How to Tackle Virtual Events and Deliver for Your Customers
Tuesday, September 15, 2020
Posted by: Abbey Kwiat
In a year of constant change, CSC Corptax, the leading corporate income tax solution provider, successfully met the challenge of delivering customer product training without connecting in person. To remedy the restrictions of the global pandemic, CSC Corptax employees created a distance-learning program to replace the in-person training customers relied on for years.
The “Corptax Compliance Series” wasn’t an ordinary training program. It was a two-day virtual event, featuring 17 distinct one-hour training sessions. The company’s first-ever attempt at a large-scale, multi-session virtual training event attracted more than 3,400 attendees. The successful program was planned and executed in just two weeks. How did all this come together?
“We pulled together as a team to help prepare our customers for the upcoming compliance season. It entailed a subset of our virtual training, along with a roadmap to support our customers while they worked remotely,” said Angela Warren, senior technical trainer with CSC Corptax.
The entire education services team contributed to the project. “It wasn’t just the training coordinators and the trainers; it included the technical writers and multimedia specialists as well,” says Christina Hulett, senior training coordinator. “We also worked with staff on the support, professional services, and marketing teams to ensure the series flowed. The executive team were major advocates as well.”
“The summer is an important training time for tax professionals because they file their tax returns later in the year,” says Christina. “Typically, we host many in-person training sessions to complement our regular online training, but that wasn’t possible due to the pandemic.”
Having everyone focus on the same goal was the key to success. “Our teams realized we couldn't have in-person engagements,” stated Christina. “We were all on the same page and understood we needed to deliver training as soon as possible.” From production to presentation, team members also took on roles outside their normal work scope to create the series.
With expectations for the program set high internally, the results spoke for themselves. “To average more than 200 people per live session was amazing,” says Jamey Heim, manager of CSC Corptax education services. “At times we had three concurrent sessions, reaching more than 600 people simultaneously.” The team discovered that virtual events breakdown attendance barriers associated with in-person events, such as travel, lodging, and cost. The virtual event platform also enabled the CSC Corptax team to track thousands of data points, allowing them to respond to customers more proactively and gain insight for upcoming virtual events. It’s an experiment worth repeating.
“Teamwork was key to all of this,” said Angela. “We had people with great attitudes who were willing to make this happen, so it didn’t even feel like work. At times, you miss the camaraderie working virtually. Even though we weren’t physically there together as a team, I felt the commitment and that made a big difference.”
Customers are relying on a company’s ability to understand their situation and adapt to the current environment. As we’re likely to see virtual events be the norm for quite a while, it’s important to have an effective strategy in place. From road mapping and planning, to creation and execution, CSC Corptax learned it takes a coordinated team with a common goal to make it a success.