Webinars: The Good, Bad and Ugly
By Jim Lundy
Webinars are a popular marketing tool and most enterprises count on Webinars as part of their marketing mix every month. Most don’t take advantage of getting the maximum interaction with their audience. I’ve covered this technology space for years and have done hundreds of webinars myself. This blog is an introduction to the kind of discussions we have with clients about their events. You want your event to be Good, you don’t want it to be BAD or UGLY.
Webinars: The Good
A good webinar is engaging with interesting topics and presenters. The best webinars have moderators, ones that actually interact with the audience. Chat is turned on. Moderators acknowledge the question. Great presenters also participate too, making for a truly interactive experience. Sadly, most presenters cannot multi-task or the event is too tightly produced, leaving no time for interactivity. Sometimes an easy thing to do is to have users raise their hand if they agree or click yes or no. Many webinar tools today do not support even that most basic level of interactivity (or the feature is turned off).
Webinars: The Bad
A bad webinar is one that we could even call borderline fake. I was on one of those webinars yesterday. Chat was turned off and questions were ignored (i.e. not acknowledged). It was a well produced webinar that just rolled along. That said, I couldn’t tell if it was a live event or a recording. I knew some of the other people who were attending, but the vendor had turned all the participant information off, as well as chat. What did I do? I immediately clicked off to do other things. The webinar rolled along but they had lost my attention. At nearly the end of the webinar, my question was acknowledged. It wasn’t really answered but at least I knew the event was real. The lesson learned here? DON’T IGNORE YOUR ATTENDEEs.
Webinars: The Ugly
Ugly webinars are ones in which things just don’t go right. Technical glitches, VOIP or Telephone quality issues, combined with presentation quality and/or delivery issues (e.g. Ignoring your attendees) can make it an ugly experience. How do you avoid an ugly webinar? You practice and you do dry runs using the tool you selected.
Webinars: Planning For Success
There are a number of things a webinar presenter needs to do to prepare for ensuring that a webinar doesn’t go ugly.
- Most importantly, reboot your PC or Mac in advance of the event.
- Have a moderator for your event.
- Have technical staff available or on-call if you plan on having more than 500 attendees. Things happen.
- Practice, Practice, Practice.
- Show up Early and test your machine out.
Last but not least, do not ignore your audience during your event. Webinars can be great events but they can also be disasters. Aragon Research will be producing premium research on topics such as this as well as managing your Social Community.