Should You Record Online Meetings And/Or Training?

I’m delivering loads of live-online training about online meetings at the moment.

There’s Remote Meetings Mastery (with Lisette Sutherland) and Remote Agile Facilitator for Adventures with Agile, plus a train-the-trainer for ICAgile. Plus, I’m gearing up for the year’s biggest online event for Clean Language enthusiasts, Metaphorum 2019.

And there’s one question that keeps being asked. “Are you going to record it?”

My answer, mostly, is… “No!”

Here’s the thing. If I’m designing a live online event, it’s going to be packed with interaction and participation. You’re going to meet people, have proper conversations, and be inspired to stay connected to them.

Just as with an in-the-room event – whether it’s a workshop or a party – it’s the people who turn up that make the event amazing.

Of course, the trainer or facilitator gets to set the stage. I’ll do lots of things to build psychological safety: introduce people, build in lots of small-group activities and so on.

In that safe, quite intimate live-online context, participants will share their real-life challenges with the group, to crowdsource possible solutions. Their willingness to be vulnerable encourages others to open up in their turn, and to share their challenges, creating a rich learning environment. You can see why they might be reluctant to have all of that recorded.

What I don’t do is lecture. We don’t need to waste our precious time together on delivering content! (Online pre-recorded courses like this one of mine about engaging distant participants can be great – but that’s a different story.)

Of course, the fact is that with the best will in the world, people may have to miss sections of an online training. Many people can’t clear a straight 12 hours in their calendar for an all-day event like Metaphorum, especially given time-zone issues. My online classes tend to happen in shorter chunks, spread over a few weeks, and that means unavoidable absences are inevitable. So, I can’t blame people for asking for a recording.

Providing recordings is expensive. Not clicking the “record” button – that’s easy! But uploading and storing the videos somewhere safe online, where only the right people can access them – that’s expensive. Which makes it all the more annoying when uploaded recordings are never actually accessed, by anybody, after the event.

So, what to do?

My current compromise, with everyone’s agreement, is to record a short summary of the meeting or training at the end. That’s multi-purpose:

  • A catch-up for anyone who missed out, that’s short enough to actually listen to
  • A review for participants, cementing learning and/or action points
  • An aide memoire for me to refer to later.

What do you think? What other suggestions do you have? Please comment below.

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