Should we change shape to webinars?

Changing shape to webinarsFree webinars today became an effective promotional tool for sharing good content while raising the exposure of a company brand.

Many companies in our industry are organizing webinars on very interesting topics and involving well skilled speakers with just that purpose. Past week I attended a webinar presented by Dahlia El Gazzar on the use of Evernote for events and a few days later I’ve been asked to present one for etouches on social media for meetings and events, to share the experience we gained through the social media strategy we set up for the FRESH Conference and the publication of the Re-FRESHing social media guide we used for the past edition of the conference in January 2013.

Not suitableTo run my presentation, etouches used GoToWebinar, a professional product owned by Citrix that, in my case, worked very well (just one quick tip for webinar speakers: don’t use in ear headphones with the mic on the wire, because as you move your hands and being italian I move them a lot, you produce an annoying noise!) .

We started with an introduction by Lauren DuBois and, after about 40 minutes of me talking, we ended with Q&A.

Questions have been formulated by participants using the chat box of GoToWebinar and I answered directly using my voice.

The same format has been used for Dahlia’s webinar organized by Double Dutch.

A nice experience, but in both cases I missed the interaction with participants….

Organizing, consulting and speaking about Hybrid Events and with the FRESH slogan always in my mind “designing effective meetings” I thought a lot on how to change something in order to ensure a better interaction during webinars.

I do understand that webinars are an effective marketing tactic – the more participants you have, the more successful is the webinar. And yet, I also know people remember good experiences. I would not set my goal on quantity to go to the detriment of quality.

Then? How can we redesign the webinars shape?

Let’s imagine to have set a maximum number for live attendees registrations…. let’s say 40/50? All the others that run late can register for the recorded version of the webinars and there is no limit in terms of number of participants to watch a video!

Let’s imagine also having a moderator that supports the speaker when a good and pertinent question comes from the audience and, instead of formulating the question directly, he gives audio and video to the participant? (wooohooo a real interactive experience!)

I know some platforms have a maximum number of contemporary video connections, sometimes 6 some times more, but, this way we would not use all of them at the same time, keeping also alive the attention of the audience by changing framing.

Let’s imagine (and for this I don’t need so much fantasy) to have the chance to show the speaker face from time to time, especially during the Q&A

I am conscious that I am not inventing anything new, and that you will promptly post in the comment field, names and links of platforms already able to do what I am proposing here, but if the market is complete with these solutions, why aren’t we improving the webinar formats?

Here is the video recording of my webinar on Using Social Media for and at events, thanks to etouches for hosting it and for giving me the chance to reflect on it and to improve my performance… the noise in the background  – it’s me gesticulating in my Italian way with the wrong headphone…

The password for the video is: fresh



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