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Training on a Budget
March 10, 2009 @ 08:41 AM | By Nicole Scheel


It seems that no matter who you talk to these days, the conversation turns to the poor economy. Budgets are being cut, travel is being reduced, people are getting laid off and yet the need for training and education never diminishes. As training professionals, we’re asked to keep the same volume of classes and produce high quality training, but with fewer resources. For some, this can prove to be a challenge, while others get creative in their pursuit of keeping up with the same standards.

Those same standards typically include on-site training, which can be very expensive. Let’s look at the numbers: For a one week on-site training class, typical expenses you can expect to incur, per student, include:

$700 hotel + $400 airfare + $300 food + 100 transportation = $1500 cost for 1 business trip

After $1500, you’ve got the person geared up with what you need them to know. Now, factor in your costs for supplies, room, projector rental and group activities such as dinners and drinks, etc. For a ten person, one week, on-site class you’re looking at almost $20,000. Depending on the frequency of the class, and the location, your budget dollars start to rapidly dwindle.  Keep in mind that you’ll also need to account for the time lost to travel, which most likely amounts to a full day.

Let’s take that same example and, instead of being at an on-site meeting, plug in using audio and web conferencing. Depending on your usage and the platform you prefer for your conference call and web meeting, they rate you pay for the combined services will differ. In this case, let’s use something on the higher end and say that combined you’d be spending $0.60 per minute per participant. With a few breaks and lunch, you’re probably figuring that you would be online for six hours per day.


360 minutes x 4 days = 1440 minutes of conferencing per participant
10 students x 1440 minutes of conferencing = 14,400 weekly conferencing minutes
14,400 x $0.60 = $8640 total cost of online training

That’s an overall savings of $11,360 per class! Offer that class once each  month and you save $136,320 on your yearly budget! That doesn’t even include those “extra costs” that we tend to forget about—binders, printing costs, pens, flip charts, etc.—that aren’t needed with online classes. ALL of these extras are already built into our web conferencing platforms.

As I’ve mentioned in previous blog postings, 95% of the training we do here at InterCall is online. That word online can mean different things to different people. In this case, I mean that we have a “live” class that is facilitated by an instructor using real-time audio and web conferencing.

Now I realize that I work for a conferencing company, so I’m a bit biased as to the ease of use and the ability to transform classroom led training into virtual training; however, I would encourage any of you to try it out, even if it is just for one call. To show you just how easy it is, I invite you to register for one of our FREE (another budget friendly option) training sessions.

If you have any of your own budget-friendly training tips, I’d love to hear them, so please comment below. Also if there are any questions or comments please leave them and I’ll make sure to follow up. Thanks for reading!


Nicole Scheel is the Director of Training, and the “Tips & Training Blogger”. Nicole has been in training with InterCall for nine years and currently manages our internal and customer training departments, also known as InterCall University. When she's not training someone, you can find Nicole volunteering in her community or finishing her Masters in Training & Development at Roosevelt University.

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This was a very informational article for what I'm currently going in through setting up this site http://carinsurance.term.org/ for teaching others how to save money!

joe hungle

wow, great discussion Nicole i like your post and the way you have explained is very good i like your inspiration and i admire you

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