Have you been out on the webinar frontier? It's a wild place where hopes are high and many explorers are setting up camp. But at the border of technology, are we pinning too much expectation on being "live?" Let's talk about where design, technology, and the webinar experience meet.
The conversation started off by establishing people's individual experiences. While a few good webinar events were recounted, most responses centered on the bad (or at least indifferent). A real gap was shown for a few attendees who had no positive webinar memories. Issues surrounding length, engagement, and poor use of engagement elements came up very quickly and were seen again at different points in the chat.
The group identified a number of different characteristics to describe a good webinar, most of which led directly back to how the webinar presenter engages their audience.
Personalizing and humanizing the course and the presenter were shown to be an important element. However, it was also identified that there should be a balance between "making yourself known" and talking too much. An interesting side note came up in discussing webinars with multiple presenters: they need to interact with each other, or at least arrange their information to be in dialogue, rather than being siloed in their own section of the webinar.
The question of "why be synchronous" came up several times in conversation. Most people seemed to agree that the webinars should be designed to actually make use of the live format. It was noted, though, that perhaps the live format gives it more weight with attendees - they have to plan to be there.
The general consensus on pitfalls of presenting were very similar to those for in-person presenters: keeping people engaged, not dragging out lecture, etc.
A short break-out discussion about using small-group formats for activity and discussion in webinars.