Workshop Butler started several years ago as an internal project of  Management 3.0 team to help it managing facilitators and workshops on a  bigger scale than the then-current tool could allow. Through the years,  it proved to be a reliable service helping other certification bodies  like Lean Change Management to start and grow without worrying much  about technical infrastructure.

As I kept working on the product (it called Teller that time), I  realised it has a much bigger potential. After numerous interviews with  training businesses I was convinced we were on the right track, the  success was waiting for us just around the corner, so Workshop Butler as  a separate business was born. Well, the path has happened to be longer  than expected…

There are several options what a training business can do. Some of  them organise and run workshops, coach people and companies. Others  create new ideas, develop learning materials and find passionate  trainers to teach students. No matter what path they follow, they are  many things to do which are less fulfilling and creative. You need to  update the list of upcoming workshops and trainers. You must process  registrations and handle invoices. You have to give students additional  information about the events and track licensing requests. The administrative side is mundane, time-consuming and yet essential for any successful training organisation.

As a result, Workshop Butler always had a clear purpose

free training businesses from administrative routine.

Every time I hear from a trainer or a training company that the  product helped them saving this amount of hours or bringing them that  number of thousands of euros, I’m thrilled. It’s what we’re doing it  for, after all.

However, there is one key element that was missing from the very beginning - a big vision.

How do I see a bright future? What will Workshop Butler bring to a  training market that is considerably better than many existing tools  and services?

After all, workshops are not going anywhere in the next 10-15 years.  In opposite, their number will increase as the best way to learn new  skills and exchange experience with colleagues is through games and  interactive exercises, the essence of any good workshop.

After two years and many mistakes, I also learned that a vision must be BIG and BOLD.  Otherwise, it is useless when you bump into the next serious obstacle  challenging you to change a direction or even give up. Luckily, I have  one though I have never talked about it publicly because of the fear of  being ridiculed.

It crystallised a while ago when I finally realised how  interconnected a training market is. Training companies hire or invite  trainers to run courses. Certification bodies and brands look for  facilitators to share their vision and teach workshop participants.  Trainers collaborate with trainers to experiment and bring more value to  attendees. Students follow a learning path consisting of workshops from  two and more brands. This interconnectedness is a source of creativity  and inspiration for all players on the market. It’s also a source of  complexity none of existing tools try to take into account.

Maybe, they are right? Perhaps, creating a product which serves only one type of training businesses is the best way to proceed?

It is one way but, according to our purpose, is not  the best one. Many administrative tasks exist because training  businesses use different non-interconnected tools which require the  duplication of data: the same workshop descriptions on various websites  to increase reach added manually; the same attendee data in different  CRMs for post-workshop reach, invoice handling and certificate  generation added manually; etc. If we want to free training businesses  from administrative routine, we need something completely different.

And this is what Workshop Butler strives to be.

I see Workshop Butler as a platform making the collaboration between  training businesses a bliss. Either it is a trainer-to-trainer  collaboration with the purpose of workshop co-promotion, expertise and  income sharing; or company-to-trainer collaboration; or certification  body-to-certification body collaboration with the goal of creating a  common learning path for students. It automates every step of the  administrative process allowing businesses to concentrate on what really  matters - giving people new knowledge that improves their lives.

Next week I’ll share what steps we plan to do in 2019 to make this vision a reality.