'Matt has a real strength in drawing out a confidence in new and developing users'
We started working with Matt a couple of months before lockdown. We came across him almost by chance – we were running a day conference and decided at the last minute that it would be good to record it. We’d never done anything like that before and didn’t really know where to start, but from the beginning Matt really impressed us with his combination of confident professionalism and easy, friendly manner. We talked about all our needs and hopes in advance, and Matt was really responsive to what we wanted, while at the same time opening up to us things we’d not realised were possible. On the day, he was very easy to work with. There was no fuss – he just arrived and got on with it and mucked in with the spirit of what we were doing. It was just like having another member of the team.
When the first lockdown started, we weren’t sure how we could continue our work as an organisation. We had a vague idea that we might be able to offer training through webinars, but we didn’t really know what a webinar was! It seems ridiculous now, but then it was a whole new world and we didn’t know how to start. We got in touch with Matt to see if he knew anything about this ‘Zoom’ malarky and, of course, he was brilliant - again. Since last March, he has provided all the technical support that has enabled our webinars to happen. One speaker? No problem. Four speakers, each with different slides and wanting bits of YouTube? No problem. Again, the service has been bespoke, professional, friendly and constant. We now have a whole catalogue of content and a YouTube channel on which to store it – all thanks to Matt’s initiative, responsiveness and guidance.
So when other people have asked, ‘Who could we get to help us with this comms role?’, of course I have suggested Matt. And sometimes, when working with us as speakers or participants, people have asked, ‘Who’s that who does your tech? He’s good! How can I book him?’ These are people often quite senior in their roles but for whom technology is not a ‘first-language’. Matt has a real strength in drawing out a confidence in new and developing users. He encourages with a gentle, good humoured respect. For me, he has been a person who enables my events to function; for others he has trained teams up so that they can manage their own events confidently and dynamically. I am still in ‘give a man a fish’ territory, but Matt’s work with others has been more about ‘teaching them to fish, giving them the understanding and skills so that they can have digital food for life.
Written by Barbara Easton, Head of Service, Methodist Academies and Schools Trust
And if you would like support in your online events, drop Matt an email.