CS: It’s interesting that you mentioned replays because, and I do want to continue on about the technical part of this too, do you agree or disagree, a replay is recommended or not recommended?
FG: Double edged sword. It’s actually a double edged sword. What I mean by that is that there are two things about a replay. Obviously, with a replay, you’re going to pick up the people that can’t attend and really can’t attend because they’ve something else going on. The big problem with replays is that it gives people the opportunity to opt out. If you say that you’ve a webinar coming up and there’s going to be a replay, then there’s no real incentive for the person to attend the live webinar.
There aren’t any real stats on that at the moment that I’ve captured, so I can’t really quantify it. I’d certainly encourage people not to suggest that there’s a replay, even if there is going to be one. Even to the fact that I’d be going down the part of saying, “There’s probably not going to be a replay for this because,” you suggest that sometimes, technology gets in the way and
the replays don’t happen. Or perhaps even go hard and say, “There won’t be a replay on this.” That will encourage people to attend.
As I said before, it’s a double edged sword. In some cases, it can work to get more people to your offer or in some cases it can actually discourage people from attending the live event which the first is really what you want to try and do. The more people attend the live event, the better conversion you’re going to have.
CS: I agree, absolutely. Before we go on with the technical question that I have, which is just burning in my mind, I want to know if there’s, since we are talking about the power of the webinar, is there anything specific that maybe we haven’t covered as far as the basics of a webinar and its power?
FG: I suppose from my perspective, the power of the webinar is that you can actually present from one to thousands of people, from one location, at minimum cost. The only cost you’d have would be if you’re paying for a paid service. There are free services out there now to get you started, is your time. I think that’s what people have to think about. There’s no set up costs, there’s no venue costs, there’s no hiring costs for equipment.
That’s huge, because in some cases, if you wanted to put on a seminar for 500 people, that would be an enormous cost, and you’ve to find a venue that’s capable of it. You’ve the logistics, you’ve have more people there to support you because you’re not going to get 500 registrations in the door without having staff to help you. From my perspective, that’s a huge benefit of webinars. Minimum cost, lots of value.
CS: It’s the time and the reach. It sounds ideal to me.
FG: Yes. You can tell I’m passionate about webinars.
CS: I was just going to ask you. There must be some type of ESP. I was going to ask you, what was your passion? What drove you to your passion for this industry? I can hear that you really enjoy this work. What lead you to it?
FG: It was basically that I initially didn’t have the funds to put on large presentations. I engaged people with small attendees, 10 to 20 people in local venues that I could afford. I found that it really wasn’t enough in some cases because we’d have to turn people away, whereas with the webinar model, I just put on a webinar and we invite people, they attend. It’s an open ended canvas, basically.
I love talking to people, especially with the interaction. Again, what I was saying before, it doesn’t have to just be a presentation. It can be an interaction. You can invite attendees to go live and that really fires up webinars. There’s the moment you get somebody else on the webinar that either has a question or has some additional expertise that they share with the audience, then that will certainly get people engaged. It really fires up the webinar.
Two presenters, three presenters, works magic. It’s a nice easy tool. You can set it at a time that suits you. Like we’re doing now. It’s the evening in the States, it’s morning in Australia. I do webinars in the evening here. You can set the time to suit the audience. It doesn’t have to be during the day where you would normally have an all day presentation or whatever. It’s very flexible and gives you lots of opportunities to engage your clients.
CS: Is the number of attendees designated by the software or platform that you’re using?
FG: Yeah. To a degree. The more attendees, and with interaction, if the attendees are just listening, it’s not a major impact, but if you’re going to have attendees share the screen and come on and present, the more attendees, then you obviously need a more stable platform that offers more features. The commercial platforms out there that have that kind of back end, they do charge monthly fees. It starts off, as I said, GoToWebinar is an example, charge I think it’s $20 US as their base package. It allows 50 people on, then it ramps up based on the numbers.
There are other platforms like Zoom that are in competition with that. That’s Zoom.com. They’re in direct competition with GoToWebinar, offer the same features. I really can’t say which is better or which is not. It’s really up to what people get comfortable with. There are a few others. There are also platforms out there that use Hangouts as their back end. You have Webinar Jam and Webinar Ninja, Webinar Geo. There’s a lot of browser based webinar software that actually use Hangouts as their platform.
There are a few opportunities. To get started, there are many platforms out there that will allow you to have a free account. All they do is normally put their advertising overlay on the webinar.