Worthwhile Webinars

Worthwhile Webinars: be credentialed, know your audience, have learning objectives

I’m a huge fan of collaboration and sharing best practices (that’s one of the reasons why I write this blog!) so I like to hear other professional’s opinions and perspectives.  In addition to attending industry conferences, I do a lot of self-study, listening to podcasts, reading journals, and participating in webinars.  Most sessions are a good use of my time but unfortunately some others are purely distractions; thankfully most of the ones I attend are free or low-cost.  Here are 5 pointers directed to my buddies in Business Development for producing more valuable webinars.

Be Credentialed plus Know Your Audience

If your “training session” or webinar is really just a marketing pitch and you aren’t offering any new information or you don’t have deep experience on the topic, be forthcoming about that.  Don’t present yourself as an expert when you can easily invite someone else to the panel who can add more to the discussion.  Please have each speaker briefly introduce themselves, provide their contact information, and explain how they are qualified to discuss the topic.

Who is the webinar targeted to?  Focus and decide who you are presenting to and then include that information in the invitation so we can decide whether or not it is a good use of our time to attend (just because I can’t/won’t attend doesn’t mean I may not be interested in reviewing the webinar on my own time later, consider posting a link when it is over, please).

Have Learning Objectives

Content is everything.  Chances are people are getting up early, staying late at work, or missing lunch for your webinar.  Be cognizant of that and reward them for the sacrifice of their time by packing your webinar with actual skills or ideas that they can take away and apply at work or discuss internally – immediately.

Allow Q&A

As much as I like to consume information, I also like to dialogue.  In our clinical department, we sometimes reserve a conference room, project the webinar, and pool a dial-in so we can attend as a group.  Inevitably, we have comments or questions and we want those addressed during the session.  When planning a session please allow time for this mid-stream or at the end so the conversation isn’t completely one-sided.

Housekeeping

  • If you send a reminder shortly before the event that is blackberry friendly with the webinar login info handy, this is tremendously helpful.
  • Start on time and end on time. I’m really serious about this.
  • Have enough open lines so all planned attendees can dial in and a good tested connection.
  • Don’t forget to advance the slides. This is so annoying when the presentation is clearly unrehearsed and the speakers don’t know how to use the webinar system.
  • Mute all attendees but have a chat box.

Follow-Up

Are you OK with participants sharing the session with their colleagues?  If so, make that clear and record the session or provide the slides for download.  Regardless, send a follow-up email thanking us for attending and provide contact information for the speakers (maybe attached the slides?).

Your thoughts?

If you have an upcoming webinar, recent podcast, interesting article, or anything else to recommend to me or other blog readers please reach out via email, my contact form, or in the comments.

I’d definitely love to hear other thoughts on this topic.  In regards to the last great webinar you attended, what separated it from the pack?

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About The Author

Nadia

Nadia Bracken, lead contributor to the Lead CRA blog and the ClinOps Toolkit blog, is a Clinical Program Manager in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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