have seen our advertisement.

Broad match keywords allow search terms to appear that contain the term (in any order) plus any close variations. They are denoted with ‘+’ symbols in front of the terms.

The main difference between the broad match modifier keywords and the broad match keywords is that synonyms are not put forward as matches. Unlike the phrase matches, the words can appear in any order. As previously, I will use an example to better explain:

At Arlo we have found Broad Match Modifier Keywords extremely helpful. They allow us to show our ads to a large variety of users without paying for irrelevant searches.

In the next Google AdWords blog, we will be looking at Negative Keywords and how to effectively use them in the least amount of time!