Webinar World Conference learning points

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ON24 is a webinar based marketing platform. Each year they host a large event celebrating and understanding everything Webinar based. They use the the hashtag #Webinarworld and a world all about webinars was exactly what I got from the day!

The event was held for one day in London on the 12th October 2017 and you can get all the details here.

Speakers and agenda

With a huge array of talent on display it was hard narrowing down my choices for who I wanted to see, as is usually the case at conferences.

The agenda was ram packed with great sounding seminar based events, as you would expect there were lots of sessions for how to market your webinars and others for keeping up a high level of engagement with repeat signups.

Session 1 – Driving Webinar Registration

With Lightbulb Moment running free webinars the title of this event was exactly what I was looking for. The speaker was Mark Bornstein @4markb the Vice President of Content Marketing at ON24.

I chatted with Mark after the session and you can see the periscope recording in this tweet!

The session was full of really useful information for getting people into your webinars in the first place, such as having a longer marketing campaign leading up to your webinar. This is something at we need to do better at Lightbulb Moment, as we’ve only really focused the week leading to the webinar. Learning point one already!

Another great tip to actually get people to finish the process of showing interest and click register is to reduce the form length to sign up. Other ideas included having a video on the sign up page.

Some quick notes on what I got from the session:

  • Title of the webinar should be action oriented
    • e.g. How to / 10 common <topic> mistakes / 5 best practices to xxx / 7 keys to successful xxx
  • Email subject line – should be promotional and not just the name of the webinar
    • Could be disruptive / specific need / promise change / tease or titilate / short and concise / read well and phonetically interesting / feel personal
  • Always a day of webinar promotional email for 25% of your signups (not the same as the link reminder email)

The session was great and I was filled with positive plans to take away. It was a pleasure to speak to Mark after the session. If you did not see the live video interview above I recommend you do, it was a really interesting chat from an expert.

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Session 2 – Buying Cycle

Once again with Mark Bornstein. This time he was taking the next step from getting people on your webinars to getting them to buy what you are selling.

He spoke a lot about your funnel of customers. That’s a newer piece of marketing terminology for some people and refers to the people you have from vaguely aware of you through to about to sign on the dotted line. You have different levels of potential customer in that funnel.

There were strategies for where to start when thinking about designing your first webinar campaign. I’ve been running lots of different webinars and speaking at conferences and that gave a starting point, it’s still hard even with that!

I came away with quickfire understanding of not just having a funnel, terminology I’m using much more now, but understanding the different levels people might be at in my funnel plus how to keep current clients engaged.

Session 3 – Webinar Driven Campaign

Lev Cribb was the speaker for this session and was bringing his experience in marketing.

The session was a real mixed bag, the speaker obviously had a lot of experience, knowledge and passion but I found it hard to follow his message.

What was also interesting was the lack of tweets about this session. Is that because there was a lot of interesting information and data that people did not get a chance to tweet or was it that they felt there was not much to tweet?

Closing session – future of webinars

All in all a great day, lots of learning and I look forward to next year!

Making the most of your live online session webinar recording

In case you missed the sold-out Learning Technologies Summer Forum Conference session from Jo Cook, this was a chance to get all the same information!

Click here to watch the webinar recording.

 

The LTSF17 session description and what is covered in the webinar version too

 

Click here to see tweets of the Learning Technologies Summer Forum 2017 session.

 

Click to register for the free Lightbulb Moment webinars with Jo Cook!

 

 

The very first Lightbulb Moment free public webinar!

Hurrah! We are so pleased!

Today we ran our first ever free webinar from Lightbulb Moment. It was the launch of our free programme and we started with asking if the virtual classroom is a friend, or a foe!

Some of the challenges webinar attendees listed during the #LightbulbWebinar session.

By the end of the session people wrote on the whiteboard “I just wanna have a go now” and “just want to get started!”

In terms of people’s Lightbulb Moments that they learnt during the session one person included “experiencing an excellent webinar like this shows how it should be done”.

You can see why we are so pleased!

If you missed the session, no worries at all, you can watch the recording here.

