Thursday, May 03, 2012

The Devil is in the Details

“Little things made a difference in feedback I heard – the handouts, quality of answers to questions, internet access, lunch…”

I like to start my blogs with a famous quote to set the tone.  But this one is from an attendee from our annual Users Conference (I’m going to maintain their anonymity).  That part of the note to me really hit home.  I thought of a recent anniversary weekend away I spent.  I remember grousing about the price of the room before the trip but when we arrived and during our trip everything was flawless.  There was no detail left undone, from the landscaping to the fruit and wine on the reception table in the lobby. 

Then I realized that I really don’t mind paying more for quality.  We could have saved a few dollars staying at some chain hotel but it would have been a completely forgettable experience. 

Which brings me back to the conference.  We really spared little expense or effort to make the experience really great.  We printed some nice bound books that we could have just stapled together, we offered a full buffet breakfast and lunch in a nice room with tablecloths and silverware, and we staffed to the point where every room had a greeter and SMEs to help answer questions.  This is all on top of a two month effort to develop great quality sessions.

We didn’t have to go to all of that trouble.  But it was clear to me that our customers (our learners) had a great experience.  They will remember what they learned better because they were comfortable, relaxed and not distracted.

Often when we develop a learning experience we just look at the content, instead of the whole picture.  Next time you develop a course or session, step back and put yourself in that room.  Ask yourself, “Would I want to be in there?

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