Written by Brad Smith 

As our industry begins to slowly stitch itself back together after being left a little torn and bruised in the wake of a certain pandemic, it is a very different world.

Praise must be given to Queensland hospitality businesses and workers for a triumphant effort in complying with constantly changing rules and regulations. From hotels accommodating quarantine travellers, to the nightclubs with empty dancefloors, keep up the good work as there does seem to be light at the end of the tunnel, and it’s getting a little brighter each day.

The virtual world is growing with online shopping up 20%, food orders and delivery from restaurants up 13% in a world where social distancing is the rule.

It was only a natural progression that we at the QHA have now heavily embraced the digital world, from the Training Department to our publications, from Zoom meetings and information sessions to ER webinars etc.

In the training sector it’s a new chapter with an influx of courses delivered by video conferencing (called ‘video connect’), which allows members and staff to remain compliant without having to travel. For regional members, it’s a blessing to not lose a couple of days on the road to a major centre to train for a day with consequent expenses in fuel, accommodation and victualling. They can now enjoy the experience from the comfort of their own office or venue, kitchen table or sofa, pergola and even sometimes, bed.

This is also true for QHA industry trainers who, when not delivering training in regional areas, are now working from their new video connect studio at the Edward St training centre and reaching out to ‘hospo’ people thousands of kilometres away. The QHA was fortunate enough to be already delivering RMLV and Gaming Nominee training by video conference. We started investigating this late last year and, in conjunction with our new aXcelerate Learning Management System, kicked it off seriously at the beginning of 2020.

Delivering these video connect courses can be quite interesting. Personally, it is a joy to meet all the extra special critters in everyone’s life e.g. fur, scales and feathers, it’s all included ‘live’ on camera. Also, a shout out to the resident IT experts – partners, housemates and children who jump in to help get that damned Zoom up and running properly.

With all the positives, there is still a strong belief that classroom-based training is still the optimal delivery method allowing participants to interact freely with the trainer and each other without the two-dimensional barrier of a screen. There are also the usual issues that go with internet-based training, such as insufficient bandwidth and connectivity, dated or incompatible IT equipment, and for some people it’s just a new learning curve that takes adjusting to. We usually sort all that out at the start.

We are still conducting our regular RMLV training in regional centres (always subject to sufficient numbers) and we can also come to you with the in-house training option – minimum numbers apply.