Raising the Bar on Webınars
One of the biggest trends occurring in the webinar world, according to a recent study, is the use and appeal of video programs—live or on-demand. The study, conducted by ON24, a San Francisco-based webinar solutions provider, revealed that video webinars attracted 45 percent to 47 percent more registrants and attendees, while audio webcast registration decreased by 3 percent among business-to-business publishers.
“Audio is still very competitive, but video is becoming the preference,” says Sharat Sharan, ON24 CEO and president. “Not only have attendees grown accustomed to hearing and seeing webinars, but they crave them. They stimulate more of our senses.”
Sharan says that while video webinars cost about 50 percent more than audio—because publishers need a signal, equipment and appropriate staff—they are constantly looking at cheaper options. “For instance, vendors participating in webinars might have their own signals, and events can be broadcast from conference rooms at their locales,” says Sharan.
However, going the cheap route via YouTube or Google would be a major faux pas, he says. “Nobody will pay $30,000 [to sponsor] a YouTube upload,” says Sharan. “How many CEOs are going to put themselves on the line for a product like that?”
Quality is also a factor in audio. Norman Kamikow, president and editor in chief of MediaTec publishing, Chicago, says publishers shouldn’t skimp on production and ought to connect with a solid provider to produce video or audio webinars. “There’s nothing worse than going live with presenters that cannot be heard,” he says. “Without a good provider, you’re toast.”
MediaTec uses Intellor Group, Gaithersburg, Md., as its provider.
This quality-of-production discussion easily lends itself to a quality-of-content discussion. While sponsors might want to fill webinars with a lot of sales and PR speak, such content is likely to bomb, according to most experienced in webinars.