I have been in the business of Webinars for 10 years now. With the day-to-day experience I have had for so many years, it has become rare for me to stand in awe of how far our technology has come or for me to get sentimental about a webinar. Last Friday, however, was one of those days where the feat of technology and our ability to help a community really hit me.
Man, the technology has come a long way
Last week, we did a live webinar for Autism Ontario from our Streaming Network Studio. This is not uncommon as Autism Ontario has been running a very successful webinar program with us for years now; educating parents, educators and health care professionals who support those on the Autism Spectrum in Ontario. For last week’s special event we were talking about Housing Options for adults with Autism with two guests on the desk in our studio and three remote speakers joining from their offices over Skype from Newfoundland, Kingston and Ottawa. To makes things more interesting we also had three pre-produced videos telling the stories of different families’ struggles and triumphs in finding housing for their adult children who have Autism. The live webinar for Autism Ontario had so much going on that it was like a TV show.
Webinar, Webcast and Live Event technology has come so far so fast. Not that long ago, producing a show like this would have been a very expensive endeavor with a low probability of success; requiring an army of technicians and a mountain of equipment. The Streaming Network Production team produced a flawless event with only three technicians to run everything and one Webinar Producer to handle live questions and audience/client support.
The craft of webinars has come a long way
We recently updated our website and when we were taking down our old site I found a couple videos I produced when we started the business back 2008.
Back in 2008 this was a very well-produced Video Webinar, but how boring is that?! I just stood up in front of a camera and talked at it. I was lecturing the audience! What are the chances anybody would engage with me? It didn’t even look like I was able to receive a question (cause I really wasn’t)!
We have long been proponents of the idea that a webinar should feel like a show; technology has come a long way and we are in a better position to give our audiences just that! With integration into Skype for Business and other third party apps, Webinar presenters can record from anywhere in the world on any device and interact with their audience through real engaging dialogue.
The Autism Ontario live webinar had so many questions and comments sent in by what was a modest audience of just over 100 viewers. Viewers were so engaged with the content and the format that we actually got “thank you” messages at the end.
When is the last time your webinar audience said “thank you”?!
I am proud to have been part of this revolution! And yes, sentimental too.
Sometimes we do good in this world
Often this blog is focused on the marketing use-case where it’s all about driving demand, building pipeline, and getting a return on investment. On this webinar, we reached actual adults on the Autism Spectrum who were desperate to get answers on how they can get access to services they need to take the step towards independence and move into their own apartment or home. They didn’t know where to go and our panel of experts did a great job pointing them in the right direction. In this day and age where everyone has a connected device and streaming video is the #1 consumed content type on the web, we have the power to reach and engage audience segments that we never thought possible. We can do some good in the world.
Recently someone close to me found out their young son was diagnosed with Autism. I have been the host of the Autism Ontario Webinars for a few years now and when my friend got the diagnosis, all the information I had learned on the many webinars came flooding back. I was also able to share the webinar recordings with my friend, which she found immensely helpful.
She watched the recent Autism Ontario webinar live and thanked us at the end. That might be why I am extra sentimental about the impact and reach this webinar has had.
Speaking of doing good in the world
Autism Ontario is the #1 resource for parents, caregivers, and professionals to get informed about the Autism Spectrum and get connected to the programs and people that can really help!