You won’t have to have attended many web seminars to find one, if not most, are the equivalent of boring online slideshows. This isn’t the fault of the medium…it’s the fault of people.
Here’s how most web seminars come into existence.
One, someone creates a communications, training, or marketing plan.
Two, they add “webinars” as a line item.
Three, they figure out that these things take time, and given that there’s a hard deadline, any extras they’d conceived get moved from the “must have” to the “nice to have” column.
There’s a favorite quip at 1080 Group that goes something like this:
“Poorly-planned projects take three times as long to complete as planned… and well-planned projects take only twice as long.”
A web seminar is an event. It’s a project. And project management isn’t about using a piece of software, it’s about the soft skills of managing people and resources.
If you study classic project management, you’ll be familiar with what they call the “triple constraints” – time, budget, and quality. They all affect each other, and you can’t change one without changing the other.
So what’s the driving constraint with a webinar? Time. So what suffers? Usually quality.
Presenters don’t invest in designing a quality user experience, so they waste everybody else’s time by going “blah-blah-blah, questions?” Producers radically underestimate the quantity of tasks under that “webinars” line item in the plan, so the resort to the basics.
So what to do?
Put on your event planner hat. Every venue might be different, every event unique, but there are several long checklists in their toolchest that help them not miss details as they plan to make the experience a memorable one (in light of the event’s objective, of course).
To have great web seminars, you need to invest. First with a commitment to your audience, and second with a commitment to creating a system so that as much as possible is repeatable. This isn’t meant to be a sales pitch, but that’s why 1080 Group created the Web Seminar Producer’s Toolkit for clients…because it radically decreases ‘learning by trial and error (it’ll be available for retail purchase soon at www.webseminartoolkit.com), and because it focuses on soft skills.
To have great web seminars, treat them like any other event. Get beyond “online slide show” and create an experience.
Avoid the “online slide show.” Invest in your audience.