Last week I had the pleasure of delivering Totaal’s first large-scale Social Media Training session at Immage Studios in North East Lincolnshire. I have done many a one-on-one and small group session before but this one was a very different animal indeed.

All in all there were twelve different attendees and representatives from two different companies, not to mention three different parts of one company itself, and the spread throughout the room was impressively wide. We had everyone from Office Managers and Receptionists through to Production Staff, Program Managers, Comms Managers, Web Designers and IT Heads.

One of the really interesting things that came out of the day was the engagement levels of the attendees. The social graph was particularly scattered with some people only keeping up with children at university via facebook, others who eschewed the text based social space and preferred video chat, guys who use youtube as their primary channel and some people who used nothing at all. To top that off we also had some people in the room who had twigged on to the potential of the social web as a networking and professional development tool.

In Short then, a pretty excellent cross section of society.

I decided that, as there was so many different agendas from the attendees in the room, that to fill a six hour session with niche, techy, or geeky content was a losing strategy so I focussed the day loosely around three main themes:

  • The characteristics of the Social Web: How sharing, rating and iterating changed everything.
  • The power of the Social Web: How budget needn’t be a barrier and time vs. ROI.
  • Promoting and managing engagement with the Social Web: Policy building to grow communities

I interspersed the session with some videos which broke things up nicely and ensured that I came loaded with biscuits to keep the sugar levels up. Also, I had a bit of a flash of inspiration at the very last minute and decided to add in The ABBA Challenge. Throughout the day I dropped in the titles of well known ABBA songs and the first person to ‘call’ these on the Ning network I set up to support the day got points which went towards the grand prize of £25 of Amazon vouchers. So it’s true what they say “if all else fails, try bribery”!

I probably delivered about half of the subject matter that I had actually prepared due to interesting discussions breaking out all over the place on copyright, the Digital Economy Bill, spam and how the Social Web impacts on brands. The main thing I learned from the day is to keep agile when doing training sessions of this size, be led by the group rather than your schedule.

Anyhow, I’ve already had some lovely feedback from the day and connected with some very, very interesting people. Thanks to Helen Philpot for arranging it all and I hope to be back across soon. Also, check out Channel7’s website if you haven’t already.