Virtual Event

MTA Category Showcase

A seamless virtual pivot helped MTA boost its sales prowess.

When you have a range spanning more than 20,000 products, it’s essential to find effective ways to keep customers—and your sales team—aware of what’s available.

Modern Teaching Aids (MTA) boasts Australia’s largest selection of teaching resources and education supplies. MTA is the go-to for educators purchasing digital technologies, STEM and STEAM resources, science equipment, stationery, books, arts and craft supplies, sporting gear, toys, and more.

The company delivers both face-to-face and online professional learning events across the country each year to build community and inform educators about its products and how to use them in a classroom setting.

Keeping MTA’s sales teams up-to-date is equally important. Previously, the company had hosted an in-person ‘Category Showcase’ event for employees, but given the tumultuous conditions of 2020, it decided to move the gathering to a virtual format in 2021.

Making the transition to virtual: ready to roll in just six weeks

MTA had committed to host product sessions for its sales teams in mid-January 2021. When the decision was made to move the Category Showcase online, the company was left with just six weeks to deliver its first virtual showcase.

Because MTA was able to leverage the Jomablue Community platform, and the expertise of Jomablue’s team during the event’s design phase, the transition happened without a hitch.

MTA General Manager – Marketing, Sarah Deere-Jones, said: “Given the time constraints we decided to keep production simple and focus our time on ensuring we delivered everything really well.”

Jomablue’s user-friendly features gave MTA a feeling of control during a challenging time, while being completely supported. For instance, the team was able to upload and edit content internally so they could remain agile and adapt to changes in the lead-up to the event.

The result was the delivery of a polished virtual experience, comprising 25 back-to-back sessions.

MTA used Jomablue Community to quickly create a virtual event featuring:

  • Live streaming and video-on-demand: Employees could tune-in live on event day or view and revisit content at their leisure. A clever and detailed pre-recorded video embedded on the welcome page helped audiences to quickly grasp how to use the virtual event technology and how sessions would run.
  • Opportunities for audience interaction: By embedding Live Chat in Jomablue Community, MTA encouraged group discussions and feedback via its event lobby page. The Q&A feature was included in session pages to foster interactions between presenters and attendees.
  • Customized and editable content: MTA wanted to communicate answers to frequently asked questions within the virtual event space, and was able to easily customize a page for this purpose and keep it up-to-date with new responses as needed.

The flexibility of Jomablue’s platform also ensured MTA could incorporate familiar tools.

“We wanted to integrate one of our new online learning tools – Situ 360 – as we knew this would create an immersive experience for our team and it could then be used beyond the event by the sales teams with our customers. The Jomablue platform acted as a centralized point to integrate this experience with other activities,” Deere-Jones said.

She said MTA was pleasantly surprised by how engaging the virtual experiences were.

“Our sales team thought they would just be watching a screen and it would not be interactive. Our event reporting showed us that we exceeded expectations in that regard.”

Beyond event day: online content becomes a valuable HR resource

MTA has taken advantage of having rich product content available online to bolster the training and onboarding of its internal sales teams.

“We have 20,000 products and getting anyone to absorb that in a 5-day training workshop is almost impossible. This is a great support tool for that,” Deere-Jones said.

The on-demand event sessions enable both new starters and long-term employees at MTA to absorb valuable product information in a compelling format. Sales staff can control where and when they watch the content, supporting self-paced learning.

Sharing vital product information: key to sales success

MTA’s extensive range and depth of product knowledge is the backbone of its success.

By leveraging Jomablue Community to deliver an exciting virtual showcase—and make its event content highly accessible online—MTA has bolstered the capacity of its sales function and its ability to bring new team members up to speed fast. That, in turn, lays the foundation for happier customers, increased revenue, and stronger brand loyalty.