By JTB Communication Design
While we listed the Pros and Cons of Holding Online Events a couple weeks ago, this week we would like to focus on Webinars in particular. Webinars are a great substitute for real-life events as they are still held in real time. Some platforms have seen the number of webinars being hosted jump up by 330% since the COVID-19 outbreak, showing that these popular events are becoming more than just a substitute for in-person events and many people actually prefer them.
Pros of webinars
Greater and wider audience
Whether you are holding a company training session or an open event to spread awareness about your business, webinars are a great way to reach a wider audience. If you select the right time, you can attract participants from all over the world to share their thoughts. It is also much easier to engage with everyone in your own company. Even if they have time restraints or aren’t able to commute to in-person seminars, webinars give them the option to attend easily from their own home. 92% of attendees want a live Q&A at the end, suggesting that they appreciate the interactive features of a webinar, and 79% of webinar attendees believe live sessions provide a more authentic experience than pre-recorded videos.
Easy to set up
Unlike other large events, webinars are reasonably easy to set up in our experience. You can shoot and distribute the entire webinar in a small meeting or conference room and the equipment needed is minimal. As long as you have the essentials like a professional microphone, boom arm, and wireless headphones, you’ll be able to present and interact with your audience simultaneously. We make sure your equipment is high quality and test everything before your webinar so that it goes off without a hitch.
Although setup is pretty minimal, we advise you to go the extra mile so your webinar looks as high-quality as possible. We’ve found that quality lighting can make a big difference in attendee experience, and therefore helps in conveying your message and achieving the webinar’s goals. We also suggest you to prepare backups as, even though webinar equipment is becoming increasingly reliable. We recommend using one line for distribution and one for confirmation as well as providing a backup PC to be extra sure that there are no technical issues.
Shorter doesn’t always mean less effective. Webinars can also be more streamlined than in-person events, saving you time while still improving attendee experience. Usually, when it comes to attending a physical event, guests look for something that will be worth the commute and are more likely to attend a longer event. With webinars, attendance is much easier meaning that attendees actually favor shorter sessions. Forty-four percent of attendees prefer a 45-minute webinar whereas only 10% want to attend sessions that last an hour.
Cons of webinars
One thing that you can’t emulate in a webinar in the same way that you can in a physical seminar is activities. Especially if you are holding a training session, interactive activities are the best way to grab the attention of your audience and getting people up and moving can refresh their minds.
Luckily, there are plenty of ways to keep webinars engaging and do make sure that you work out the activities that suit your event and audience into your plan. Examples include having your participants to make something using common household objects and show it on their screens or using the interactive functions of your webinar software to draw and put people into teams to answer questions.
Webinars work for a range of events including training sessions, marketing, and networking events. As long as you have the know-how and the right setup, these types of online events can be just as effective as physical ones.