Dimdim announced a new release 5 this week. One of the new features is “Webinar Widgets.” For a video demonstrating the idea, click this link: http://www.dimdim.com/demo/WebinarWidget_Dimdim_Flash.flv
The concept is that once you schedule an upcoming online event, the product generates some embeddable HTML code that displays a little banner ad announcing the event. You can include things like a countdown timer to show how long it will be until the event starts.
EventSpan has offered this feature for close to two years, and I have used it for events scheduled with many different web conferencing technologies. It can be a great aid when promoting webinars and webcasts. EventSpan lets you select from several different sizes and shapes for your banner ad to fit different web needs, while Dimdim went for simplicity with a single default size display.
Of course the big difference is the amount of tight integration that a single product focus allows. With EventSpan, you have to manually enter all the details of your event and a person clicking on the promotional banner is taken to the EventSpan event information page, from which they click to go to your event registration page.
Dimdim knows the details of your webinar from the event scheduling you do in the product, so it can generate the banner ad widget without further data entry. And interested parties can register immediately by typing their email address into the widget box itself. No other page clicks are required. That can be very convenient, since each additional hyperlink and web page display offers another opportunity for someone to abandon the registration process. But I haven’t tested this yet to see how it works if you want to collect additional registration information from your attendees.
It’s a great idea, and marketing/promotional aids are going to become more and more important as a differentiator and enabler in the web events industry. I get just as many calls about event marketing as I do about event production and delivery.