After a long time I was back facilitating “in the classroom” at a conference/event this month.
I have to say it was disorientating but enjoyable. A couple of observations to capture for now:
- Face-to-face training events are never just about the designed training. The social interactions, networking, side conversations, etc. can be very valuable.
- Virtual has a lot of benefits, not least the equalising effects.
On point 1 – is there any other profession/industry which sells itself as one thing only for value to be gained from another? The nearest equivalent I can think of is going to a football match – the social elements (walking with friends/family, pub, etc) often outweigh the enjoyment of the game. Is it time that we are honest about what value “training” events really bring?
On point 2 – Meeting people face-to-face I found myself making many more “first impression” judgments, even having to check myself from doing so in my head. I also met a lot people only previously met on Zoom and it has to be said a physical meeting creates, for me at least, at lot more realisation/judgment of diversity issues from height to weight, sex, disability, fashion sense, etc etc etc that are not (as much of) an issue online for me.