DIY or Managed Webinars: The Pros and Cons

By redback

Webinars are a high-impact, multi-media digital marketing channel, combining all the benefits of audio, video, slides, personal engagement and interactivity over a remote connection.

But because they bring together so many elements in one channel, it takes an investment in time, effort and expertise to make them work.

Two in three webinar organisers create their webinars in-house, according to the 2020 State of Webinar Marketing report.

It commonly takes between three and four weeks to create a webinar, with most organisers (63%) saying between two and four people are involved in their webinar program, while a further 29% put the figure at between five and 10.

But fewer than half (48%) say they have enough resources allocated to their webinar program.

There is another way: rather than struggle with the additional workload webinars can create, managed webinar services — such as those we offer at Redback Connect — enable teams to create highly engaging webinars without overburdening employees.

Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of do-it-yourself and outsourced webinars:

 

DIY: The Pros

  • It’s less expensive than outsourcing webinar services
  • You can use web-based conferencing and webinar platforms from your office
  • Minimal equipment is required: a reliable broadband connection, a laptop with a webcam and microphone, and a headset to reduce ambient noise are enough to get started.

 

DIY: The Cons

  • The quality and sound of web-based conferencing and webinar platforms can be unreliable
  • Limited shot variety can create a boring visual experience
  • There are limited opportunities to brand your webinar
  • They can be a drain on resources to organise
  • On-air presenting skills may be less than professional
  • Limited opportunities to edit out mistakes or technical glitches
  • Technical support for presenters and attendees usually needs to be handled by the marketing or IT teams

 

Managed Webinars: The Pros

  • They can be hosted in a broadcast studio as well as remotely
  • HD broadcast-quality facilities provide a better video and sound experience
  • Production support offers the opportunity for a range of staging and shot inclusion
  • Pre-recorded video can be included
  • Moderation services are available so presenters can focus on their content
  • Production support is available to operate interactive features, such as launching polls
  • Broadband redundancy is built-in
  • Marketing and registration tasks can be outsourced
  • Presenter training is offered
  • Less risk means less chance attendees won’t return after a poor experience
  • Local support is usually included for your attendees during the live event

 

Managed Webinars Cons

  • They cost more than DIY webinars.

 

One way of assessing whether managed or DIY webinars are the best solution for you is to add up the time your team would spend organising and marketing a webinar, charged out at your per-hour pay rate.

Then there’s also the opportunity cost of not spending that time on the other things you could be doing – such as creating content for your webinars, working with your presenters, or promoting your online events to gain maximum ROI.

We are all attending more virtual events. But more of us are abandoning those events early because they don’t meet our expectations.

Almost 9 in 10 (86%) of the respondents to this year’s Redback Report have left an online event early — up from just 66% 12 months ago. That’s a staggering 30% increase in the space of a year and represents a significant shift in the tolerance of remotely connected viewers.

At Redback, we run more than 200 webinars and other virtual events a month on behalf of our customers.

Contact one of our consultants to see if we can help run your webinar program in 2021.

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