Click to register for the free Lightbulb Moment webinars with Jo Cook!

And here are some of the tweets from the very first webinar!

 

Click to register for the free Lightbulb Moment webinars with Jo Cook!

 

Tweets covering the LTSF17 live online learning conference session

“Making the most of your live online session” was the presentation I delivered at Learning Technologies Conference Summer Forum 2017.

Click for LTSF webinar session description

LTSF webinar session description

These are the tweets that covered my session about webinars and the virtual classroom.

Ady Howes had a 360 degree camera and recorded the session. I’ll update this page when we have a video link!

My session was one of the last of the day, against stiff competition of conference Chairman himself, Donald H Taylor, as well as 702010 God Charles Jennings! I still had a packed, sold out room though.

As Kate mentions, each conference session has a person tweeting the highlights, which was the lovely Joan Keevill.

Many thanks to @Obhi and @Designs_JoanK for their tweets.

Remember to download the paper that goes with this session.

And you can also join us for the webinar version!

Eight reasons to remove chat from your webinar

There must be some really compelling reasons to switch off the chat section in your webinars, as so many that I’ve attended recently don’t have this active.

Reasons for removing webinar chat functionality:

Stretching my imagination a bit, they could be…

  1. Focus on the content delivery
  2. Reduce distractions for attendees
  3. Avoid over taxing the speaker
  4. Ensure competitors attending the session don’t see each other
  5. People will see how few attendees there are on the webinar
  6. Avoid negative comments or questions
  7. Use the Question panel direct to host/producer/moderator
  8. It doesn’t exist in the software (such as GoToWebinar)

Are there other’s you could add? Comment below if there are.

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Are these legitimate reasons? Really?

From my tone so far you have probably picked up that I don’t think so.

  1. Focus on the content deliveryI focus better on the content when I’m discussing it with other attendees and the speaker(s). I can share my own ideas, thoughts, research and resources and look forward to other people doing the same so I can have broader and deeper learning.
  2. Reduce distractions for attendeesIt doesn’t reduce distractions, as I’m actually MORE distracted. Probably the speaker isn’t the most amazing in the world, and therefore I’m more likely to put the webinar on a second monitor and start ploughing through email, or pick up my phone and load Twitter.
    Using chat is me ENGAGING with the content, not being distracted!
  3. Avoid over taxing the speakerMaybe you should select a speaker that can handle the chat window. Or you team them up with a host/producer/moderator that can handle that for them. This role is typing in the chat too and bringing comments and questions to the attention of the speaker at pre-decided points.

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  4. Ensure competitors attending the session don’t see each otherYep, competitors or clients in different industries might be a challenge to deal with. If people are logging in with their real names, that’s only an issue if they might know each other. When is this a negative? Perhaps when you have two strong competitors both your clients. Then perhaps offer two webinars, promote one to one company, one to another?
    Some software allows you to keep the attendees separate but still include the chat, though this usually does include names. If that’s an issue, some software allows you to set the format, such as first name only, or perhaps suggest to your attendees a protocol in your pre-information.
    Perhaps more transparency is a better thing.
  5. People will see how few attendees there are on the webinarFew attendees on a webinar is not a failure. It’s a huge strength for the attendee and the conversation or learning points as you get to have much better, in-depth conversation. If this is an issue, you need to address your approach, expectations or marketing.

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  6. Avoid negative comments or questionsPeople will make negative comments and ask awkward questions one way or another. If it’s not the webinar, it might be on your Facebook page, or Twitter including your @handle. Why not get it out and deal with it?
    If you have a marketing webinar, this is about objection handling. If it’s about service and products then at least you have feedback for improvement. If you are worried about what other potential clients will think, it’s probably how you handle the comments and questions that will make the difference.
    If you do have a rogue attendee really bent on making an issue, and you’ve attempted dealing with it politely in the chat and offered to take it offline to deal with and they are persisting, then perhaps removing that person from the session is the best thing to do. But this doesn’t penalise everyone else!
  7. Use the Question panel direct to host/producer/moderatorQuestion or Q&A panels or pods are brilliant to separate out questions from a busy chat window. This makes it much more manageable for a speaker on their own and if there is a moderator/host/producer, who can deal with that. Sometimes there can be a few people to deal with a busy Question area and reply direct or to all attendees.
    That said, I’ve been on a number of webinars the last couple of weeks where there has been ONLY a question pod.

