Critical digital training sessions offered online free of charge to help all Cornish businesses prepare for a time after COVID-19

A key Cornish programme, the wAVE Project, has announced that its set of immersive tech workshops will now take place online. The upcoming sessions will also all have a key focus on how immersive technology can help Cornish businesses through these difficult times and prepare for working life and business success after COVID-19.

These learning options have been opened up via the Coastal Communities Fund gained by the wAVE project, led by Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), Cornwall Museums Partnership and Falmouth University.

The movement of the scheduled workshops to online platforms will allow even more participants the opportunity to access unique learnings about how immersive tech can help Cornish businesses develop in new directions. The digital workshops will be offered free of charge across the next few months to businesses of all sizes, types and sectors, ensuring that the Coronavirus situation does not disrupt this vital free learning opportunity.

Virtual Reality (VR), immersive marketing and 360 video developments are the latest must-have marketing tools to help businesses thrive in increasingly competitive markets. With this technology, products become accessible from anywhere in the world, creating new opportunities to generate profit at a much wider scale and also providing security in unprecedented times.

The first workshop will take place on the 22nd of April and will focus on how to build a chatbot and on how bots can be used for community and business resilience in response to the impact of COVID-19 for SMEs. The session will be led by Wo King, CEO of Hi9, a Penzance-based company that creates voice user interfaces (VUI).

Wo will show people how they can use chatbots to respond to queries whilst businesses are shut, allowing for an easier period of transition. People who join the online session will gain practical value from it by having a tangible takeaway of a working chatbot which they can utilise immediately to support their business. The training will ensure people are able to build a basic chatbot, whilst also giving them the skills to continue its development going into the future.

The second session is due to take place on the 5th of May and will show businesses how to use real-time VR as a business tool for training, developing products and effective marketing as well as telling unique stories to a new audience online. The session will be led by Katie Goode from Triangular Pixels, an award-winning Cornish games development company based in Bude.

The third and final session will take place on the 8th of June and will be led by Soundview Media, experts in high quality video production. Managing Director, Gareth Allen, and Director of Post Production, Chris Dewar, will share their expertise on why 360-degree video is a must-have to increase the accessibility of each business or visiting attraction.

With the chatbot session in mind, Wo King said: “This is a tough time for most industries but I am thrilled to have the opportunity to share my knowledge on how businesses can optimise their options as part of the wAVE project and the Coastal Communities Fund. Every business that participates in the free online seminar will be able to build a basic chatbot that can be developed further in the future. The value Cornish businesses will receive from this session will be of benefit in these times of uncertainties and help prepare for when we return to normal. I’m looking forward to ‘meeting’ all businesses in an online workshop on the 22nd of April.”

Amy Shakespeare, wAVE Community Project Manager at Cornwall Museums Partnership, said: “We are currently living through an unprecedented time in several industries across the board, which is why we are glad to be able to offer an online alternative to our Immersive Tech Introductions that specifically focuses on a time after COVID-19. Our hope is that by innovating and taking the workshops online, even more businesses can get involved despite the lockdown.”

Amy continued, “I think we can all say that it’s a fast-paced world we are living in and it is vital Cornish businesses get involved and start considering how they can get ahead of the game once everything is back to normal. We’re proud to be leading the wAVE project alongside Falmouth University on behalf of the Cornwall & Isles of Scilly LEP, and we hope as many businesses as possible take advantage of this great free online opportunity.”

Businesses who are interested in taking part in the cost-free Immersive Tech Sessions via Zoom Webinar can register via Eventbrite.