Webinars, which mean seminars held on the Web, are actively used by companies in various industries. The use of webinars has expanded to include exhibitions, in-house training, and product study sessions. There are also many benefits for the participants, including the fact that they do not have to visit the venue.
On the other hand, people are starting to recognize the difference between successful webinars and webinars that don’t get the response they want. This time, let’s look at the disadvantages and challenges of webinars, and common failures, and consider countermeasures to find out how to make a webinar a success.
Table of contents
Webinar types and features
Webinars are divided into two types according to the delivery method:
How to live stream a seminar Participants and instructors can use the chat function to ask questions, and participants can send comments to each other, enabling real-time communication.
This is a method of distributing pre-recorded and edited seminar videos. Real-time communication is not possible, but the advantage is that participants can watch when it is convenient for them. If you record the webinar when it is distributed in real-time, you can also upload the data on the web and distribute it on demand.
What are some common webinar mistakes?
Webinars have many advantages, but they also have some disadvantages, and it is not uncommon for webinars to be held without success. Let’s take a look at the disadvantages and challenges for both the organizer and attendees and the unintended webinar situations that can occur.
Disadvantages/challenges for organizers
Depends on the network environment and equipment
Fundamentally, you need the right network environment and equipment to deliver your webinar. If you do not prepare a stable network environment with sufficient bandwidth, the video distribution may be cut off in the middle. In addition, there are cases where problems such as video distortion or too low volume occur during distribution due to some deficiencies in equipment such as cameras, microphones, and tool settings.
Participant reactions are difficult to understand
In an on-site seminar, you can see the faces of the participants and feel the atmosphere of the venue, but the webinar has the disadvantage that it is difficult to grasp the real reactions of the participants. Even if the participants are not concentrating on the talk, the lecturer cannot sense the signs or atmosphere, so it is not possible to respond flexibly, such as ending the topic early or changing the topic.
Unable to discuss or practice
In on-site seminars, it is also possible to have the participants discuss with each other with the instructor and to give guidance while having the participants practice how to use the tools. On the other hand, since webinars do not allow for deep communication or practical guidance, it is undeniable that there is a lack of realism.
Speakers and staff need familiarity and skills
Hosting a webinar requires different skills, experience, and knowledge than an onsite seminar. However, some webinars are not as satisfying as the participants due to the lack of preparation or practice of the instructors, unfamiliarity of the staff with the systems and equipment, lack of facilitators, or lack of skills.
There are many cancellations, and the participation rate tends to decrease
For participants, the appeal of webinars is that they can easily attend without having to secure a seat or go to the site. As a result, a situation that the participation rate is lower than planned is likely to happen.
Difficult to follow up on the day
In on-site seminars, it is possible to approach and follow up on participants on the same day, such as by handing out information materials at the reception desk, and staff speaking out and answering questions. On the other hand, webinar distribution does not allow a direct approach, and there is a limit to follow-up on the day. If you do not take some measures or respond to it, you will receive feedback from webinar participants that it is difficult to ask questions, that you cannot fully hear what you want to hear, that information is one-way, and that you cannot get satisfaction. more likely.
Disadvantages and challenges for participants
The network environment is essential
The Internet environment is essential for participants. Even if you are connected to the Internet, if the communication speed of the line is slow and not suitable for watching the webinar, the video and audio may be interrupted in the middle and you may not be able to watch it comfortably at the end.
Questions cannot be asked for on-demand delivery
In the case of real-time delivery, there are cases where you can use the chat function to communicate with the instructor and staff to some extent, but with on-demand delivery webinars, there is no means of communication during delivery. Therefore, even if you have questions or concerns, it is difficult to ask the instructor immediately.
Points for webinar success based on disadvantages and challenges
Now that you’ve identified the disadvantages of webinars and the challenges of holding them, let’s also think about how to solve them. Next, we will introduce the points that lead to a successful webinar while covering the disadvantages.
Review the network environment and equipment
If you have any issues or concerns about the network environment, equipment, or technology at the time of webinar distribution, start by reviewing them. One method is to create a webinar-specialized team by gathering people who are strong in digital and have knowledge and experience in video distribution. If you don’t have the staff in-house, it’s a good idea to consult with a specialized company. It’s also important to test your network connection before the webinar.
Narrowing down the purpose/target
The most important thing in a webinar is to clarify the purpose of the event. Even if the ultimate goal is to develop new customers, the approach will be different depending on whether you want them to know your company or whether you want them to purchase your products and services. Clarify your purpose as concretely as possible, narrow down your target, and think about the contents and structure that match it.
Organize to involve participants
Webinars have the disadvantages that it is difficult to grasp the reactions of participants and that it is difficult to create a sense of realism, but these can be covered to some extent by the composition and production. For example, using the chat function, voting function, survey function, etc. of the webinar tool, set up a question and answer time to answer as many questions as possible from the participants, and conduct a vote related to the theme of the webinar during the distribution, and check the results We can think of ways to announce it. Try to involve as many attendees as possible to ensure that they feel that they participated in the webinar and not just watched it.
In the case of real-time distribution, one way is to solicit questions in advance. By doing so, the participants can think carefully about the content of the questions, and the organizer can carefully prepare the answers, which activates communication between the lecturer and the participants and improves the completeness of the content. increase.
If the proficiency of instructors and staff is insufficient, repeated rehearsals are the basic solution. Instructors should also refer to other popular webinars and try to speak in a way that is easy to understand and leaves a good impression on participants. It is important for the staff to determine the division of roles, such as operating the tool, answering questions, and checking the distribution status.
Enhance your means of attracting customers
Webinars tend to have a low participation rate, but as a countermeasure, it is necessary to increase the number of prospective customers by implementing various measures to attract customers. Advertise using as many channels as possible within your budgets, such as existing customer mailing lists, web advertisements, and social media announcements. In addition, it is more effective to prepare a page and application form for attracting customers that clearly describes the benefits of taking the course and the necessary environment and equipment on your company’s website.
Many webinar tools have a questionnaire function added, so be sure to use it to know the reaction of the participants. It is also important to use the survey results data for future webinars and your services.
Focus on after-sales follow-up
To cover the disadvantage of the webinar that it is difficult to follow up on the day, there is no choice but to focus on after-sales follow-up. Based on the participant data obtained from the application form and questionnaire, by following up carefully, such as sending the aggregate results of the questionnaire and related information, there is a possibility that it will lead to attracting customers and developing customers next time. It’s also a good idea to have the opportunity to answer any questions you weren’t able to answer during the broadcast or questions from your on-demand viewers afterward.
Summary: To provide satisfaction beyond face-to-face seminars
The beauty of webinars is that they can be attended from anywhere and there is no need to set up a venue. Furthermore, if you record the video when delivering it in real-time, you can also deliver it on demand, which leads to improved work efficiency and cost reduction.
However, we must be aware that webinars are characterized by a lack of realism compared to on-site seminars, making it difficult to achieve two-way communication. Whether or not these disadvantages can be covered is the first barrier to webinar success.