Last month I had the honor of being invited to be a guest speaker and Office 365 subject matter expert at an IT Fair. A local county government’s IT department ran the fair to raise awareness of the applications that are available to end users through the county’s Office 365 subscription. It was a successful event for them because they were hoping to get 50 people to attend and 85 people came through.
The fair consisted of a set of 18 concurrent 15 minute presentations being run in adjacent rooms. The fair rain from 10am to 3pm, with a lunch break in the middle. In the conference room I was in, I gave two presentations in the morning and repeated them in the afternoon, taking user questions in between. My two presentations were Top 5 Ways SharePoint Empowers Teams and Office 365: What to Use When. There was a lot of interest in Office 365 Planner, which I demonstrated as well.
Other sessions included “Master your Inbox”, “What is Office 365”, “Set up your email on your phone”, “What is OneDrive”, “Access your OneDrive files on your iPhone”, “How to Take Awesome Meeting Notes with OneNote”, “Make Meetings Matter with Skype for Business”. and some hardware demo sessions as well as some sessions on using some internal line of business applications.
Holding an IT Fair periodically, combined with other forms of training, such as new employee training, video training on demand, lunch and learn events, and internal user group meetings can all help people in the organization be aware of and start to use the tools that they have available to them. Having executives lead by example also helps, as does having internal communications professionals working with IT to push out newsletters. Making users aware of external training opportunities such as conferences, SharePoint Saturdays, and training available at local Microsoft retail stores can also help.
If you are involved in driving adoption of Office 365, consider attending an Office 365 Adoption User Group meeting near you. If you are in the Chicago area or want to participate by phone, you can join the Chicagoland Chapter’s Office 365 Adoption User Group at http://www.meetup.com/Office-365-Adoption-User-Group-Chicagoland-Chapter/ .