Categories for Product News

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.

CLASS Training love using Arlo

February 27, 2017 1:24 pm, Published by

class training - arlo

What is CLASS Training?

CLASS Training delivers training to help individuals and organisations work smarter with their IT tools. Whether it’s for business, work or fun, their services really will increase your productivity and minimise your stress. Mark and his team strive to ensure maximum learning by analysing individual requirements and continual follow-up training. They do this by offering a large range of courses, methods of delivery and personalisation.

How does CLASS Training use Arlo?

CLASS Training chose Arlo to manage the administration behind their online booking so they could focus on the important elements of their clients training experience. The Team had been searching for a system which could easily integrate into their website, integrate with Xero and manage all the manual tasks associated with organising training, most importantly making the client experience from sign up to attendance seamless.

CLASS Training uses the Arlo’s WordPress plugin to display course dates, presenters, prices and take bookings. Clients can easily book a specific course or register interest in other dates/locations. All information displayed on the CLASS Training website is linked to the CLASS Training Arlo platform.

CLASS Training really do offer a quality experience for all customers and course administrators with their main platform Arlo. Click here to find out more about the Arlo event or training management solution or Arlo’s website integration.

Registration forms tailored to your business

February 14, 2017 10:26 am, Published by

Adding custom registration fields

Arlo allows you to add, edit, and remove fields against a range of entities (e.g. contacts, organisations and registrations) to meet your unique data requirements. You can also add fields to your website registration process so that the information you need can be easily captured. All fields can now be configured directly from within the management platform by administrators. Learn how to configure system and custom fields.
For training and event organisations this allows you to gather and analyse data that is specific to your organisation. For example, Arlo is a leading provider of training management software to the motorcycle training industry. Due to the hazardous nature of motorcycle training, organisations may wish to include information on ‘ Experience Level’ or an ‘Emergency Contact’.

Or an accounting training providers may wish to record whether registrants have certain accreditation. Arlo, is flexible to meet your business’ needs. Better still, organisations can now configure this on their own!

Capture unique information for individual registrations

Arlo now has the ability to capture information against a unique registration. Instead of saving it against a contacts record during the website registration process, it is now matched to the registration.

This makes your Arlo database much more powerful and flexible. It allows users to capture information that may vary across registrants registrations, rather than only storing the most recent registrations information.

Learn more about the difference between contact and registration fields on your registration forms.

Master Plumbers love using Arlo

February 7, 2017 2:46 pm, Published by

master plumbers integration with Arlo

Managing both your recurring courses and events is something the Arlo team know well. Master Plumbers provide recurring courses and events across multiple regions in New Zealand. Arlo is assisting in managing this large operation.

How Arlo has helped Master Plumbers

Master Plumbers are using website categories to keep their training courses and events separated online. Using Arlo’s recently developed JavaScript web control technology, the Arlo web team implemented web controls into six different areas of their website. This included homepage widgets, a training catalogue, a training and events calendar, an upcoming events list, a training products list, and upcoming event lists for each of Master Plumbers regions in New Zealand. The web controls were styled and formatted to fit with the existing Master Plumbers website.

Master Plumbers offer training and events to plumbers, gasfitters and drainlayers. The focus is on representing and adding value to their members in the plumbing, gasfitting and drainlaying industry. In accordance with Master Plumbers goals of quality, professionalism, innovation they will soon also be offering self-paced online courses using Arlo’s Moodle integration.

How Arlo can help you

Arlo’s Webcontrols or WordPress Plugin make it easy to show your training or event data on your website. Event data is pulled directly from Arlo’s database onto your website, leaving you the flexibility to develop your own custom pages and designs. Customise the look and feel of the Arlo hosted pages to match your existing website.  When someone visits your main website and clicks on a menu link to your events or training section, they will be unaware that the page they are taken to is hosted by Arlo.

Arlo Presenter Requests

February 3, 2017 11:42 am, Published by

Arlo presenter request

Presenter requests

Easily find a presenter for your next event using Arlo’s powerful new Presenter Requests feature.

Administrators can now choose to send an invitation to presenters to facilitate an event directly from Arlo. You can choose when responses for the request are due. You can also include a custom message for the presenter/s you are sending it to. This easily gives the presenter all the relevant information they need before accepting an invitation.

