Conferences are no longer confined to boardrooms and lecture halls. Web-based seminars, otherwise known as webinars, are quickly gaining popularity as they allow both users and hosts to connect from all corners of the globe without the need for travel. So, what do webinars entail, what are the benefits of hosting one, and what should you consider when creating your own webinar?
What is a Webinar?
A webinar is an online lecture or meeting that is held live on the Internet. Webinars are typically used for educational and business purposes, but a webinar allows for a lot of creativity in both presentation and options for audience participation. As the host speaks, the audience can see a combination of the host themselves, slideshows, and demonstrations. Webinars can be held publicly or privately, and hosts are encouraged to invite guests directly to spread awareness. Hosts are also given options to involve a co-host, live chat with their audience using audio or chat boxes, and create polls to run during their presentation. A lot of hosts choose to record their webinars, so the information is not lost while giving them the opportunity to post the video on other sites.
Benefits of a Webinar
Webinars create a unique opportunity for professionals to connect with a large audience live. Webinars can be held anytime, anywhere, giving busy Academics time to learn important information without the hassle of traveling to get it. For those who are unavailable to virtually attend the webinar, the ability to record the webinar to post online later means that this valuable information is still available to the open public. Hosts that choose to involve a discussion forum for their audience as the webinar is running also means that questions, comments, and concerns are addressed immediately. This open line of communication is mutually beneficial for researchers and their target audience. Webinars are also low-cost, and most hosting sites are either free or offer a free trial period to ensure that you are getting exactly what you want.
Getting Started on Your Webinar
After your topic is chosen and your body of work is ready, it’s time to start mapping out your presentation. From there, you choose the length of your webinar, a date, and time for the webinar to go live, keeping in mind when your target audience will be active and available. Some choose to write a script for their webinar, while others simply make a checklist to keep themselves organized. This is all based on how you want your webinar to read: Would you prefer a more casual, conversational tone, or would you like to have a solid structure? The ability to do anything can be great, but also intimidating, so organizing your elements like slideshows and demonstrations before you present is very important. Marketing your webinar is not unlike marketing a survey or a book in that you need awareness to gather an audience, so utilize your resources and get the word out. Finally, go through a dry run of your webinar to smooth out the rough patches, check the software, and guarantee smooth sailing on the actual webinar day!
Webinars are a great way for researchers to connect with their colleagues on a personal level, while simultaneously spreading valuable knowledge to a wide audience. Finding the right webinar hosting site to reach and engage with your audience is key in drawing the right crowd. eContent Pro is happy to provide you with an opportunity to host webinars through our website. Submit a webinar proposal and begin the process here!