Image of a human genome.

Complex and scientific virtual training made easy and engaging

Case study on how The virtual training team designed and delivered a bespoke scientific virtual train the trainer programme for global life sciences company, Illumina.

  • Client:Illumina
  • Situation:As the pandemic hit, scientific experts who were used to delivering highly technical product demonstration sessions in a face-to-face environment had to convert their customer training to virtual – and upskill to deliver it – quickly.
  • Challenge:Providing training to equip the scientific experts with the skills they needed to convert their product demonstrations to virtual sessions, alongside training L&D teams on the art of great virtual delivery.
  • Solution:Our virtual train the trainer programme, focused on providing the participants with the knowledge and skills they needed to become high performing virtual trainers.
  • Result:Participants who left confident, competent and with the skills to master the art of virtual delivery.

Illumina is a global life science company, producing genome-based laboratory equipment such as sequencing platforms, microarray scanners and IVD instruments. Committed to providing excellent customer support when it came to using their products, they typically delivered face-to-face product demonstrations and training on how to use the equipment by their Field Application Scientists (FAS). These were important training sessions for ensuring their customers could troubleshoot any challenges they faced when using the systems, learn about the latest techniques, and maximize the effectiveness of their products.

The Metrics

18 masterclasses

5 countries


However, this all had to change when the pandemic struck. Face-to-face demonstrations were no longer possible. But what could they do? These were complex products, not easily explained by a simple video or document. It wouldn’t be easy to move these demonstration sessions to a virtual environment – but Illumina knew they had to act or risk losing valuable customer support time.

With a tight time schedule of 3 weeks, a highly technical and unique training experience to convert, and participants coming from 5 different countries, the VTT team got to work.

In addition. Illumina wanted to train their L&D team, who were early in their virtual journeys and just beginning to develop virtual ways of working. Our approach had to therefore cater for two different audiences – one in customer training, the other in colleague training.


Our virtual train the trainer programme was exactly what was needed, and we were ready to deliver. We knew the FAS’s were scientific experts, but when it came to virtual training, everything was new. Our train the trainer programme guided them through everything they needed to know, converting them to experts in a matter of weeks. Splitting the group into three cohorts, we deployed 3 of our expert coaches to take 1 group each. They delivered 18 masterclasses covering all the things the FAS and L&D team  would need to enter the virtual training room, and deliver with confidence.

Covering design, delivery, creating interaction and platform masterclasses our training focused not just on being able to deliver the training, but deliver it well, with a focus on interactivity and engagement ensuring long lasting learning transfer for the participants. Reinforced with two practical masterclasses to help the FAS practice and refine their skills, we were proud to leave no stone unturned when it came to training the teams.


  • Virtual customer assistance and training has now been successfully implemented.
  • The participants left the program as highly skilled virtual trainers, ready to apply skills for their virtual delivery.
  • By implementing the methods and tools from the session, we ensured the training they delivered was a step above the rest.
  • They can now not only deliver training but design it too – essentially equipping them with skills they could take away long after the program had finished and apply later.