Images talks to Wilcom reseller and trainer Dean Roscoe about Wilcom Tutorials, a new, comprehensive online video course he has developed for users of Wilcom EmbroideryStudio e4
“I’ve thought for a long time about creating a video course,” explains Wilcom authorised trainer Dean Roscoe. “When Wilcom EmbroideryStudio e4 came out it was a big change from the previous version. I wanted to create a course that would appeal to both newcomers to the industry and those upgrading from e3.”
Dean is based in the south-west of England and is one of a few Wilcom authorised trainers in the UK. His knowledge of the Wilcom software is vast: not only did he beta test the e4 version, he has been involved with the design of various features and put forward ideas that were then included in the software.
As well as being a reseller and authorised trainer for Wilcom, Dean has run his own embroidery business. He explains that this is a big plus in terms of the training he offers. “I know how it’s applied in real life. I can advise users what settings to use on different fabrics, how they interact and stretch, how to best digitise designs for certain garments.”
The hands-on training is an aspect of his job that Dean really enjoys; however, the costs to the customer soon add up – £450 for a day’s training plus travel expenses, accommodation etc – and there is a limit to how much information people can reasonably be expected to take in and retain during one day’s training, he explains.
“When you’re teaching a group of people at one company, you have to weigh up how much each person can take in and set the correct pace. By the end of the day, some will have got it, but a couple may still need more help with certain aspects. A two-day training course is often better, but finding the time and the budget can be a problem for companies.”
This is where Wilcom Tutorials scores: for a set fee of $199 (approximately £150), users gain six months’ access to a series of concise videos devised, scripted and created by Dean. “It allows people to dip in and dip out when they like,” he explains. “The videos are all very short, around two or three minutes each: they are edited to ensure they are as short as possible with all the information they need.”
He emphasises that Wilcom Tutorials is a structured course, kicking off with installation, moving on through the initial set-up, essential settings, commonly used tools and lettering to digitising (both manual and automatic).
The appeal of the course is that users can learn at their own pace, and rewatch the videos if they don’t grasp all the points the first time round. There are currently over 30 videos available to subscribers, with new ones regularly added. Dean is also planning to record videos that cover more advanced features such as Elements, which are the Wilcom add-ons that include Shading & Open Fills, and Photo Flash.
Despite only starting to market the course at the beginning of the year, he’s already had plenty of positive feedback, such as this comment by Irene Aksilenko: “I am a total beginner and this course is the best I have found on the internet. Very well-structured and thought through before being taped; clear definitions and explanations, to the point, goes through every essential detail; perfect tempo of speech and very nice clear and calm voice. I am very visual and seeing movements of the cursor is of very big importance and tremendous help in understanding how the tools behave and work. I know I will be returning to this course again and again when the need arises.”
It’s especially valuable for companies, he reports. “Businesses probably outsource a lot of their digitising, but if they have access to my course, then if an employee has some quiet time they can sit down and watch the lettering chapter, for example, which gives them another skill and benefits the company as well. You’re not asking a few employees to take part in a day’s training rather than working, instead they can do it when it suits them and at their pace.”
The videos are also mobile responsive. “It was very important to me that they were mobile responsive so subscribers can watch them anywhere, whether on a train or a sunbed.”
An additional benefit for subscribers is access to a private Facebook group where they can ask Dean questions, as well as discuss issues between themselves. Wilcom is a complex, powerful software suite with a huge number of features to master. What Dean is offering is comprehensive teaching from a real expert, in a format that allows the student to be in control of their learning, at a time, place and pace that suits them.