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When onsite training makes economic sense
By John Ferrare, Enerdynamics' CEO
At the public seminars we host across the country, I often meet groups of attendees from the same company who are taking advantage of our buy-three-get-the-fourth-free policy. It’s not unusual to see the same company send employees to the same seminars located in different cities. I’m especially pleased to see this as it usually means that employees attending one of our seminars are returning to work and recommending it to their colleagues. It’s great for our public seminar business – but is this the best use of an organization’s training dollars?
I often advise clients who have 8-10 employees interested in a course that it is more economical to bring the seminar onsite. Doing so has many advantages:
- Saves employee travel time
- Saves employee travel expenses
- Allows content to be customized to fit a company’s specific training needs
- Gets people from the same organization together, which facilitates networking and sharing of ideas
- Trains more employees for less cost per employee
But here’s some interesting math. Let’s say you are sending four employees to our Electric Business Understanding (EBU) seminar in Chicago this fall. Below is a ballpark estimation of what that might cost your company:
- Seminar fee for four employees: 3 x $1190 = $3,570 (remember that the fourth attendee is free)
- Airfare and transportation to/from airport: 4 x $700 = $2,800 (of course this depends on airline and location, but fares have increased significantly in the past year)
- Two nights’ hotel for four employees: 4 x $450 = $1,800
- Miscellaneous expenses including food for four employees: 4 x $150 = $600
- The grand total is $8,770
This figure doesn’t include the cost in unproductive time for four employees to fly from your site to Chicago and back. (And let’s not forget the personal cost of the obligatory retail excursion down Michigan Avenue!)
So here’s where an onsite seminar really pays off. To send just four employees to Chicago, your cost is already more than 50% of what it would cost to bring the same seminar onsite for up to 30 employees! Send a group of four twice and you are well beyond the cost of bringing the same seminar to your company site – with the option of including 22 additional employees. If you calculate the per-employee cost of these two options, you can see that the onsite option is tremendously more cost-effective:
- Approximate cost per employee to attend EBU in Chicago: $2,200
- Approximate cost per employee to bring EBU onsite for 30 employees: $450
And you get the added benefits of onsite training listed above.
One last note about onsite training: First-time clients often voice concerns about filling a class. If you are offering one of our basic gas or electric business understanding sessions, or even one of our market dynamics sessions, my experience has shown me this: The only companies who do not fill these classes are those that are very small organizations and those that do not market the seminar in such a way that employees understand what’s being offered. Countless times I’ve seen a new client fill one of these classes (often with a waiting list) just by making it available to those who could benefit from it.
If you’d like to explore the costs and benefits of onsite training including the results other companies like yours have seen, please call me at 866-765-5432 (extension 700) or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.