What Are Webinars?


in General

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As the name implies, webinars are seminars which are web-based. They are also referred to as online workshops or online seminars. Webinars have many uses:

  • building a brand,
  • generating sales leads,
  • training groups of people,
  • press conferences,
  • corporate announcements and
  • focus groups.

Webinars are similar to conference based seminar; the only difference is that the participants listen to the audio through telephones and view the presentation by their web browser.

The main feature of webinar is the global interactive element ….. the ability to discuss, give and receive information as a group at the same time. It is different to “webcast” which doesn’t allow interaction between the audience and presenter.

Numerous companies have started offering webinar as an exchange to the traditional face-to-face seminars. Companies are taking advantage of webinars technology. These advantages vary from flexibility to cost efficiency. rticipants will not have to travel just to attend a seminar; they can learn on the comfort of their homes and their most convenient times. Other benefits are cost reduction, ability to reach much larger audience, lets future playback and can be recorded digitally.

Companies can save a lot from traveling budget and other expenses relative to trainings. A computer, an internet access and a phone line are just the items needed to attend a webinar. Materials like handouts can be printed and are downloadable and can be maintained as reference file.

Webinars also help marketers reach larger audience immediately. The geographically scattered colleagues may be able to work and collaborate as a team. Announcements can be posted to all the employees no matter where they are. Attendees and presenters can collaborate and interact through Q&A, document sharing and live polls; thus attendees can easily participate and learn from the activity.

The usual model for a webinar may be to offer a 5 week course and during which diverse lecture and module is uploaded on a specific day, for example, Monday. Registrants will have 1 week to take in the information.

If you are not into webinar hosting, you can just attend or let your employees participate on one. There are  reasonably priced packages and some are offered free for a 30-day trial period so that you can see if it works for you. Some have the ability to share web sites, screens, write on the screen and more.  All webinar platforms these days maintain an archive of the meeting – but just in case click on the “archive” button from the provider.   The archived webinars are made available for the viewing public; this can be accessed at Archived Webinars Page.

Looking for a webinar to attend will take a little research. Keep your eyes on upcoming webinars in thetrade magazines relevant to your interests, needs or business. Check websites for any webinars that have appealing topics since technology and universities are holding them.

Before registering on a webinar, do your homework first. Research the credentials of the presenter and the costs accompanying it. Even if the online seminar is free, try to analyze if it will be worth your time.

At first glance, webinars may seem less effective  in some instances and meeting a person face to face is better. But in some ways, and online meeting via skype or other platform is a more effective method of global communication. The discussion boards allow exchange of knowledge and information wherein the speaker also participate. The discussions are maintained online and anyone can review it anytime; this will let information propagate in many ways physical meeting cannot.

Webinars are fast becoming the latest choice in web conferencing. With accessibility and low cost, companies can hold quick, easy effective, interactive meetings.

Take advantage of the internet communication through attending or having your own web based seminars. You can also let your employees attend them for their development, if appropriate. Just do your research first and let your webinars help you with your success.

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