Everything you missed at accessplanit Connect 2024

White text on a dark blue background reads 'Everything you missed at accessplanit Connect 2024'. There is an illustration of a red cartoon rocket ship in the bottom left.

We held our first-ever Connect event in Manchester on the 7th of March 2024! Our exclusive, in-person customer event was a fantastic day filled with learning, celebrating and connecting. Our speakers and attendees shared valuable insight into the training industry and accessplanit’s product and service. For some, it was the first time they had met the accessplanit team in person. For everyone, it was a valuable opportunity to network and develop. 

Missed it, or want a recap of what happened on the day? You’ve come to the right place! 

Welcome to accessplanit Connect! 

The day kicked off with breakfast and coffee. Some attendees had travelled from afar and some joined our team the night before in Manchester for drinks, so refreshments were much needed! Our furthest travelling attendee came all the way from the USA. 

Once everyone had arrived, it was time to begin the event. In true accessplanit style, this was no corporate introduction. Our comperes, Louis and Ian, donned boxing robes as they came to the stage to ‘Let’s Get Ready to Rumble’ to kickstart the energy for the day. They then revealed some dapper tuxedos underneath.  

To encourage everyone to get to know each other, Ian and Louis hosted a game of Human Bingo, taken from our blog 14 fun icebreakers for training sessions. In case you need some inspiration for your next event, here's what the bingo sheet looked like: 

Human bingo!

The winner got a prestigious certificate crowning them Bingo Champion and a bottle of fizz!

This double act was fantastic in keeping the day running smoothly and keeping everyone entertained and definitely gave Ant and Dec a run for their money (and attendees agreed as voted for in a Slido poll!).  

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Enabling Customer Success 

Our first session of the day was with Aimee Armitage, Head of Customer Operations, and Jenna Buttershaw, our Customer Education Manager. Their aim was to educate our customers about how we work to enable their success and why it is so important to us. 

As they explained, Customer Support is in the moment, for unforeseen issues that might crop up. On the other hand, Customer Success is for the future. We continuously work alongside our customers beyond implementation to ensure they are getting the most out of the platform, with regular meetings, access to educational materials and additional services

accessplanit may be a Software as a Service (SaaS) provider, but we believe in Software WITH a Service. Our Customer Operations Team ensure that we understand our customer’s business and goals and can help them to achieve them in the Optimise phase of our Proven Process. We always strive for an open and honest two-way conversation between us and our customers.

We do this by giving customers access to two Customer Success Managers (CSMs): an Optimise CSM and a Commercial CSM. Whilst your Optimise CSM is interested in finding out how you use the platform and enabling you to get the most from it, your Commercial CSM discusses your contract, whether you are finding value from it and the future direction of your business.

This talk was a testament to the importance we place on giving our customers a voice, with plenty of Slido polls for the audience to get involved with to share their thoughts. This feedback will be extremely useful for our team going forward.

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The main takeaway 

Aimee and Jenna unveiled an exciting new addition to the accessplanit platform – an in-app guide to support new users when navigating the platform. We hope that this will enable admins to better understand the platform in a shorter timeframe, reducing training needs and increasing platform usage.

We will continue to provide free, comprehensive help guides and webinars for all users to continuously improve their knowledge of the platform throughout their journey.  

Product: Vision and Strategy 

In this fascinating talk, our Managing Director and Head of Product, Dave Evans, took the stage to talk about accessplanit’s vision and strategy for the future of our product.  

He began with the story of accessplanit – we were a training company that needed to reduce the amount of paper chaos we were experiencing. So, we created our own training management software and shared this with the world. 

Dave explored how the landscape has shifted from paper chaos to software chaos, with the average company using over 60 different types of software just to run their business. accessplanit aims to reduce software chaos for training companies with plans for greater connectivity. 

The main takeaway 

accessplanit’s focus is on helping training companies to plan, manage and sell their training courses and resources. This means that we are always optimising ways for our customers to do this within the platform.

Other things can be done in the platform but aren't our main focus. They're not going anywhere, but we know that our customers use other platforms for them, like using an external online survey platform, for example. We are improving the way that these connect and work alongside accessplanit. 

We are currently developing exciting new ways for this to be possible, as well as for our customers to configure their own user experience for increased customisation.  

Product: Ways of Working 

Product Manager Eleonora Drago led this talk where she explored how we develop our product. She explained that we always have our ear to the ground, listening out for industry trends and finding out what our current and prospective customers need and want from training management software.

