Getting the Most Out of Webinars Without Sitting Through Them

Guest Post

webinar-imageHave you ever registered for a webinar but then never followed through on participating? You are not alone. Most publicly available stats suggest that only about half of webinar registrants end up following through and logging-in. I doubt this is for lack of interest, it’s all about time.

As busy professionals, we all get distracted. By a call. Replying to emails. That unexpected office visitor. Even when I block off 30 minutes on my calendar for a webinar, my attention will wander pretty far from the content on the screen. It’s too easy to get pulled into something else.

These statistics, and short attention spans, do not mean webinars are poor marketing tools or even a bad way to deliver information. In fact, having 50% of people who express an interest actually show up and give you 50% of their attention, is still better than no one hearing what you have to say.

I love webinars. I love content. But many webinars have a serious sales bent and lack much useful information or are just plain boring. Sitting through every webinar that peaks your interest is too much of a time-suck. However, even the most boring presenter will have something salient to say over the course of thirty minutes (or an hour). Also, if there is a Q&A session at the end, other participants often ask questions that elicit meaningful answers.

My solution allows you to benefit from the information in a dozen webinars a week without sitting through a single one. Here’s how I do it: As soon as I see a webinar I want to “attend”, I forward the email or web link to Fancy Hands, a subscription-based virtual assistant service. I ask them to sign-up and watch the webinar whether it’s that day or scheduled weeks into the future. They take notes and capture screen shots (pictures) and package it up for me to review. I can look through it as soon as they send it back (within minutes of the webinar finishing). Or, I usually save them up and review a dozen of them in a couple hours. They become great content for planes, trains or waiting rooms.

Before you get all upset that I am cheating the system, or being disrespectful to the presenter or sponsor, remember, normally they usually get 50% of 50% of me. With my system, their entire message is communicated, albeit in condensed fashion.

Using a virtual assistant for this type of work is extremely convenient. I am a huge fan of Fancy Hands because their all U.S.-based staff makes for easy communications. Also, you can email them anytime, day or night, and you know it will get done. Other options like UpWork or Timeetc would work fine, too. If you have a large enough staff or pool of interns, you could, of course, have this whole process done in-house.

So, go on and search out webinars that are relevant to your industry, marketing or some new subject matter you want to learn about. You can even direct your virtual assistant service to seek out webinars that you might not discover on your own, then you can choose the ones you want them to encapsulate for you.

I recommend that webinar promoters cater to my method. If you plan to allow for access to the webinar or other content online post-session, offer a highly-condensed slide show with notes for quick review in addition to the whole presentation.

My ultimate life hack for webinars is an effective solution for both attendees and presenters— distilling the information down to a bite size program that can be reviewed, offline, at any time.

About the author

Adam Probolsky is CEO of Probolsky Research (http://www.probolskyresearch.com); a full service opinion research firm specializing in elections and public policy and working on behalf of business, government, labor, political, media and other special interest clients.

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