    This is a great example of the question not being answered properly on a webinar I’m attending whilst writing this blog post (yep, because there was no chat, no tweets and it was a boring webinar). The speaker said that webinars should be social. So I asked this:

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    It would have been nice if they actually answered the question. Or, am I being mean?

    On other webinars recently I’ve asked questions pertinent to the beginning of the session (such as, “is there a Twitter hashtag for this webinar?”) received no response. If there’s no verbal, private written or public written answers to the questions, what’s the point of entering them?

  8. It doesn’t exist in the software (such as GoToWebinar)Get better software.

 

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Soft skills gap – do appraisals really work for identification?

I was the guest speaker on the Bray Leino Learning webinar, “Identifying and Closing Soft Skills Gaps.” You can watch the recording here.

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Appraisals are often used in organisations to review achievement and also look forward to goal setting for the coming year, which should include identifying all sorts of skills gap and how to close them. You can read a brief history of performance management here to get more of a background.

There are some that suggest the annual performance appraisal is a dying process. This includes Josh Bersin in his LinkedIn article, “Are Performance Appraisals Doomed?“.

The negative look at appraisals

In this article from Personnel Today, data from the Corporate Executive Board (now Gartner) showed that “the average manager spends more than 200 hours a year on activities related to performance reviews, but a staggering 90% of HR leaders feel the process does not yield accurate information”.

This Harvard Business Review article commented on the fitness of purpose for the future of business, that appraisals had a “heavy emphasis on financial rewards and punishments and their end-of-year structure, they hold people accountable for past behaviour at the expense of improving current performance and grooming talent for the future, both of which are critical for organisations’ long-term survival”.

Are manager’s supporting the learner?

Moving away from the debate of appraisals and whether they are fit for purpose any more, a recent webinar with Lentum Learning Transfer Software and Lever Transfer of Learning highlighted results from their 2017 Learning Transfer Research (due to be published very soon).

The webinar included these results:

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Above shows the steep drop from what is learned initially to sustaining that learning for longer term performance in the workplace, as reported by L&D survey respondents globally.

Lentum and Lever highlight that this is a significant issue in the investment of resources into L&D programmes without significantly showing change in workplace performance.

Additionally, this data was telling about manager support:

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A staggering 46% of respondents stated that manager’s were not involved in supporting the learning transfer, and therefore work improvement, of their direct reports.

This post from 70:20:10 framework champion Charles Jennings writes about research that shows “managers who set clear objectives, explain their expectations, and clearly set out how they plan to measure performance have teams that outperform others by almost 20%.”

A great Training Journal blog from Paul Matthews of People Alchemy states that “the delegate should be sent back from the course with a list of actions and goals that will deliver on the desired, paid-for business outcomes. That is the core purpose of learning transfer.”

With this information it seems absolute madness that more organisations don’t have these processes, approaches and, probably most importantly, culture as part of their business. Why wouldn’t you want to improve performance by 20%? If your managers are spending 200 hours (or over five weeks!) a year on performance reviews, why wouldn’t you want to see the pay off from that time?

Is the problem that manager’s are too busy? Is it that they don’t see anything to do with ‘learning’ as their job? Do L&D do a poor job of uniting learning to performance? It’s yes to all of them, and many, many more elements involved too.

Harold Jarche, on his blog, states that ““We have come to a point where organisations can no longer leave learning to their HR or training departments. Being able to understand emerging situations, see patterns, and co-solve problems are essential business skills. Learning is the work.”

What can we do about identifying and closing the soft skills gap?

You can join us on the webinar on Wednesday 26th April 2pm UK time, 11pm AEST, 9am EST, and discuss further!

Watch recording

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