By Robert Hadley
Which would you rather do – take a two or three-hour flight from New York to Los Angeles for a routine meeting with a client or conduct the same meeting from the comfort of your own office?
If you’ve spent much time as a business traveler, you know there’s more to a two-hour airline flight than just the two hours. There are airport security screenings and checking in at your hotel, not to mention hailing a cab to and from the airport.
Why not let technology eliminate the hassle of traveling for business? Today’s web conferencing platforms, such as AnyMeeting.com, can radically reduce the pain and cost of doing business across the country or even globally.
Interacting with Your Audience
Handshakes aside, there’s not much you can do at an in-person event that you can’t do in an online meeting.
For example, most web conferencing services, such as AnyMeeting.com, provide tools for interacting with attendees in a way that even live meetings don’t offer. For instance, you can poll your audience throughout the presentation and display real-time results right there on the screen. This is a bit more accurate than simply asking for a show a hands in response to a specific question.
There’s also a degree of anonymity around being able to click your answer to a question instead of raising your hand to a potentially embarrassing question in a roomful of strangers. On the other hand, the instant polling option can also add a level of intimacy to the proceedings by letting the attendees share some information about themselves. It’s a good way to learn more about the other people attending the webinar with you.
Archived for Later Reference
Most webinars can easily be recorded in a format that’s easy for attendees to access and download at a later time. In fact, that’s one of the key advantages of having a webinar.
In a live event, say, in a room full of 200 people (perhaps clanging their silverware if it’s a lunch meeting), the logistics of filming the proceedings can be formidable. We’ve all seen viral videos of meetings with bad sound or lighting. We struggle through because we want the information.
But with a webinar, production values are less of an issue because the speaker is usually filmed on a close webcam in an isolated office. There’s less that can go wrong, production-wise, and you’re able to create a user experience that is more intimate, capturing a one-on-one quality.
In-person meetings are great for meeting other professionals in your own (or other) industries, and that potential is still available with a webinar.
The text chat feature operates simultaneously in a separate window on the screen, usually below the area where slides and the speaker are displayed. This interactive capability allows the audience to reach out to each other to share introductions and comments on the presentation. The chat also lets the presenter monitor audience concerns and address them as they occur, adding a further layer of interactivity to the meeting.
As you can see, not only do online meetings eliminate the hassle and expense of business travel, they also offer a user experience that blends interaction and an easily archived presentation format for future use. And in the case of AnyMeeting, the service is free!