So tomorrow is my last segment in the Free Summer Webinar Series I put together. I thought I'd share a few things I learned along the way.
FWIW, the final topic is “REAL Shopping Cart Success” and should be a blast. If you want access to it (or any of the others), send a blank email to email@example.com – automation will do the rest.
1 – GotoWebinar is a first class product with a 3rd class bridgeline service. Had way too many problems using their phone system (GTWs). Am now using InstantTeleseminar for my telephony needs. FWIW – 30 Day GotoWebinar Free Trial here and a 21-day trial of Instant Teleseminar for $1 here.
2 – The (GotoWebinar) model of a streaming Webinar that you follow along on the phone confuses some people. Make sure you do what you can to explain it to your audience. Then, don't sweat the panicked members who can't get in by recording an archive for them (GotoWebinar has an auto-recording option – or you can outsource or use a third party product).
3 – Questions and Answer time is a great reason for doing Webinars live but … users don't always understand that you aren't reading the questions as they pop up. As a result, you get a lot of questions like “what was that url again?” or “did you like it?” – i.e., they don't make any sense by themselves. Make sure you encourage your listeners to ask full questions – it will help make Q&A a much better experience. Note – this is true for video streaming options as well (UStream.tv, etc.).
4 – A bit more about the archives. In this world of on-demand content, you will always (if you do it right) get many many more people on the recording than you will the live event. Keep that in mind as you put your presentation together and perform accordingly. Nothing is more frustrating than listening to a “moment in time” recording that stinks because you weren't there for that moment in time. Refer to the time-delayed audience once or twice – it will do great things for your relationship with them.
5 – Finally, alternatives to GotoWebinar … I did one of the Webinars on Ustream.tv in an attempt to leverage the “hot new” streaming tech of today. At this point, the lifecasting products are perfect for Webcams, but not for sharing a computer screen with any decent level of clarity. You can do it in a pinch, but the sacrifices you make for it aren't worth it for you – or your audience. You could of course do a non-screened Webinar – something more of a live presentation – just don't spend more than 10% of your time on the screen – IMHO.
For those of you who participated or have done Webinars are your own … thoughts? I'd love to hear 'em.