Rosa B. Reyero Miguelez

The DON’Ts of webinars.

Rosa B. Reyero Miguelez

“Never before have I attended so many webinars in my whole life,” said everybody, all the time.

The confinement gave us a lot of free time we did not really know how to fill up, especially the first and second week of the lock-down.

Time to spare and uncertainty of what the near future was going to surprise us with gave fertile ground to an extreme dependency on Internet and social media, and an overflow of information that can hardly be manageable by anyone.

The crisis paralyzed businesses and had them trying to collect all possible knowledge on how to react while waiting for others to take the first step/risk.

The outcome was a torrent of every kind of webinar you can think of. Suddenly we started receiving 3 to 8 invitations each day to attend one or another online “How-to” on any possible topic. Surprisingly, many of those did not have anything to do whatsoever with our trade or line of business and therefore were totally uninteresting. We went back to “good old spam = mass mailing days”.

Us here at ENITED, we did attend plenty of these virtual sessions, at a rhythm of four to six per week, to hear about the challenges faced by associations, venues, meeting planners and PCOs, live communication agencies, and others connected to the world of business events in general. Overall, they helped us to better understand the huge impact that the pandemic is having on ourselves, our partners and our clients.

What we also got out of many of the webinars was a clearer picture of the “must not do’s”. Hereunder a small list of the ones we all concluded:

    – Never turn a face-to-face format directly into a webinar, neither in the duration or the content of the presentations.

    – Never organise a webinar or virtual meeting without the use of a well-designed plan. Even the hottest topics can really be extremely hard to follow online if not done using a nice and interactive format. Same as the face-to-face events, for that matter.

    – Do not invite people to a Zoom (or any other tool) event if you do not have a person able to work properly with this tool. Hardly any of the webinars we attended were run without troubles using cameras, turning microphones on and off, inviting people to break-out rooms, copying of the voice of the speaker, etc.

    – Finally, even if you attend the webinar from home, do not stay in front of the camera with your pyjamas & your hairs uncombed. Smart casual attire and a bit of “face uplifting” looks so much nicer and more professional. Remember you are still working.

Having said this, we know that, of course, webinars and all the other kinds of virtual meetings are here to stay… and we are looking forward to see you all soon either through one of these online platforms, or even in person! Until then, we hope you keep safe, stay healthy and think positive.