The training platform for professionals: Interview with Petra Seibold
Petra Seibold, Head of Training and Event Management at Weleda, is among other things responsible for the Weleda online academy. The Weleda online academy is a platform with training course offer to the Weleda products, as well as to the most important topic fields of natural beauty and health. The offer addresses itself to specialized public, primarily pharmacies and specialist dealers in addition, physicians and healers.
Ms Seibold, you have been running the Weleda online academy since 2015. What prompted you to set up an online academy?
Weleda has always been involved in training specialist groups. It is extremely important for us that they are comprehensively informed about our products, so that in turn they can advise their patients and customers in the best possible way. In addition to classroom training, we wanted to offer our target group a range of training courses that they could also take advantage of comfortably from home or on the road.
What is the format of the courses at the academy?
In addition to short learning videos, our online offering mainly consists of live webinars. This means that a speaker gives a lecture and the participants switch on live from home or on the road. For the participant the speaker and his presentation can be seen alternately. Following the live event, the webinars can also be called up on demand in the online academy. In addition, the relevant documents are available for download.
Who holds the webinars?
Our webinars are held by experts from the fields of natural cosmetics and anthroposophic medicine. Some of them are employees of our company. Most of them, however, are doctors and pharmacists who deal intensively with our products and the related topics.
What is particularly important to you at the online academy?
There are several points: First of all, it was important to us that the academy is our own platform and that everything is kept in Weleda Look and Feel and exactly tailored to our needs. In addition, we want our training courses to be an experience for the participants. We therefore rely on high-quality webinars produced in a professional studio. Our trainings live from our instructors, who all have a lot of experience and charisma. That comes across very well in this format.
What is most important to us is that, although the training takes place online, we do not have to do without interaction with our participants. Our webinars offer numerous opportunities for this.
What exactly does the interaction with the participants look like at your webinars?
On the one hand, there is the surveys feature: the speaker can switch surveys to the participants in a variety of ways. After the participants have voted live, the results are presented directly in the webinar and can be discussed. We use this, for example, to ask the participants about their experiences in certain areas. This allows the speaker to respond better to the audience in the webinar.
In addition, participants can ask questions to the speaker via a question box. These can be answered then live in the Webinar by the adviser or one of our coworkers answers directly over the question box. The questions of our participants are very important to us. Because the feedback of our customers is a central component in the continuous improvement of our products.
What do you think are the success factors for webinars?
The most important of course are the contents, which must be relevant for our target group. Here it is important to have a concept that can be found in every webinar - just like in classroom training.
In order to transport the content, it is important to have authentic speakers. That does not have to be professionals in front of the camera. It is important that they feel comfortable in front of the audience or the camera and that they can communicate their extensive specialist knowledge well.
From the technical side, we are convinced that the opportunities for interaction with the expert make our webinars particularly attractive for the participants. In addition, we rely on the highest quality image and sound.
What feedback do you get from the participants?
The feedback is very positive and motivates us anew after each webinar.
People who have already attended a classroom training session are now looking forward to seeing the speakers in front of the camera. But it also works the other way round: We regularly attract new participants who have only known us through webinars so far.
The participants also appreciate the interactive content as well as the contributions with different media, which makes it varied and entertaining. A product experience must not be missing however also with webinars, therefore each participant receives a small product sample from us, that comes also very well around the product despite the medium to be able to experience.