What is a Webinar and Why You Should Attend One
According to GoToWebinar, the average webinar viewing time in 2017 was 57 minutes. In the first quarter of 2018, that represents about 20% of your day’s average exposure to internet-connected digital devices, or about 9% of all digital exposure for the day. These statistics are important because as our attention spans continue to decrease in this digital age, how we spend our time becomes more valuable. So why should you spend that time attending a school website provider’s webinar?
Before digging into the value of webinars, let’s first define what a webinar is! The term is thrown around a lot in digital marketing, and according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, a webinar is “a live online educational presentation during which participating viewers can submit questions and comments.” Essentially, webinars provide an excellent platform for school website providers to educate and interact with a target audience. So what are the different types of webinars and what skills can you gain from attending one?
Types of Webinars
Companies like school website providers host webinars to digitally exhibit their product and answer any questions at the end. These types of webinars are often known as product demos and the main benefit of attending them is convenience. You can attend from the comfort of your own home or office while still getting a first-hand look at their product and engage directly with those leading the webinar, who are often the product designer or expert. Your participation level is also at your discretion, whether you are watching and listening passively or actively taking notes and submitting questions. In terms of cost to attend, they usually ask for your contact information or a small fee to participate. Edlio’s webinars are always free to attend!
Digital Learning & Professional Development
A digital learning or professional development webinar is often hosted by industry-specific groups or individuals to share best practices, discuss trends, and/or network. They often aim to teach or train practical skills depending on the industry. Unlike product demos, digital learning and professional development webinars tend to cost more because they are helping develop necessary professional skills.
If you’re part of a large company, then you will have most likely come across a company-wide or department-specific webinar. Companies utilize webinars for holding meetings rather than meeting in conference rooms for several reasons. A webinar requires less physical space to be used, especially if there are more people attending than seats available in a physical conference room. It is also significantly easier to plan and attend webinars logistically. As remote work opportunities increase, webinars allow you the flexibility to be present when you need to be without having to go into the office. And company-wide webinars are great for staying informed about what other departments are working on. Additionally, you can always circle back to a previous webinar if your company records them so you’ll never miss out on what was said.
Training webinars are mainly used for on-boarding and topic-specific related purposes. If you just bought a product, you may be directed by the company you bought it from to a library or cache of webinars to refer to. The webinar acts as a hybrid between your traditional video and a live interaction in that the majority of the webinar will be playback of content, but it will be interspersed with interactive content as well to test your proficiency. There is usually an estimated time for how long a webinar will take and you should be able to go through it at your own pace. Future trainings present plenty of opportunities to refresh your knowledge and ask the experts questions.
If you’re looking to deepen your knowledge about your industry, look out for webinars with a panel format. These webinars bring together thought leaders and other professionals in your area of interest for a live discussion followed by a Q&A. It’s an excellent opportunity to first process what the experts have to say, then formulate any questions you may have for them. These webinars usually have an open format that allows for people to follow up with each other after the session if necessary.
Besides some of the specific benefits outlined above for attending a webinar, a large underlying factor is accessibility. Webinars tend to be more inclusive than physical conferences or meetings because you can pause and replay webinars relatively quicker than you could a recorded meeting. And if the webinar is recorded and posted after its conclusion, it should be accompanied by a transcript so there’s nothing lost in translation or up to interpretation if any sound issues arise. At Edlio, our webinars utilize our automatic video captioning feature so the webinars are accessible to everyone. Webinars are a great resource available to you and well worth your time!