In an ordinary year, training teams from Watson Bowman Acme and Master Builders Solutions would meet up to host a large group of contractors at our annual xBU Factory Trained Applicator Program for Parking Garage Structures. But, as the global pandemic approached its 1 year anniversary, it was clear that travel and health safety restrictions would limit the contact that the team would be able to have with customers. But unprecedented times call for unique solutions. The xBU team rallied together to come up with a way to virtually train customers to become field-ready installers, while keeping the school both interesting and interactive.

Given that a typical FTA program lasts 3 full days, it was no easy feat to pare it down to a reasonable timeframe for our 70+ customers attendees to spend at their screens. But that wasn’t even the biggest challenge – keeping their interest and attention was #1 so that successful training could be insured, leading to proper jobsite installations. The team worked hard and came up with an innovative virtual program that lasted for 3 days, 4 hour each day. Live presentations were given combining the usage of PowerPoint slides, prerecorded videos, and on-camera conversations and Q&A. Multiple breakout sessions were held daily, giving the customers an opportunity to ask job-specific questions, and xBU team an opportunity to interact with customers on a personal level. Perhaps the most unique feature of this virtual program was the live-stream product installation demonstrations, brought to the audience from the Training site in Dallas. No other virtual program in the industry created as engaging and valuable a package as the MBCC Group.

Not only was customer participation during the program better than expected, but their feedback after the program was also outstanding. The program kept their attention, they felt engaged, and most importantly, they found enough value in the training to support them on the jobsite. Also a testament to the appreciation that was held for the program, not one customer contested the registration fee that was required to attend. And feedback from the training team was also excellent. Nervous as everyone was to tackle such a new endeavor with so many moving parts, the program ran very smoothly. Everyone felt proud of the work they did, and fortunate to have been part of such a groundbreaking event. The event has already increased our xBU project pipeline in Parking because attendees are either flipping their loyalty to MBCC or are utilizing their newly gained knowledge to install deck membrane systems or expansion joints on projects they previously didn’t.

In addition to the value everyone got out of the 3 day event, the entire program was recorded and will be used in various training formats for years to come. While we certainly were pleased with the way this event turned out, we all look forward to the day where we can be face to face with our customers again. But in the meantime, in the spirit of what makes us an industry-leading team, we were faced with a challenge, took it head on, and came up with an inspiring solution.