Will Face to Face Learning Workshops Ever Be The Same?

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Hello everyone, this is Tom Hallett from the Learn Grow Succeed Podcast.

In today’s podcast, I get out my crystal ball to answer a question many learning consultancies like ourselves are wrestling with.

The question being – will face to face learning workshops ever be the same?

The short answer is probably no, and yet they might be even better.

By the way, if you’re new here, welcome! As our regular listeners will know, you can find a transcript of this podcast on the Excel Communications website.

And a shout out to those of you who are leading remote teams. We have a new white paper you can download by going to this URL https://excel-communications.com/rwwp

Here we share the five levels of remote working and critically how to make remote working more effective in your organisation.

So, let’s go back to the question we started with and how face to face learning might look in the future.


Virtual learning has made a huge impact over the last few years as technology has improved.  Though if this medium were going to be the only method of delivery, you would have thought that the face to face experience would have ended years ago.

I mean organisations always want to reduce costs, and travel is a huge part of the training investment for some international organisations. Plus, more recently, the growing concerns about the dangers of climate change have prompted some companies to consider virtual approaches to learning.

Here at Excel, we have delivered virtual consulting and training for years, too alongside our face to face training.

Despite this, many, if not most, learning programmes still took place in a face-to-face context pre COVID.

Why is that?

Enter the complex individual known as a human being.

We are social animals, and most people enjoy working and learning alongside others. Of course, organisations themselves benefit from the networks and connections their people form when learning together too.

Here are a few things to consider.

  • Technology is phenomenal in helping the learning process and exceptional at knowledge transfer.
  • Developing soft skills and changing behaviours would appear to be more evident in a shared physical environment, where behaviours can be observed more easily.
  • Individuals are suffering from lack of contact and connection with others.
  • Finally, we are about to enter a time where organisations are in a skill deficit situation.


Its complex, isn’t it? Let’s throw something else into the mix.

Potentially, within six months a significant proportion of the population could be vaccinated and protected from the virus.

A return to normal? Maybe.

Depending on which article you read and on which day, common opinion is that ‘things’ – in other words, our normal world – will invariably return to normal. This was based on work at Harvard Business School based on 9/11 and the crash in 2008.

Though I would not want to bet on it this time as we are in a completely different landscape with A.I. driving so much of where the world is going.

Considering what I have shared, now is truly the time to embrace blended learning, something we have been using for several years at Excel.

Blended learning is a methodology that will take learning to a whole new level where face to face training events/interventions will be blended with online learning.

We have multiple resources that explain this in great detail on our website https://excel-communications.com/whitepapers/


My final prediction then is yes classroom learning will reappear, though no longer will it be a stand-alone approach. Instead, the last few months has taught all of us to look for possibilities in how we learn and develop our people.

Before I go, a quick summary.

  • Classroom learning, in theory, should have disappeared years ago. It hasn’t, and there is a reason why.
  • The tech we have now is amazing, and it can only make learning better.
  • Time to be open to possibilities and what works for the greater good of all.


For more information on developing your leadership skills, head to our blog, which contains hundreds of articles on all aspects of leadership. I’ll leave the link in the comments.

Remember you can access all of our podcasts on iTunes by hitting the subscribe button.

This is Tom from the Learn Grow Succeed Podcast saying bye for now.



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For more information on post-Covid leadership topics, head to our blog, additionally, click here to view our range of free leadership resources to help you become a better leader starting today.



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About Excel Communications      


Excel Communications is a learning and development consultancy based near London in the U.K. For more than 30 years; we have been collaborating with clients across the globe.

Partnering with Excel empowers you to evolve your people and business by fuelling a love for learning.

We work with you to create unforgettable, customised learning experiences to achieve your vision of success and growth, with tangible results.   View our case studies here. 

We have a team of expert trainers delivering programmes across five continents in multiple languages. Call us now on +44 (0) 1628 488 854.