Webcasting 101

Webcasting is an increasingly important communications medium for the event planner. Webcasting does not replace traditional events. The technology is meant to extend the reach and participation of an event, no matter their geographic location or availability. Webcasting also offers features that traditional meetings do not have.

A webcast allows more people to participate in your event. Travel costs and travel time prohibit many people from attending events. A webcast enables them to log on from wherever they have internet access, see and hear the presenters and their presentations, participate in the Q and A session, vote, and provide feedback. Others do not attend an event because of time conflicts.

Webcasts can be archived so that people that could not attend the live event can log on at their convenience and watch the presentation and provide feedback. Many webcast situations do not need a live event. Training sessions can be recorded at an in-house facility, meeting venue or production studio and posted for on demand access.

Branding your event is important. The webcast look and feel should follow the clients’ identity standards and include logos, corporate colors, and presentation slide format.
Access to a webcast can be controlled by issuing passwords. Individual delegate passwords mean that you know who logged in for the live webcast or archive. Knowing who attended the webcast can be important for training and critical corporate communications.

The polling function keeps your audience engaged in the webcast. The presenter or moderator can ask the audience a specific question, pause for the audience to respond (typically yea, nay or abstain), and immediately display a chart of the responses and discuss.

The survey function has several possible applications. Your exit survey can be directly related to the webcast material or it can be an opportunity to ask other questions. If you are a manufacturer and broadcast a webcast to your retailers, you may be looking for more feedback in regard to the webcast or other industry information. If your webcast is a training session you can have a test. People can repeat the test until a passing grade is acquired and certificates can be immediately issued.

It is interesting to note that many people are opting to combine different types of technologies to conduct a “hybrid conference.” A live meeting is simultaneously broadcast as a webcast, videoconference and a teleconference. This maximizes reach and the teleconference option removes many of the technological and logistical issues in participating in the event.

Webcasting technology is another communications tool that you can employ to ensure you are receiving the best value for your meeting dollar.  

Chris Germain, Inland AV Edmonton General Manager, will address audiovisual considerations that are important to event planners. As a branch manager, Chris brings a unique AV perspective from his experience in permanent systems design & integration, and rental applications.

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