Webinars are a popular way to attract interest in your products and to get the information out to a willing and interested group of potential customers. Just check your emails and you will see several invitations to register for a webinar almost every week. But there are still many of you who don’t know what a webinar is.
A webinar is a presentation delivered over the web in a seminar format. the people joining the webinar can watch slides with their web browser and listen to it with teleconferencing software. Some webinars are even interactive and the attendees can ask questions and get answers on the spot.
Once you get a notice of a webinar and want to join, you can follow a link for registration and you will be sent an email follow up confirming your registration, with the time and date of the start of the webinar and some login details. You might even be sent to a page with the different time zones listed so you will even know what time to login where you live.
Normally after you register, you might get a reminder on the day of the webinar with the time to login and link you need to follow. It will usually say something close to “click on this link to join the webinar.” Usually after you follow the link, you will be asked to confirm your name and email address and then be instructed to a “Join Now” link. You are usually given a special ID number to enter instead of your name and email.
Once the presentation begins all of the participants will be muted so their background noises will not bother the others listening. Some of the webinars use both videos and audio, others just use audio.
After all of the attendees have signed in, the presentation can begin. If using both video and audio as part of the webinar, the presenter will show slides and comment on their content either over the phone or on your headphones. The type of delivery will depend on your ability to access the site. With the wide variety of expertise and operating systems, many webinar presenters will give you the option to use the phone or headphones for the audio portion of their webinar. Just remember for the phone you are usually responsible for the phone charges.
Now not all webinars are run the same way. Most will have time allotted for questions and answer sessions. Those are times when audio contact with other attendees will be reinstated so everyone can hear the questions and answers. Other webinar presenters will handle the question and answer sessions with a chat window that will be visible on your computer screen. If they are using a chat window there is the ability to send the presenter a private message available.
Usually at the end of the webinar some presentations might be made available to the attendees, normally free, but not always. Some may be using it in a paid product they will produce.
So, what you can expect to experience for your first webinar, will probably be a PowerPoint slide show presentations enhanced by mouse pointers to focus your attention on a point of interest while the presenter explains. You may be presented with videos or web tours of specific sales or information pages that are examples of the presenter’s discussion. Some will have text chats or polls and surveys for you to answer.
As you can see, webinars are not required to be a certain format and almost anything goes. Webinar vendors can host a webinar and they all have different requirements and processes, which adds to the lack of standardization. Think you might be confused about some aspect of a future webinar, email the host or presenter and ask your question.
There will be a few information emails or data pages for pending webinars which will have a list of what you need to have installed on your computer in order to get the maximum experience out of the webinar. Check the list with your computer before the day of the webinar.
Webinars are very popular and becoming a hot method to present information to people all over the world. Have a good time, enjoy and learn!