She explained our process of developing new features, with the product strategy and vision driving the product and close communication within the Product Development Team to figure out focus and timescales.

She then dived into what’s on the radar for the product roadmap in the near future, but was keen to emphasise that she couldn't talk about everything in detail as we'd be there all day! Attendees were excited to hear about loads of exciting features to come soon - watch this space. 

The main takeaway 

All ideas are good ideas! At accessplanit, we encourage product suggestions and input from our customers in various forms. We consider them all and have a comprehensive process where we weigh up who would benefit from the idea, if there would be any negative effects of it, the time required for the development and whether it follows our product vision. It could be a ‘no’ for now, but we may consider it in the future. We are always listening!

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Fine Tuning Your Platform: Shortcuts and Settings 

This workshop with our Customer Education Manager, Jenna Buttershaw, was all about exploring shortcuts within the accessplanit platform that can make our customers’ lives easier. This included: 

  • Viewing a delegates’ transfer history 
  • Viewing and managing invoiced delegates 
  • Badges functionality 

And much more. 

There was loads of note-taking and snapping of photos during this helpful session. Jenna demonstrated time-saving tips, tricks and techniques that she highlighted as underutilised by our customer base and explained their use cases. Don't worry if you've forgotten any of it as Jenna has made an on-demand version for you to revisit at your leisure:

 

The main takeaway 

There are so many useful features within the accessplanit platform that you may not know about or might have forgotten; be sure to engage with our customer education resources to ensure you are getting the most from your platform! 

Customer Panel

Before the second half of the day kicked off after a delicious lunch, we had a sneak preview of the 2024 Training Industry Benchmark Report from compere and Head of New Business, Louis. The full report will be released soon (you can read the 2023 report here), but for now, it provided some very interesting talking points for our next segment. 

It was time for our customer panel, hosted by our three CSMs, Jack, Helen and Lauren. They were joined on stage by:  

  • Phil Jefferies, Director of Sales and Marketing at 20/20 Project Management Training 
  • Michelle McKenzie Smith, ECHO Programme Manager at St. Luke’s Hospice 
  • David Hale, VP of Operations at Arbinger  
  • Gill Wright-Dixon, Data Manager at British Red Cross Training

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Coming from different sectors and parts of the world, our customer panel provided fascinating insight into the state of the training industry and how accessplanit has helped them to adapt and grow.  

They spoke about achieving buy-in from employees when utilising new software, how they foster an attitude of learning and improvement in their organisations, the debate between in-person and online training, and how new technologies, such as AI and VR, could affect the training industry.  

The main takeaway 

“We couldn’t have managed the volume that we’re dealing with using a manual process. The beauty of accessplanit is that we can expand.”

Michelle McKenzie Smith, ECHO Programme Manager | St. Luke’s Hospice 

All members of the panel emphasised that without accessplanit, they would not have been able to manage their business effectively. They highlighted automation and having one central system as game changers for their respective companies which has allowed them to grow and be prepared for the future.

The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team 

The final talk of the day was led by our Head of People, Megan Hanson, who talked through the 5 Dysfunctions of a Team, a book by Patrick Lencioni which she has helped to implement across various departments in accessplanit. It has helped us to improve our teamwork greatly, allowing us to continue to deliver an exceptional product and service to our customers.  

The theory explains 5 layers to a dysfunctional team - which you may not even realise is dysfunctional. Megan explored each dysfunction with the help of Angela and Chris who have both been through the process and explained what they specifically did to tackle the dysfunction and the effects it had in their team.  

Alongside the benefits of the process, there were tips for tackling the dysfunctions for the audience to take away.

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The main takeaway 

Teams need to be open and honest with each other if they are to work cooperatively, and the basis of this is trust. The 5 Dysfunctions exercise is not a one-size-fits-all approach, but without trust, none of the other issues in the team can be solved, so this should be the starting point. 

Happy hour!

After the talks had finished and Managing Director Dave had given his closing words, it was time for networking with complimentary drinks during happy hour! It concluded a brilliant day full of learning and connecting.  

Everyone at accessplanit would like to thank all attendees for coming – it was invaluable to see you all in person and get to chat properly face to face. We loved learning about your businesses, finding out how you use the platform, and sharing ideas.  

We hope you gained something from it and enjoyed it as much as we did! 

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