After years of experience in the competitive high-tech industry, I have come to the conclusion that the time and effort involved in approving registrants for a webinar or setting up domain name blocks is not worth the benefits. Companies, please resign yourself to the fact that a webinar given over the Internet on an open registration basis is NOT confidential or secure in any way shape or form. Assume that your competitors will have access to whatever you show and say. With the ease of establishing internet accounts through free services such as Yahoo, anybody you block from a competing domain will simply enter under a different name. And this time, you won’t know they are there.
I used to psych out competitors who attended my webinars by writing them emails or calling after the event, asking them what they thought, if they had any feedback or suggestions, and whether they were seeing good results from their webinars lately. You can occasionally get some interesting information on what they think is important. The simple fact of acknowledging that you know they were there and that you don’t care is a nice mental power play.
Of course this doesn’t apply to password-protected webinars for customers and prospects on a limited invitation basis. But be careful... they have been known to give information to competitors as well. Confidential information must be clearly labeled as such, with a reminder that it is legally covered under a non-disclosure agreement. And if you don’t have such a thing in place, all the assurances in the world are meaningless. Assume that your presentation shortly will be in the public domain.