Field trips, also named after “Learning Expeditions” (LEX) in the corporate world are “journeys by a group of people to a place away from their normal environment”
They are mainly organized to observe places, practices, culture, organizations or people in their natural environments.
They aim at breaking the usual routine by immersing people out of their comfort zone.
Fields trips are usually a combination of visits, conferences, workshops, practice, meetings with experts, start-ups, investors or even competitors.
They can happen on the other side of the globe (Shanghai, Nigeria, Silicon Valley, Tel-Aviv, etc.) or right next door (co-working spaces, retail shop visits, or factory discoveries, etc.)
Why are they extremely valuable for your organization?
Taking your employees on learning expeditions intensely mobilizes their 5 senses like no other learning methods. They are able to:
– Spend time outside the office
“We just need to get out of the office periodically, because we all get stale” says Alan Gregerman, author of The Necessity of Strangers.
By stepping back from usual workplace routines, employees broaden their horizons to think “outside the box”. They gain a new capacity to contextualize problems and optimizes their existing strategies.
– Bring the “outside in” to innovate together
Exposing your business to different places and people are great ways to facilitate new ideas. During field trips, C-levels, high potential managers, executives and young talents can be inspired by existing practices and work together to solve a business issue thanks to collective intelligence. Personal insights bring contributions to group innovation and finally strategic alignement.
– Connect with the reality of the field
Field trips are also a great way to discover what’s really happening on the field, when people are too far from it in their daily job. You relate to someone’s job you don’t know well, or better understand a totally different context, even feel close to a customer.
– Feel extremely engaged
People involved in a learning expedition usually feel energized after it. It is perceived as an investment on their career and it increases their level of engagement. Offering such growth perspectives is also seen as a great employer branding asset to attract new talents.
Some companies also organize field visits to engage customers and show them the “backstages” and build stronger customer loyalty to the brand.
– Strengthen team bounds
One of the best benefits of a field trip is to build a network and create more meaningful and deeper relationships within the group. The power of field trips does not rely solely on conferences and workshops, but also on what’s happening in the “off” moments: drinks, travel, restaurants, etc.
The main issue with field trips: Scalability!
If Learning Expeditions are so great, why aren’t they more common? Well, mainly for 2 reasons: cost and logistics.
Field trip costs an average of $1380 per day/participant* (including preparation, facilitation and T&A costs) while organizations spend on average $1,208 per employee on training and development**. This is a significant cost if the learning expedition lasts more than a day and considering this is most likely not the only learning tools that the company pays for the learner during the year.
This is why field trips are often dedicated to a small audience, often similar groups (EXCO members, team with budgets, Executives), and they are not accessible to everyone in the company.
Plus, they are very time consuming to organize and have to be planned months in advance if they are not already integrated into employee training or the onboarding process.
Keep organizing field trips, and use Virtual Reality to record this value and scale it to the rest of your organization
Shooting scenes in 360° allows organizations to capture moments in the most realistic way. Transforming this content into an interactive Virtual Reality project has several benefits:
- a real restitution and knowledge-transfer experience to the rest of the organization
- a “field experience” that breaks the day-to-day office routine
- a stronger engagement towards decisions taken after the learning expedition due to better understanding of the context
Next time you go on a field trip, bring a 360° camera with you and transform your 360° pictures and videos into an Immersive field trip!
From these 360° photos and video, create a VR experience of your field trips in in only 4 steps:
- Upload your 360° pictures and/or videos, audio recordings, 2D images, and 3D objects to Uptale Studio
- Add Magic by choosing from the 40+ types of interactions to gamify and create an interactive experience to yield stronger comprehension skills
- Share your experiences on the web and on any device (VR headsets or not) depending on whether you want to watch your experiences at home, from your website, during an event or in a training room
- Track you audience engagements and feedbacks through numerous analytics, stats, numbers, results, scores … and more data!
See it in action: We’ve built our own Immersive field trip for our team!
We (David and Aurélie, co-founders of Uptale) traveled across the world to partake in a learning expedition organized by Frenchtech Hub, BPI France and Cap Digital. As we are aware of the prominent benefits learning expeditions have on a company, we created an immersive experience for our fellow co-workers to enjoy and learn from their desks.
The experience takes you through the different meetings we attended, unmissable sights, and even lets you record your own pitch for practice!
By creating an immersive experience, were able to share the knowledge we gained from the learning expedition in an interactive way for our coworkers to enjoy.
These 360°/VR experiences will not entirely replace the human warmth of being present on the field trips…but you can live it from your office and make your field visit scalable to a much larger audience with a strong sense of presence and reality.
Immersive content platforms are a great educational tool to share the field visits with other employees and debunk the complications of scalability through the copious forms of distribution (via links, LMS, QR codes, and tons more). Sharing and editing the recorded content on the excursion allows for companies to minimize the costs of experiencing a visit directly and saving time by highlighting the most essential key insights.
*Internal study conducted by from Jan-Jun 18 — Uptale
** Association for Talent Development’s 2014 State of the Industry Report