We're on Week 3 of being live, so right now, I'm using a combo of a short presentation (15 min), with the remainder of the time for demonstration and questions. For me, the presentation is key to level-set everyone's understanding and expectations of our Jive site. This helps reduce the time taken up by answering very fundamental questions about our site or our strategy. For my first offsite event next week, we're breaking up the sessions into one for Admins, one for Managers, and two open forums to give greater focus to my time in Houston. I'll let you know how that goes.
Thanks for your reply, Jesse. You bring up an important point - separating levels of training. My regular training is an Intro course, but I also found it's useful to host special sessions on different topics for more advanced users. The advanced users are often easier to engage in a virtual room because they are more likely to share their experiences and sometimes already know each other.
I have a few different ideas:
- Our welcome message gives new members 5 things they can do in the community right away
- We use a screencast for the basic feature/function of our community and it's less than 5 minutes
- A series of welcome emails every week for a month or so with one or two ways that people can use the community is both a good way to spread out learning into digestible chunks and it provides a trigger to come back to the community.
Don't forget the introductions
- We hold new member calls where we spend 10-15 minutes going over the functionality of the community but then have everyone introduce themselves and what they are working on and hoping to get out of the community
- We have a relatively small community so we make a point of interviewing each member and making those interviews into podcasts so others can listen and 'get to know' the new member. This can scale if you have community members who are interested in being on a 'welcome committee' of sorts.
When we rolled Jive out we did a combination of live/webcast meetings with in-browser demos, along with recorded Adobe Connect slideware/narrated audio for those unable to attend and later for anyone in the post-launch period. We broke our Fundamentals Training info into several sections so people could go into the sections they were most interested in (or if they wanted to chunk their time). We also have a separate Space Owner/Admin training that followed the same model.