Webinars: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly-A Total Waste or A Goldmine?
Webinars can be a useful tool in learning, a total waste of time, or a spread of incorrect information. Your time is money and that value is translatable in productivity and take-aways from any any presentation. Some key indicators to look for that signal you may want to take a pass as well as those indicating a helpful tool:
- Is the subject matter and presenter are not clearly defined at the beginning? (Acronyms need not apply)
- Is the supplement explaining the subject either coming later or whispered in a conference type derived email chain?
- Who is hosting the webinar? Is it a conference promoter furthering its own interest in driving sponsorship or attendance at a future conference or benefiting a sponsor that may not be an expert?
- Do you know how useful this will be or if there is a question and answer period?
- Is the webinar merely a hook and you are the fish that bites by supplying your contact information? Ask yourself is there a legitimate reason to supply your information? Are you prepared for the emails or other follow up that may occur?
- You have experts presenting in their fields recognized from an industry perspective and/or are in the industry or directly represent those in the industry. Basically, not their first rodeo.
- The presenters are well known and published and/or publicized in a different forum rather than solely from the webinar driver.
- Your presenters are independently accredited and/or recognized on the subject matter.
- The webinars presenters are not overly broad in their characteristics of the presentation when the time is limited.
- The presenters can relate to the audience, have the ability to know the audience, and can interact successfully on a familiar subject.
- A successful webinar is a balance of presenters who are known in their field and can lead a discussion as well as the technology that allows them to interface with the audience in a meaningful way.
- Be wary of presenters that may be simply seeking to further a pay to play when sponsorship may be key to access that audience.