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Why the World Can't Get Enough of Webinars

Author: Gihan Perera
January, 2013 Issue


I remember a time not long ago when webinars were new and unfamiliar to most people. But now, individuals, small businesses and large organizations are all using webinars to promote their products and services, deliver educational material and offer ongoing value to clients and customers. There’s a reason webinars are so popular—and why you should be using them in your business.
 
In brief, a webinar is a presentation delivered over the Internet (the word “webinar” is short for “Web seminar”). As a presenter, you sit in your home or office with your computer, microphone and PowerPoint slides; and your audience sits in their homes or offices with their computers and speakers. It’s like being there in person, except you don’t have to all gather in the same room—one of the biggest benefits of webinars. This means you don’t have to spend time getting there; you don’t have to waste time in traffic; and you don’t have to hang around afterward. You simply turn up at the time of the webinar, attend it, and hang up.
 
As the webinar presenter, you must do extra work in preparing the webinar, promoting it and following up after it’s complete. But you’d do those things for any presentation. Running a webinar means you save time on the unimportant things that take up time before and after your presentation.
 
Another time savings from webinars is that they’re usually shorter than the equivalent in-person presentation. A typical webinar is an hour long, but it can be as short as a 15-minute briefing or a 30-minute mini-presentation. You generally wouldn’t have in-person presentations that are as short, because of the extra time involved getting people together. But there’s no point stretching out a presentation to an hour or two just because you have a captive audience.
 

Webinars save money

You don’t have to book a room, pay for catering or travel costs, or incur the other expenses that come up with an in-person event. Webinar technology does cost something, but not much. There was a time when Internet conferences needed high-tech equipment in a custom-built studio. But that’s no longer the case. If you have a reasonably modern computer and broadband Internet, that’s good enough for presenting and attending webinars.
 
The webinar technology itself is also very affordable. You typically pay a low monthly fee for using it, and you can run as many webinars as you like. Even if you only run one webinar per month, you’d usually pay far less than you would for an in-person event.
 

Webinars are engaging

A webinar won’t be the only part of your online platform, but it might well be the most personal interaction you have with your network apart from being face-to-face.
 
Webinars combine visuals, audio and interaction, so they’re often more engaging than written material such as newsletter articles, blog posts, ebooks and media releases. They also happen live (in the moment), so participants can interact with the present during the webinar itself rather than having to send follow-up email or comment on a blog post.
 
If you’re in business, you probably want to save time, save money and engage more with the key people in your network. If you’re not already using webinars for this purpose, you should.
 
 
Gihan Perera is the author of Webinar Smarts, the smart way for professional speakers, trainers, thought leaders and business owners to deliver engaging and profitable webinars. If you want to know how to reach the world with mic, screen and mouse, visit http://webinarsmarts.com/ for your copy.
 


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