In a Twitter conversation, friend/colleague Karen Clark and I were discussing preferred webinar providers. Meanwhile, Anthony Russo, who monitors Twitter for keywords like webinar, found us and joined the conversation:
“@MyBizPresence @sharisax I’d like to show you my company’s webinar platform when you do your eval. No downloads, cross platform, simple.”
I “listened” and made Anthony a new friend on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.
So when I was on vacation in NYC — busy seeing Broadway shows, visiting museums, and eating out — I didn’t have time to blog and bemoaned the fact to my Facebook community. This time, Anthony heard me and offered to help out with this guest article:
Guest Post by Anthony Russo
With the recent boom in webinars and video conferencing, presenters are conducting many surveys to find out what the attendees of these events find as the biggest hurdles and annoyances.
Far and away, the top two responses are getting into the meeting, and bad audio.
Let’s take them one at a time.
This is all about simplicity. The days of your audience happily downloading and installing your chosen software are rapidly disappearing. In today’s web-based culture:
Instant Gratification + Accessibility RULES!
Don’t assume your attendees are all using PC’s. Also if any attendees must call their IT department or configure their computer specifically to join your meeting, you are starting with one strike against you.
Look for a web-based system to insure the widest acceptance of your message and the most open minds in your audience when they arrive. You do not want to present to a frustrated audience that just had to navigate a complicated technical procedure to listen to you. Web-based is now more and more expected. Ask Gmail, Salesforce, Facebook, etc. The experience of the technology should fall to the background and your message should be what they are attentive to.
Great audio makes for a great meeting.
Technology is not perfect, and your audience will understand this…to a point. They will be forgiving of jerky video or slow loading slides — or even the occasional odd technical mishap. One thing that is not forgivable though is bad audio. If they cannot hear the presentation, they are frustrated immediately.
The most common culprit is if VOIP audio is the only choice for your session. While convenient, the attendee must maintain a consistent connection to the event. Always offer an accompanying teleconference to your attendees where they can dial in on their phone if they experience problems with the VOIP audio.
The phone option is a necessity, not an option, when the webinar has a charge. A free event brings a much more tolerant attendee than someone who has paid for the privilege of hearing your message. With a paid event, you can figure in the cost of audio to the price of the event. I always warn my clients to be wary with a free webinar because when a large turnout of users dial in, this could mean a large audio bill for the event and they need to plan accordingly.
Keep in mind that technology is never going to be 100%. Anyone telling you otherwise is selling you snake oil. Your audience will be forgiving of most anything that might happen as long as they can get to the meeting and hear you clearly.
Here’s Anthony’s blog link Conferencing solutions meet simplicity
The Good, Bad & Ugly of Webinars by Fran Simon with a link to her webinar for absolute newbies.
Why I hate webinars by the General
Re-thinking webinars by Zak Pines
What’s been your webinar experience? Any more blunders to avoid? Any more articles to recommend?