"Hey Ken, are you okay? Is Webinar Success still in business?"
Hoo boy, am I in business. In 15 years as an independent services provider, I have never been in more business. Sleep is now an occasional luxury.
It's funny, because when the COVID-19 implications first started hitting businesses and employees, I thought, "Okay, there's inevitably going to be an increase in webinars now."
And… nothing. I saw zero boost at first. There was probably about a three week period where I wondered how I could be so wrong. And then the tidal wave hit.
With the benefit of hindsight, I can see what happened. The first priority was to get all those employees set up to work from home. Lots of Zoom, GoToMeeting, Microsoft Teams, Google Hangouts, Skype, and other peer-to-peer meeting technologies to put in place. That's not my business area. Heck, I can't imagine it's anybody's business area. You're pretty much on your own for figuring out how to hold a simple little online meeting. There's no business model for providing services targeted at that space.
The next priority was getting near-term physical events moved to online venues. Big things like conventions, trade shows, annual customer conferences… Event managers at big companies needed help and they needed it FAST. That calls for serious custom-built virtual venue technologies supporting simultaneous presentation tracks, audience management, sponsorship branding and lots of account management with teams of vendor employees to handle customization and administration. Way out of my service area.
But once those got settled in, it left every other type of outreach to manage. Company-wide employee communications from the top brass, educational seminars, public communications, association meetings, sales and marketing communications. Anything where you are in primarily a presentation-oriented communications mode, but with audience interaction. Registration, recording, and reporting needed as part of the meeting infrastructure. That's what I've been specializing in for the past 15 years. Looks like I picked the right specialty.
I have a lot of thoughts on what's going on in this industry space. The unanticipated stress testing has highlighted areas that could once be considered minor inconveniences but now are revealed as serious design deficiencies.
I'm going to be adding blog posts as best I can, when I can. But there may be longer gaps between posts than usual. I beg your indulgence and encourage you to stick with me… There's a lot to learn from all this. We'll all get through the panic period and settle into a business mode where web seminars and web events remain more prominent than they ever were before. It's taken 20 years for webinars to become an overnight sensation. I'm looking forward to settling into "the new normal" (cliché alert) and having some time to reflect and analyze the key lessons for technology vendors and users alike. But first, I've got some customer webinars to manage!
I hope you stay healthy, safe, and sane. Hang tough. We can weather this.
All the very best,