How to Plan, Produce and Profit From Webcasts
Before delving into the world of webcasts or, shall we say, webinars, it seems pertinent to explain the differences between the two.
There aren’t any.
“The only differences that exist are mere fabrications lying within the minds of individuals who have ideas about what webcasts or webinars are,” says Richard Rist, founder and CEO, Intellor Group—a multimedia company in Gaithersburg, Md., that specializes in webinars. “The confusion is the result of different terms coined for the same technology, which were originated by large software companies.”
Though it is true many consider webcasting to be more video-based and webinars more PowerPoint-based—often lumped under “e-learning”—Rist assured that the terms are interchangeable.
With that said, Publishing Executive examined what it takes for publishers to produce effective and profitable webinars.
#1. Plan in Cycles
Publishers will fare best by approaching webinar planning with a lifecycle mentality, suggests Rist. That goes for both external event promotion and internal event production.
First and foremost, he says, publishers need to establish programs and generate webinar topics in accordance with the editorial calendar. Then, they need to decide whether a vendor (sponsor) will participate in the entire webcast, a portion of it, or not at all.
“There is a line publishers don’t want to cross to maintain the integrity of topics discussed in their webinars,” adds Rist. “So these decisions need to be made at least two months in advance to ensure the right speakers are scheduled, resources are available and the best content is created.”
“Vendor-sponsored content can be well-received by an audience if it’s done right,” says Sharon Linsenbach, director of eSeminars for North American Publishing Co. (NAPCO), which publishes 14 magazines including Publishing Executive. However, she notes, “Most audiences won’t sit through a one-hour ‘commercial,’ so vendors need to take care not to beat audiences over the head with obvious plugs for their product.”
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