I’m not sure how many people have attended a webinar, but they have some pretty interesting features. A webinar is simply a web based seminar where the presentation is occurring in real time and you can watch from your computer. They can be recorded and viewed after words. This adds to the longevity of the discussion. While talking to the great people with the Canisius College Media Services, I learned the benefits are:
- Reach. People can invite friends or coworkers to participate. Since people can attend remotely, there is greater opportunity for a larger audience. You can also attract people who hear about the event last minute. Even those who cannot participate live can experience the event. By expanding your immediate audience, you foster more dialogue and participation.
- Immediacy. People can interact with the presenter via chat. Questions can be answered immediately. Discussions can be molded to fit the audience in an organic way. If there are more questions on a topic that the speaker wasn’t expecting, that helps for them to tailor the lecture. A continual flow and interaction helps engage the audience and make the webinar feel more inclusive.
- Reference. Since conversations that take place are recorded, they can be consulted any time a viewer wants additional information. If the webinar is one in a series, then past webinars will be viewable. Conversations regarding the previous topics also remain, so people can see what questions their counterparts had. This ability to reference back is different than face to face seminars. For some people, it may enhance the value associated with the sessions.
Have you ever participated in a webinar? What did you like or dislike? I’d be interested in hearing how people enjoy the experience versus a traditional face to face setting.