The Great British Bake off with Afternoon iTea

Sally Blackburne, Hazlemere Library

At Hazlemere Library they faced a common problem for many Online Centres: offline learners who were aware of the IT sessions, but didn't have the confidence to come to lessons... so they came up with an idea.

They knew their audience received post about their services, so targeted them with hardcopy marketing promoting a "Great British Bake Off"-style event called "Afternoon iTea". Going the whole hog, they brought out the bunting, red gingham tablecloths and home baked cakes for their event and coupled this with just 20 minutes of no pressure, no obligations, use of the internet on the learner's favourite subject. As well as replacing terms like "tutor" and "student" with "host" and "guest", this was enough to break down the barriers for their learners and get them hooked into their first experience of the internet.

A digital approach to those who are offline is no good. The 'low tech' approach to target learners and get them into centres is definitely the way to go, and tying this in with the broad appeal of something like The Great British Bake Off is even better!