I just got back from a day coaching people in getting set up and making use of LinkedIn, which is part of the Pathfinders community project.
This was our trial run, with a relatively small number of attendees, but it was really trying to see what worked and what didn’t. What was really great was the location: we were at ECPI in Raleigh, NC. The entire top floor was empty of their regular students and we made use of 3 classrooms, each with 20 or more computers in them, so our training was not just a PowerPoint presentation, but active training and coaching, with students setting up and completing their own profiles and trying out the searches and research live.
I was one of the coaches, assigned to help mostly the ‘Next Steps’ or intermediate level session, but it quickly became apparent that the intermediate people needed less help and it was the beginners that needed more coaching. Of course, we had anticipated someone new needing help, there were several coaches in there, but a couple more really made a difference in the fuller session we had. It kept us running on schedule anyway.
Perhaps it was because of where we got the people to help us test drive the training (mostly from the local networking groups) but a lot of people went straight to Advanced training. That was fueled also by people wanting to do the whole course in a day. So those courses were busiest in the afternoon session. That one was more interactive, with the presentation often switched out to the live LinkedIn page to demonstrate how to research a given company.
We expect that there will be more people new to LinkedIn when we do our full session in two weeks (June 26th), when we cast a wider net of advertising for the event – we have a capacity of 300 or so, over 5 sessions. There was some good positive feedback and we are going to try and make the next one even better.