Webinars in 2020 are fast becoming a video medium. In our experience, about one in three of all webinars feature video of presenters alongside their slides.
This is followed fairly closely by the more traditional audio webinar that features slides as the visual element, which still has an important role to play. Other common formats also include screen-sharing demonstrations and Q&A formats, to name just a couple.
But with so many people working remotely as the global business community adjusts to a world with COVID-19 in it, and with kids home-schooling and families staying in touch via video calls, home internet infrastructure is under unprecedented stress.
Against this background, it’s worth exploring the pros and cons of video webinars.
Great for engagement
At Redback, we often recommend our customers use video webinars where practical because audiences often find them more engaging. It’s always nice to watch someone deliver a presentation, rather than only have the option of hearing them. As humans, we’re hot-wired to engage more with what people are saying if we can also read their body language.
Provides video that can be used later
A well-structured video webinar can provide a wealth of shorter snippets that can be used both as independent clips and as an advertisement for the full webinar. All it costs is a bit of editing.
Studio shoots enable TV-style formats
Video webinars give brands the opportunity to branch out into online TV show-type formats, such as panel discussions. At Redback we’ve adapted the way our broadcast studios are set up to ensure we can still film panel discussions and observe mandatory social distancing by separating our presenter desks and cutting between different camera shots. Brands can also use the green screen background to provide sleek on-camera branding.
Perfect for translating physical events into virtual or hybrid events
Many organisations are delaying or transforming their planned face-to-face events into virtual or hybrid events in a COVID-19-impacted world. Video webinars are a great way to facilitate this, as they allow brands to showcase the content they have in a virtual event while still conveying a sense of occasion and promoting the value that’s on offer.
Remote presenters’ video can be unreliable
The quality of your remote presenters’ video feed is only as good as their broadband connection. If traffic is high and connectivity is patchy, video webinars can drop out — leaving presenters scrambling to reconnect. If connectivity is an issue, audio webinars with slides are a much better option.
You can’t phone it in
If your webinar video feed is unstable, the best back-up may be to switch to a phone line, which offers a very reliable audio feed. If you’re using a managed webinar provider, such as Redback, which offers local technical support, they can switch your remote presenter to audio over a phone line and enable your presenter to continue with minimal disruption. Our experience indicates most viewers don’t mind, as long as the stream is stable.
Some presenters just aren’t comfortable on video
These days, with video calls and family FaceTime often regular events, people are becoming more used to appearing on camera. But some people just aren’t comfortable appearing in video webinars.
Poor presenters who fail to engage an audience are the key reason audiences leave webinars early, so if your presenter isn’t comfortable, an audio webinar might be a better option.
Sometimes the information is the hero
If your content is data-heavy or you’re covering a complex topic, sometimes video just isn’t the right format. Slides or interactive formats may be what works best for your topic. Video may not be the best choice if you think it will detract from the clarity and immediacy of your message.
At Redback, we offer managed video and audio webinars with 24/7 local support, backed by our Happiness Guarantee. Get in touch with one of our sales representatives if we can help with your next webinar.