Webinars…are they an effective tool for communicating with your audience?

There is no doubt technology is slowly taking over more traditional methods of communication for... well, just about everything; texts, emails, websites and now webinars. But what is a webinar? Quite simply, a webinar is a conference or seminar via the Internet. They are often used in business for meetings, presentations, lectures and training. Using a live presentation, it happens in real time, as users are able to participate through file sharing and ask questions online unlike webcasts where you are unable to respond interactively.

There are many benefits to using a platform like this; particularly in a sustained period of recession where budgets are a lot tighter. By simply connecting to any computer, using a webinar reduces the need to physically attend conferences and seminars, making it both cost-effective and saving you and your clients’ time. This also entitles you to host training sessions more frequently at the same low cost, not to mention helping to maintain a smaller carbon footprint with less travel to and from meetings and conferences.

Webinars can also potentially reach a far greater, global audience with highly interactive tools including polls and live Q&A. They are very useful when accessing a hard-to-reach group, for example GPs. Notoriously GPs are often time-poor and so offering them the option to log in and participate quickly during a break at work rather than taking a day out is a strong advantage.

So what are the top tips for webinars?

The Do’s and the Don’ts

· DO PLAN AND PREPARE. A common technique used is to act as if the webinar has already happened and did not achieve the desired results, you can then change your strategy plan accordingly.
· DO ASK YOURSELF THESE QUESTIONS BEFORE THE PRESENTATION.
- Is your topic appealing to your target market?
- Have you invited as many appropriate people as possible, including your speakers’ contact lists?
- Is your registration form simple and easy to use?
- Is the timing of the webinar appropriate for the target audience?
· DON’T INCLUDE TOO MUCH INFORMATION.
Trying to cover too many topics to suit more people results in a lack of specific information.
· DON’T FORGET THAT CONTENT IS THE KEY TO A GREAT WEBINAR.
Try not to get caught up in finding the most expensive presenter or complicated demonstrations and charts; your audience is there for your content.

Jessica North

Author & Editor

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