HERE’S WHAT YOU HAD TO SAY ABOUT THE Q3 QUARTERLY eWORKSHOPS
by Les Mills Asia Pacific
For the first time in the 50+ years that Les Mills has been offering turnkey group fitness solutions to Clubs, Q3 Quarterly Workshops were delivered online via live-stream from Canberra in Australia, with Instructors attending remotely from all over the Asia Pacific region.
“Adversity can have silver linings,” Ryan Hogan, CEO of Les Mills Asia Pacific said. “For example, we’d usually be unable to deliver a Quarterly Workshop in some of the areas within our region – Bali, for example. But due to the virtual nature of these eWorkshops, they were attended by a passionate cohort of Bali-based Instructors! And that’s just one example of many. So it’s fair to say that the pandemic has certainly accelerated our embrace of live-streaming and virtual options, in terms of how we can best service our Instructors and Club Partners during this time. And with the Quarterly Workshops being a cornerstone of our business model, we were very happy that this initiative was received so well by so many throughout our region.”
Following are some of the comments we received in response to the eWorkshop experience of Instructors who attended:
Three out of four Instructors rated their eWorkshop experience as positive and a great proportion were appreciative of the convenience this format offered. This was reflected in comments such as:
|“No need to travel and spend money is a big factor, as we’ve been hit with hard times and fitness centres have been closed down and incomes have decreased.”|
|“I live regionally so normally have to leave a day before and stay in the city for two nights, so not having to travel 4+ hours each way to attend was great.”|
|“Although I missed the atmosphere of being in a group class, I loved not having to travel anywhere for a workshop and being able to participate in them, in my own home; especially as living in metropolitan Melbourne we’re currently in strict stage 4 COVID restrictions.”|
The live-streamed format proved a welcome change for Instructors, who provided feedback such as:
|“High quality, good sound and lighting production and the delivery was great. In this tough time we are in, what was delivered was excellent and allowed us to all still come together.”||“I just found that I enjoyed it more than actually attending a workshop. It was convenient in my own home and I could see and hear everything.”|
|“The presenters’ energy, and getting to enjoy classes that I’ve been too afraid to try so have never participated in before, such as LES MILLS SPRINT, which I loved!”||“I got what I needed out of the workshops, sometimes attending them in person can feel a bit intimidating and overwhelming.”|
|“The ability to still access this despite being in lockdown meant I could still feel connected to the company, the programs I teach, and part of the workshop itself.”||“It was just click and go – so easy for someone like me who struggled with technology.”|
|“The united feeling – I felt IT! I tried other programs and fell in love!”||“The flexible timetable spread over Friday evening and both Saturday and Sunday made it easy for me to participate around my normal life.”|
Of course, a live-streamed format also presented challenges for some Instructors, as reflected in comments such as these:
|“Being coached always holds participants accountable. Knowing you aren’t being seen is an opt-out for those who choose to take it easy.”|
|“Not the same vibe as face-to-face”.|
|“I recognise the need for online workshops in the current pandemic but the buzz of workshops is as much about connecting with fellow instructors as doing the new Release. I appreciate the work of the Les Mills Asia Pacific crew to still bring us workshops, but it’s not the same.”|
“Overall, the feedback from Instructors who attended was extremely positive,” summarised Ryan Hogan Chief Executive Officer of Les Mills Asia Pacific. “As always, we invited constructive criticism – particularly for never-done-before ventures such as this – so we look forward to taking the viable suggestions on board and addressing any issues or concerns raised.”
Some of the questions asked by Instructors included:
Q. Why couldn’t LMAP stream the eWorkshops via Facebook or YouTube?
A. This is due to the music licensing restrictions that are in place when it comes to broadcasting on social media.
Q. Why did you use Vimeo as your live-streaming platform?
A. To ensure a premium experience was created, LMAP invested in a creative team of AV and video production professionals who specialise in fitness events. We were advised that the Vimeo platform offers the highest quality live-stream, with capabilities to accommodate the thousands of Instructors attending. This is why we opted to use this platform in this instance. We have noted from your feedback, that those with an unstable internet connection did not receive the premium experience Vimeo offers, so we will be taking this into consideration in planning future eWorkshops. You’ve also told us that you’d like to have more opportunities to interact with Presenters and each other, so this is also something we'll be looking to integrate this into future events.
Q. Why did some education sessions overlap on the schedule?
A. The Education sessions were recorded to enable you to re-watch them at your convenience; however, the schedule was designed to encourage you to experience Masterclass and then immediately follow up that class with the Education session. We understand from the feedback received, that this may not be a preferred method of learning. As such, we are reviewing the existing format of Education Sessions, so you’ll soon receive an email inviting your feedback.
Q. How did you decide on the timing of the schedule?
A. There will always be challenges when it comes to scheduling an event that involves Instructors from multiple countries across numerous time zones. Taking all these time zones into account (of which there are numerous), the most accessible timing was identified as being a start time of 4.45pm AEST on the Friday and 10am AEST on the Saturday and Sunday. We welcome feedback on preferred timings and will continue to refine our schedules accordingly.
Q. Why wasn’t an audience included at the live-streaming studio?
A. Since this was the first ever live-streamed workshop of its kind, we wanted to ensure as few potential disruptions as possible - meaning, we wanted to ensure our Presenters were able to teach to the camera and direct their full attention on YOU at home, rather than on an audience. Additionally, the ever-changing COVID restrictions could also have wreaked havoc with what we could or could not permit our audience to do on the day, had people been present on site.
Q. Why weren’t multiple sessions of programs offered?
A. Given this was LMAP’s first ever event of its type, we wanted to ensure the program was time-efficient and therefore maintained to one weekend only.
Q. Why weren’t there International Presenters involved?
A. Unfortunately, due to the travel restrictions that were in place in Australia due COVID-19, International Presenters were unable to travel to our live-streaming studio to take part in this particular eWorkshop. With the LMAP headquarters based in Canberra (Australia), and most of the behind-the-scenes planning being carried out by staff based in our head office, it made sense to live-stream from a Canberra-based studio location. Thankfully, we had an incredibly passionate and talented team of Presenters available, who are local to Canberra or who were permitted to travel from Sydney (which does not have border restrictions to Canberra).
Here at Les Mills Asia Pacific, we’ve been constantly innovating since COVID first closed the fitness industry in March; and with markets such as Victoria (Australia), Indonesia, the Philippines and Myanmar continuing to experience significant levels of operational uncertainty, we are proudly committed to remaining nimble.
“We are grateful to our Instructor team around the region for joining us in these history-making events, and we are excited by what we have in store for the next quarter,” said Ryan. “Producing and delivering our first ever eWorkshops has been a great lesson for us. We are now preparing for Q4 Workshops and will be announcing the plans for these very soon.”
SAVE THE DATE!
Q4 Quarterly Workshops are being held 28th & 29th November. To be among the first to receive this and other Les Mills Asia Pacific news, make sure your contact details are up-to-date and you’ve selected “Receive promotional materials” in your online Instructor Portal.