The training side of Seneca Design & Training has been as busy as ever, even in the midst of all these projects. It's only due to the efforts of Sherri "Ms. Wonderful" Austin, Seneca's Training Coordinator, and our top-flight crew of Associate Geek trainers, that we've been able to keep up; and I've been able to complete at least some of the projects I've been talking about.
You might imagine that in this economy, bringing a trainer on-site is not the top priority, especially if you have to fly them in. (Half of our training engagements are outside of Chicago and require travel and hotel stays.)
While that kind of training is still going on, another type of training has steadily increased for us: Web-based training using our Connect classroom. (In fact, that InMath training I mentioned above was a three-hour web-based training — me in Chicago, eight students in Florida.) It's still a custom training class but there's no travel or lodging cost involved, the schedule is very flexible, and as a rule the total training cost is less.
It's extremely convenient and *almost* as good as live, since with an Internet connection and a browser you can see my screen, and I can see any student's too, if necessary. Clients send us their sample files beforehand so we can use those during the web session, just as we do when we're on-site. Everyone still gets a handout or course materials. And of course we still offer the same three years of 24/7 follow-up support for all our training students.
But making sure these online sessions are successful takes some expense and prep work. So, this summer we upgraded our Connect account to a full-bore Enterprise version to handle more students at once. (I did an InCopy/InDesign online class for 25 people in August, just in time!). I had AT&T out here to install the fastest, most stable Internet connection possible, and upgraded our router and internal Ethernet network. Most of our associate trainers have gone through our Connect training, too, so when someone needs Dreamweaver/CSS training — not my forte — we're able to accommodate.
David and I also got a Connect account for InDesignSecrets.com because we're doing one-hour public seminars — some free, some for a low fee. So far we did two in 2008 (yes, more projects), and are planning on doing many more in 2009. I'm sure Seneca will be doing much more with our Connect account (in addition to custom training) in 2009 too; and of course, DesignGeek is where I'll be posting the news.
It's better for the environment, it's better for the budget, it's actually a lot of fun … what's not to love?
If you want to learn more about our web-based training and get a rough
price quote, just e-mail Sherri at sherri [at] senecadesign [dot] com, or of
course you can always contact me directly … Sherri's the keeper of
the schedule and fees, though! We also have an announcement list for
the public online seminars Seneca will be doing, just enter your e-mail address here:
To get on the notification list for InDesignSecrets.com seminars, subscribe to our mailing list: