A series of webinars which culminated in a 17-hour ‘non stop’ LIVE webinar that brought 18 professionals from 8 countries together

When Covid 19 hit and Sri Lanka went into lockdown, the first ‘budget’ to be taken out were the training budgets. Corporates responding to the pandemic and nearly three months of non-activity responded quickly by tightening their belts and bracing themselves for a rough ride. HR Managers had no option but to freeze all development activities and rethink how they were going to keep their employees engaged and productive. Trainers scrambled to find alternatives to traditional training methods. The team at Luminary Learning came together to come up with a Webinar Series which became not only a trendsetter but also a platform for collaboration across the globe!

A Light Bulb Moment:

Trainers thrive in front of our ‘audience’ and derive energy from them – without them, we are like a spent battery – of no good to anyone.!’

But due to social distancing restrictions, we could not do training for several months to come. Online videos were going to be the new norm.

This inevitable truth was best expressed in the burgeoning new vocabulary that seemed to come with the pandemic.

ReSet and Go: Sri Lanka’s Largest Webinar Series

The ‘first phase’ of our efforts to help our Clients with dealing with Covid 19 was a Webinar Series we titled ‘ReSet and Go’: focusing on all aspects of how to deal with the pandemic – both professionally and personally. The series, covering everything from working from home to the financial elements to employee engagement and digitalisation, was aired every Saturday morning from 9.00 am – 10.00 am.

The webinar series featured 2-3 subject matter experts from Sri Lanka and the Region, offering viewers insights and perspectives from multiple industries and viewpoints.

This series truly captured the hearts and minds of all who viewed it, and created a massive following, attracting over 1000 viewers for almost all sessions. Given that we ‘deep-dived’ into the content, and took no ‘angles’ this meant a lively, honest and content-rich, no holds barred interactive conversation was generated.

The result: 12 topics over 12 weeks, over 12,000 participants from over 20 countries, 11 hosts and 35 panellists

What now?

As we neared the end of the series, our viewers were already asking the question ‘what next?’

We knew we had to ‘step it up’ and leverage on the enthusiasm we had created for ‘online learning’, which for the past decade we have been trying to popularise but had failed to take ‘mainstream’ because Clients always preferred face to face interactions for training.

We had always argued that online learning could be as effective as ‘classroom’ sessions, and this was our opportunity to prove it once and for all! And we were not going to let this window of opportunity pass us by.

Our next step was a follow-up series with a few twists, and we clubbed all our thinking under one banner.

‘Saturdays are for learning with Luminary’ showcasing 3 solid training sessions covering everything from Sales and Marketing to HR to soft skills like Time Management as well as two webinar series ‘Revive and Grow’ and ‘This That and the Other’ which aimed to discuss areas of topical interest: showcasing 40+ subject matter experts.

But…. something was missing. We wanted a ‘launch.’

Lead, Follow or Get Out of the Way.

Our plan was an ambitious and audacious one.

A 17-hour marathon webinar – live – non-stop…

Before we knew it, we had 18 guests lined up representing eight countries – each with a story to tell – each an expert in their chosen field – each as excited as we were in the endeavour.

The response we got from our Clients and community was overwhelming! Countless individuals reached out, wanting to join in, and passed the word around to their friends and family, and soon, we had created a mammoth following.

A sleepless night without a yawn!

The 13th of June was like no other day.

We started at 9.00 am (local time): and we knew this was going to be one hell of a day to see through.

Our team was rooting for us. A few ‘made camp’ in our office, silently running around, making sure the tech was working. Others started being a catering service, offering round the clock ‘munchees’ and ‘refreshments’ to ensure our stomachs were not rumbling amidst all the conversations. Yet others started working on updating the viewers – keeping the social media engine running full throttle ahead.

The conversations we had were so rich and exciting that neither of us got out of our seats. When one guest was finishing up, the other ‘came in’ and the whole 17 hours went seamlessly, flowing from one conversation to the other: with topics varying from Emotional Intelligence to Innovation; from Collaboration to Personal Effectiveness; each interwoven with the life of our guest.

When it all finished, we didn’t sigh a collective sigh of relief: we gave ourselves a High5 –

A golden lesson learnt.

Just two months ago, we had not known any of the guests we spoke to: and we sat down together and spoke about what had now become a platform for collaboration across the world: with the express aim of providing skills, competencies, tools, techniques and also, much-needed inspiration and illumination for communities across the globe in combating the crisis and coming out on top – more robust than ever.

When we reached out via LinkedIn to those who became our inspirational guests, we never expected all of them to say yes – but EVERY SINGLE ONE happily obliged, and gave us their time – FOR FREE! A gesture that we both value and are truly grateful for. Never in our wildest dreams did we think 18 world-renowned speakers would be on our platform – all on the same day: and I think they were as inspired as we were!

If there is one lesson, we have learnt it is that in this disrupted era, collaborations are the way to go!

The learning continues!

Our journey continues with ‘Saturdays are for Learning with Luminary’. Packed with guests from all over the world, it is becoming a ‘virtual platform’ for collaborating on varied topics of relevance for corporates: and also, professionals who want to improve their skills and competencies.

NEVER let a crisis go to waste

What we learnt was that it is up to us to either be despondent – or to rise to the occasion, think anew, and reimagine ourselves. We certainly understand that the pandemic will affect different groups of people differently: but, we also realised that there is always something we can do. There is always something we can learn. There is always someone we can learn from.

In an uncertain world, we know that this will not be the first – nor the last ‘shock’ we will need to endure. However, if what we have learnt is anything to go by, we think we will stare at it boldly and say ‘bring it on’: knowing that we now have friends and luminaries from all over the world to support.

Ref: http://femasiamagazine.com/crisis-an-idea-and-a-community-forward/

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