Shifting to a Remote Event Seamlessly Through Proper Agile Coaching

Dilemma

A European cosmetics retailer had planned a three-day workshop in Taiwan that was about to kick off. Unfortunately, the pandemic had forced borders to close one week before the event. As such, key participants were stuck abroad. It didn’t help that there was no remote collaboration tool in place, and most of the participants were not tech-savvy. 

Solution and Approach

A remote workshop seemed to be the best course of action. Coincidentally, we were helping another client’s team adapt for remote work a few months ago. It seemed like an opportunity to flex on what we’ve learned from that experience. We took three major steps to make the remote workshop a success.

  1. Redesign the original workshop setup to fit a remote settingWe had to make sure that the workshop would be as engaging as it would have been if it were a face-to-face collaborative event. With this in mind, we designed all sessions as creatively as possible. Elements such as virtual post-its and drawings helped push engagement and excitement.
  2. Repurpose classic tools available for intensive collaborationGiven that most of the participants weren’t tech-savvy, we used tools that were already familiar to them. For example, we used Microsoft PowerPoint as an interactive whiteboard, Microsoft Teams as a video system, and the communication tool Slack for general announcements, updates to non-key participants, and decision voting.
  3. Train co-facilitatorsSince two facilitators were required to handle all the technical aspects, we had to make sure that they were ready and capable for the task at hand. Excellent training and sufficient support were given to them. Additionally, we also used a back of the room training approach which allowed participants to self-organize as much as possible. This created a friendly atmosphere for discussions where everyone felt comfortable sharing their insights resulting in maximum learning and stimulation.

Success Story

  • The switch to a remote workshop was a success. The workshop was intense and productive. It also proved to be an excellent bonding experience, with highly engaged participants.
  • With this experience under the company’s belt, it was able to easily transform and redesign upcoming workshops in APAC to an online setup with little to no worries.
  • 4 days Inception training have been done remotely and become the new normal amongst the participants
  • The successful event in Asia was also shared to the European mothership. We were then brought in to help design and facilitate critical projects.