This weekend, in a moment of near perfect irony, I travelled from Scotland (far north of the UK) to Brighton (far south of the UK) – a journey of well over 1000 miles – to give an online webinar.
I had been invited by the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy’s Coaching Division to present an Introduction to Online Coaching at their Brighton and Sussex Networking Event. As Executive Specialist for Online Coaching for the Division, I was pleased to take the opportunity to spread the word to divisional members about what is new in the field of Coaching and how technology can help us better serve our clients, particularly when access to face-to-face sessions is hampered by adverse conditions such as geographical remoteness and, well, when weather makes travel impossible.
The day started with early morning texts on my iPhone from the organiser, letting me know that heavy snow had fallen overnight. After a quick chat, we decided to forge ahead with the event despite the travel chaos that any amount of snow generally brings to the United Kingdom. A few hours later, I was installed in my hotel watching the waves crash into a snow covered Brighton Pier, to pick up emails which made it clear that continuing with the event was going to be unsafe for the 20 or so delegates who were planning to attend.
Did that stop me presenting to the members? Hell, no!
In a quick burst of technological thinking, and a certain amount of frantic uploading, I was able to prepare our preferred webinar platform that we use with our 16-week intensive training programmes – the rather marvellous Scribblar.com (see screenshot below) – in order to go ahead as planned to give the presentation online. Scribblar is a simple, effective, online collaboration platform that enabled me to show my slides, talk to the attendees and for them to chat with each other and ask questions not only of me, but also of DeeAnna who joined us from New Jersey, USA, giving links to relevant resources as I mentioned them. The transcript of the chat – including all the links – is now with the delegates along with a copy of the presentation for further reference.
While it was a shame not to physically meet with the Division members at the planned event, I was very pleased to be able to allow the event to go ahead as scheduled – and of course the main benefit was that I was able to experientially demonstrate the power and ease of using technology in the face of adverse conditions.
And while I don’t recommend travelling over 1000 miles in sub-zero temperatures to give an online webinar, I was very pleased to have done so!