Review of TalkPoint Convey – self-service webcasting
Once upon a yesterday I worked at a company where reserving a conference room in the building required sending an email to an admin. It’s not like it was a hard task, it’s just the way it was. And if you needed to get a room quickly and they were at lunch or out for the day, well…
Webcasting serves a broad set of requirements. There are plenty of times that a “big production” event is planned well in advance so as to coordinate the lights, cameras, and action, and there are many valid business reasons for outsourcing production.
But there are also plenty of times you need need reach without the associated cat herding.
I had the privilege last week of getting a sneak-peak demo of Talkpoint’s new Convey product, a self-service tool that both focuses on ease of use and has a couple of nice twists. Here are a few things where I think Convey will raise the bar in the webcasting industry.
Well-designed feature taxonomy
If you need it fast, there’s a simple, five-step process to walk through. As you grow, however, you can drill into multiple areas to have greater control. Kudos to TalkPoint for balancing what’s exposed at the top level with the ability to go deeper.
Scalable management model
Are you a solopreneur who needs to hold a webcast? A pay-by-the-drink model isn’t totally unique, but it’s also a pain for many of you. Are you part of a larger company who needs to manage at an administrative level? Define how you want to empower users and enable cost-center based reporting.
Live, on-demand, or somewhere in between
I recently wrote about the business case for pre-recording part of a presentation, and the reality is that each use case has its place. Convey actually looks like it was designed with “all of the above” in mind from the ground up. I like the fact that you can enable questions in any of them – again, not entirely unique, but critical to better engaging your as you employ multiple ways of using content.
Built-in Camtasia-ish editing
This topic could have been a whole blog post – this is one of the most robust in-solution editing tools I’ve yet seen. In an interface that will look familiar if you’ve ever used Camtasia, you can see your audio/video on one timeline, and “split” it where you want (so you can delete, re-arrange, etc.). You see your slides on a separate timeline, and drag them where you want to adjust them…or take one out and swap another one in. It’s not Camtasia, but it’s dang cool stuff for a webcasting tool.
Reporting built right
I confess a wee-bit of bias – when we started Corvent years ago, we envisioned a robust drill-down type database that lets you do a lot of work online before you export the data when we built AMP (Attendee Metrics Platform). Database peeps will recognize the power of exploring and filtering data when they dive into Convey, both for analysis and decision-making/tactical adjustment over the life of a piece of content or program. Trust me, this will save you time and improve your efforts, and you don’t have to be a database guru to use it.
As usual in reviews, I avoid commenting on price and/or features that everybody should have (e.g., a WYSIWYG text editor that lets you italicize registration copy). Commonly it’s the latter (the features) where your personal preferences often become a critical part of your own vendor evaluation – not just that the feature exists, but that it suits your style and workflow.
TalkPoint has a venerable history in webcasting and webcasting professional services, so they’re intimate with the needs of hands-on users. If you’re looking for self-serve webcasting, you might just find their new Convey product is worth being on your short-list for investigation.