by Bruce Newman – President, wwWebevents.com
The number and importance of webinars and webinar listings has surged in the past few years. The many reasons for this include: the greatly reduced costs of development, attending, travel (which is usually eliminated) and overhead. It’s much easier for people to attend a webinar when all they need to do is make a few clicks on a computer versus the high cost of travel and lost time.
Numerous studies depict the importance and effectiveness of webinars. A recent Marketing Sherpa study showed that the second-most effective social marketing tool after website design (including management and optimization) was virtual events and webinars. (I will illustrate this point more extensively in an upcoming free webinar that I am developing and expect to announce next week.)
The numbers show that web events are effective. The question is why.
The simple answer is that they allow a presenter to reach a huge worldwide audience in which people can attend a web event from almost any location. I have attended both virtual events and webinars with people from all over the world. (Time zones can be a problem as one attendee complained that the class he was taking met at 3:00AM, his time.)
Webinars in particular, must be effective or people wouldn’t attend them or would quickly leave – the bane of most webinar presenters. The level of webinar effectiveness can vary enormously depending on the presentation, the content and the presenter. It is truly amazing how much even just the pace of a presentation can affect its success.
One expert closer, Dave VanHoose, whose accolades include America’s Trainer of the Year in 2011 and Platform Closer of the Year, charges $15,000 per day to help clients improve their presentations. There is a science involving webinar presentations that when properly implemented can produce significantly improved results. Incidentally, he also strongly advocates the use of a mirror when doing any online presentation.
Another reason for web event effectiveness is their ability to target a specific topic. People who attend the webinar are usually highly focused on its specific content – and they won’t tolerate any deviations or surprises. By identifying their objectives, webinar providers can better allow their potential audience to decide whether or not to attend; they don’t have as much at stake as someone attending an in-person seminar.
One final aspect about webinars: they are live (or at least they appear live to their audience). Webinar attendees believe they are a part of a massive group; they know there could be a lot of other people attending but they can’t see them. Yet, their reactions are usually as a group and not as an individual. Suppose a webinar is offering a limited service that is very attractive, for example. Every attendee is aware of the offer and that potentially many other attendees may also find the offer attractive. Since they have no way of judging the number or interest of the other attendees for the offer, they are more prone to immediately make the purchase. By its very nature, the webinar has provided a strong call to action for its attendees to obtain the service now, before the other audience members (i.e. potential competitors) take a similar action.
The effectiveness of web events along with their costs are the key reason why companies are increasingly including web events in their marketing plans and beginning to place additional emphasis on their presentations.
Bruce Newman is the president at wwWebevents.com and an expert on web events (webinars and virtual events) and social media marketing. Sign up for free at wwWebevents.com to learn about upcoming webinars and receive notifications of upcoming web events in only those areas you specify. Additional services include: social media and webinar development services to significantly enhance results and a popular newsletter (circ. 10,000+).