It is needless to say that the Covid-19 crisis has affected all of us, but the events and training industry has been particularly hard hit. Expronews spoke to Suzanne Robertson from Mearns & Gill and Stuart Archer from RPS and asked them how they have been coping with the situation so far.
With a large number of conferences lined up for 2020, Mearns & Gill was geared up for another busy year, however within a matter of days, this quickly changed. Suzanne adds: “We realised that this was a make it or break it moment; we had to adapt to this new situation somehow.”
With great effort and dedication, the events team has now – in a matter of a few months – learned how to smoothly organise virtual events for which there is a strong demand.
As an example, a couple of weeks ago the Offshore Achievement Awards ceremony took place virtually, which attracted around 500 people from all over the world. Suzanne and her team even arranged for cocktails to be delivered to people’s houses to add to the celebratory character of the event. “Taking a long-standing awards ceremony online was certainly a huge challenge. It would have been easy to cancel the event, but we felt it was important to recognise the finalists, reward the sponsors and ensure SPE Aberdeen could continue to deliver what they promised to the industry”, Suzanne adds.
Devex 2020 – the traditional UK-based conference dedicated to development and exploration in the UKCS, will also be virtual this year and is taking place in sessions during the week commencing 21st September.
As much as the events sector has been hit by the Covid-19 crisis, the training sector has also been seriously affected with training budgets cut across the industry and the restrictions on class room and field-based courses. Stuart Archer from RPS says: “Due to the situation, we had to fully adapt our Learning Hub to deliver webinar-based classes, integrated with multiple digital learning tools and began delivering collaborative learning sessions digitally known as ‘distance learning’.”
“As a result, over 450 hours of distance learning has been successfully delivered to almost 400 learners, each with their own personalised digital learning history and access to development resources at home, in the office or wherever they may be,” Stuart adds.
RPS is now preparing to move all of their training online for the rest of 2020 to ensure our clients and learners can get the training and knowledge they need at a time when it’s never been more crucial.