Presenter requests are kept up to date, with the latest event information – so if the event changes before a presenter responds, they’ll know about it.

Presenters can accept or decline the request, and also send their own custom message such as suggesting a more suitable date/time. Event/Template managers and Support staff assigned to the event will be notified of the presenters response automatically. If the presenter accepts the request, the administrator will be able to approve the event straight away. If changes are requested by the presenter, or they are unable to make it, the administrator can make the required changes as required without delay in communication.

Arlo’s presenter requests feature takes the hassle out of organising a presenter. Automated communication for event information, event changes and presenter response make the administrator’s job easy. People love Arlo’s presenter requests.

 

Engagement, Interaction, Retention… It’s a cycle!

February 1, 2017 2:24 pm, Published by

 

engagement, interaction, retention cycle

One of the main goals for teachers in any sphere of education is retention. Training requires valuable resource to increase the chance that learners will retain and utilize the information presented. Without the learning, retention and application, teaching loses its value and does not achieve its purpose.

Retention begins with engagement…

Retention can only be achieved by firstly engaging with the learner. Engaging the learner involves a number of things: clear communication, relevant information, genuineness and so on. Engagement will occur when the individuals before you prioritize your information above the other distractions they have. In a previous blog we discussed 4 Tips for Increasing the Value of Your Presentation, these would be a great start to creating more engagement.

Retention requires interaction…

After an individual is engaged, interaction takes priority for a teacher or trainer. Albert Einstein once said:

I fear the day that technology will surpass our human interaction. The world will have a generation of idiots”.

People need experiential learning through interaction to fully retain information. Why?… Because of our yearning for reason. For people to fully comprehend they will need to question, examine and discuss. Providing time for questions, activities and even rhetorical questions all pull in the audience to be part of the presentation and reason with the information.

Turning technological distractions into methods of interaction…

One of the most relevant impediments to holding anyone’s attention nowadays is the smart phone. As smart devices become more commonly used as note taking alternatives to the classic pad and pen, notifications become a teacher’s enemy. How do you deal with this, without reverting to a classroom style of confiscating devices on entry?

Providing concise notes on the subject, accessible on smart devices increases the likelihood that the learner will be focusing on the subject matter rather than their newsfeeds. Online tools such GoSoapBox “keep students engaged and gain real-time insight into student comprehension”. GoSoapBox contains live survey tools and questions with the results available to the teacher or everyone involved. Here are some other online learning tools to aid your training:

  • Kahoot – Kahoot allows to to create fun learning games for better engagement.
  • SurveyMonkey – Arlo integrates with SurveyMonkey to “create, edit and analyse surveys more effectively” within our event management solution.
  • Socrative – Socrative provides a space for quizzes and activities from which the results can enhance the teaching/training method.
  • Moodle – Arlo integrates with Moodle to create a full event and training management with a learning management system/
  • TodaysMeet – Allows students to access the classroom community and interact with fellow learners from anywhere
  • GoToWebinar – Arlo integrates with GoToWebinar to create both public and private events synchronised with Arlo.         

Interaction starts the cycle again…

The good thing about engagement, interaction and retention is that they are a cycle. More engagement, makes interaction possible, more interaction leads to higher retention. As individuals retain more information the usefulness of the presentation increases and thus further engagement ensues.

Māori language week at Arlo

July 30, 2015 1:16 pm, Published by

maori_language_week

 

As it is Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori, Māori language week, we wanted to  support the use of Māori Language on your Arlo platform by the use of macrons. A macron is a line above a vowel to indicate that it should be spoken as a long vowel.

Once the text has been pasted, the macrons will remain showing until the event is saved.  Follow the steps below to allow continued use.

1. Select the ‘HTML’ button above description (indicated below)

HTML Pointer

2. Within the description, change the macron letters to their corresponding HTML (here’s a handy link to find the codes you need.  In this example, all ā’s are replaced with ‘ā’)

HTML Box

3. Select ‘Update’ in HTML window and then ‘Save’ on the Event page.

And that’s it!  The Māori language is alive in Arlo!