16 March 2020

Due to the unprecedented situation with the Covid-19 virus, many of us – you, your colleagues, contacts and potential customers – might be remote or home working for some time. Targets and requirements will not be put on hold during this time, and no doubt your company is already putting plans in place for digital working, collaboration and meetings.

Have you also thought about delivering your RIBA-approved CPD during this time by way of one of the many online meeting or video conferencing software platforms available? Online meeting software will allow you to deliver your CPD to participants who are in multiple separate locations. People who still need CPD, who still will be working, and still specifying products.

There are numbers of available easy to use software platforms to enable live presentations. Most of these platforms will now offer a number of benefits beyond the simple ease of delivering to your audiences without travelling. Here are a few of the easy and key one’s for you:

Screen sharing: Delegates can see your desktop as you present and can even see you at the same time.

Virtual whiteboard: Provides a simple space on the screen where meeting participants can write notes or draw simple diagrams to share with other meeting attendees. These are typically viewable by all meeting participants.

Recording: Allows participants to record audio and video for later review. Some solutions also allow users to broadcast pre-recorded content.

Moderation: Allows you to do things such as add, drop and mute participants.

In app private chat: Provides an integrated text chat functionality so meeting participants can chat with the group.

Calendar integration: Streamlines the process of organizing the “event” by letting invitation recipients automatically add the event to their work calendars. Most major calendar applications are typically supported (e.g., Outlook).

What are the benefits for you?

  • Safety: at this time, presenting remotely will be a healthy option
  • Business continuity: As with other means of delivering your business objectives at this time, these platforms will keep your CPD business goals and KPI’s going
  • Greater reach: Even when matters normalise, this allows you to reach architects of every practice size, in the UK and globally
  • Cost savings: No travel costs, don’t have to worry about providing lunch
  • Smaller carbon footprint: This one is obvious
  • Questions: Some people are more likely to participate from the safety of their keyboard

What platforms out there? I link from a useful article on www.softwareadvice.com highlighting just a few, and comparing features and costs:

We aren’t promoting one platform over another, but some very informal crowdsourcing intel on my Facebook page amongst friends and family gave a consistent thumbs up to Zoom for quality, ease and innovation. Speak to your ITC or digital teams at your organisation about what security and IT measures you might need to put in place.

Have you done this yet? Are you thinking of it? Let us know your thoughts and experiences. Help and advice on this or other matters, such as getting your material assessed, is always available at cpd@riba.org.

Photo by RIBA, Photographer Richard Lea-Hair.