Plans for a season

One of my duties when at PlaceWare, Microsoft, and then as a VP at Corvent was to forecast demand for services.  This need led to exhaustive analysis of the use of web seminars over many years, including how many events we’d produced every week of every year for years running.  LiveMeetingSnowman

What I found was that web seminars have seasons that are parallel to the face-to-face events business.  Fall and spring are busy, and the dead of summer and winter are slower.

My question for you is this:  what are your plans for the slow season?

Life cycles are good… we plan, we plant, we water, we harvest, we rest.  It doesn’t mean that we get nothing done in August or January (in the northern hemisphere), but the tasks are different.

Here are a few ideas for taking advantage of a slower season to take your web seminars to the next level:

Plan interconnected programs. Ever go to a movie and see a trailer (advertisement!) for another movie?  If you do it with integrity, you can share with one web seminar audience about other upcoming events.

Rewrite some copy.  Great copywriting is painfully time consuming for most of us.  Invites, landing page copy, confirmation/reminder emails, and post-event surveys often need some touch up but don’t get it during the frenzy of “harvest season.”

Host some “lunch and learns.” Bring in a subject matter expert like a sales engineer to a customer-focused hands-on session or three.  They take a lot less to promote, they can be very live like a radio call-in show, and with heavy use of desktop sharing may take very little PowerPoint production.  Customers still have to do business, and goodwill is huge (trust me – I architechted a monstrously successful program based on this).

If you’re like most, you’ll have peaks and valleys that will constitute your own seasonality.  Take a peek at some of the “nice to haves” way down there on your to-do list and ask, “What one thing could I do that would have an impact on many seasons to come?”


P.S.  Two things, since you asked:  one, the snowman is from last winter when Portland, Oregon had its greatest snowfall in 40 years…the hat says “LiveMeeting,” a relic from my pleasant days there.  Two, my downtime plan…work on the book that succeeds The Virtual Presenter’s Handbook.

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