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Is an online workshop as effective as in-person training?

You already have good management skills. But elevating them to top management skills requires dedication and training. But in a competitive world with less time for personal development, should you choose one-to-one coaching or online workshops?

The development of new technologies and tools has seen an explosion in online learning. We look at what online coaching and one-to-one training offer so you can make an informed choice for your organisation.

What’s the difference between online workshops and in-person training?

The most obvious difference is where the learning happens.

Face-to-face (F2F) training requires employees to be physically present. It’s hands-on with an instructor, and you’ll be expected to stick to a schedule of workshops.

Online or virtual workshops can be instructor-led or self-directed. Learners complete activities at their own pace, whenever and wherever they like.

The benefits of in-person training

In-person training might seem old-fashioned. But there are good reasons why F2F learning remains a popular choice for organisations large and small.

F2F interaction

One of the main advantages of in-person training is the ability to connect with your tutor in real time. In addition, there are more opportunities for group work and interaction, making in-person training a good choice for employees who learn better with others. And the possibilities for IRL networking can’t be matched in a virtual workshop.

Hands-on experience

When it comes to developing good management skills, there’s no substitute for hands-on experience. In addition, being in a real-life group situation encourages healthy competition, discussion and collaboration. And the discipline of attending at a set time has a motivating effect, enabling learners to express their curiosity and get immediate feedback.

Same place, same pace

In-person learning keeps everyone on the same learning timeline. For example, a group of employees need the same training simultaneously. Structured in-person learning does away with the need to monitor multiple individuals to ensure they finish the course.

The benefits of online workshops

Online learning has grown exponentially over the last twenty years. And there are plenty of benefits to virtual workshops for time-poor employees.


Flexibility is the keyword when it comes to online training. 94% of modern employees choose a career for the learning and development opportunities it offers. And they want to learn when they want and where they want. Online workshops are also ideal for remote and hybrid workers, so everyone benefits. Employees are self-directed and work at their own pace to achieve their goals. And because they’re in control, employees can spend more time on the areas they don’t understand and less on areas where they’re already proficient.

Convenience and Variety

Training can take place anywhere your employees have computer access. So if they need to brush up on their top management skills, they can find an online course and start learning. And with a massive variety of resources, modules and workshops, online learning can be tailored to suit the individual. So if your employees can’t get to a workshop or seminar, online courses take the skills to them.

Cost-effective training

Unfortunately, when it comes to leadership training, not every course is created equal. And if your training budget is feeling the squeeze, cost-effective online learning can make savings without compromising on quality.

So which is best – online workshops or in-person training?

By 2026, online learning will have grown by 250%. That rapid shift says that online training is here to stay. But is it always the best choice for your business? And does traditional in-person training deliver better engagement and results?

F2F training is hands-on. Employees get immediate answers to any questions, and there are fewer distractions. But trainer-led workshops aren’t suitable for everyone – individuals have less control over their learning, and good in-person training can be expensive. In addition, attending in person might not be possible for every employee, meaning a lack of real-life accessibility can’t compete with online training.

Online training can fall short of the engagement of in-person workshops, primarily when a good instructor leads them. To compensate, online training uses a range of tools, including instant messaging, social media interaction and AR and VR. However, digital courses require discipline and focus for best results, and staying self-motivated can be challenging for some learners.

Recent research into face-to-face versus face-to-screen learning shows that your employees really want both approaches – the accessibility of online workshops with the opportunity to test their knowledge in a face-to-face situation. So a bespoke blended system that combines in-person training with online workshops can pay dividends when it comes to training top management skills.

Leading Edge Leadership: making leadership easy

At Leading Edge Leadership, we can create bespoke training courses that engage, challenge and motivate your employees. Our virtual and face-to-face training meets all your leadership training needs. So contact the Leading Edge team today to book your complimentary 90-minute virtual workshop.

If you would like to talk to us about this or any of our courses & training, you are more than welcome to get in touch.

Call us on 01727 898 332 or email us at

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