We dipped our toes into the world of webinars recently, hosting a free session on the topic of data quality. This was the first webinar we’ve hosted and as such was a bit of an experiment and learning curve for us. So what did we learn?
On the plus side it was great to be able to address a global audience from the convenience of our office. The web truly does make the world a smaller place in some ways. Attending a webinar doesn’t represent the same commitment as attending a conference, seminar or even travelling to a meeting. Because of this we were able to attract attendees who might otherwise not have had the time to spare for a talk. We also think that the audience as a whole was more focused on the topic we wanted to talk about than might be the case at a conference where there is a variety of talks and speakers.
There were some challenges as well. As a speaker it was difficult doing a presentation over the web without the audio and visual feedback you would normally get from a ‘live’ audience. That certainly took a bit of getting used to; I couldn’t tell if anyone was laughing at my gags! We also weren’t sure how to field questions either during or at the end of the webinar, and so opted not to try – instead asking for questions to be sent through after the event. In hindsight I would like to have had the opportunity for more direct feedback and so we will consider how we might facilitate that for any future events.
Overall I enjoyed the experience and feedback from those who attended has been positive. We’ll be thinking about other topics that could make for an interesting webinar in the future, so watch this space.