Webinar Quality — Do Your Homework

I attended a webinar yesterday given by a company that will remain nameless for their own protection. Two problems severely effected the event.

The first problem was really the fault of the audience members. Several people complained they could not log in but the software was not the problem. The webinar had two layers of security. There was a username and password required for entry into the webinar environment and then another “meeting id” and a separate password for entry into the particular meeting. There was also a minor software download required. The meeting invitation advised all attendees, especially if they had never attended a meeting of this type, to login to a sample meeting so their browsers would be ready and they would understand the protocol for getting in. It was obvious that the users who encountered difficulty had not followed this advice. As a webinar attendee, you do yourself and your host a great disservice when you’re not technically prepared to attend the webinar. If the host is patient, your avoidable technical problems delay his meeting. If the host is not patient, he goes ahead without you and you have to play catchup. So, make sure your computer is set up for a webinar in advance and that you understand the login protocol.

The second problem was entirely the fault of the webinar host. In his invitation to the webinar, he sent the wrong teleconference number! A good 15 minutes went by before anyone advised the attendees of the mistake via the chat window in the webinar. During that 15 minutes, slides were being shown without narration. The correction was communicated without apology.

The funny part is that this webinar was being given by a consultant to discuss learning management systems (LMS), learning content management systems (LCMS) and talent management systems (TMS). The unstated subtext of the webinar, of course, was to sell the platform that was hosting the webinar. While the wrong callin number really had nothing to do with the quality of the software, it so totally sabatoged the event that one could not come away with a positive feeling for the underlying product.

The message here for both webinar hosts and attendees is do your homework! Not doing the proper planning in advance can totally ruin the experience.

About Matt Bovell

President and CEO of Vell Group LLC
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