Our organisation puts on a lot of conferences and events, primarily for finance staff in the NHS - traditionally this has been the bread and butter of the business. Three years ago we also launched a suite of e-learning modules which has gone down extremely well.
With the recession about to bite into NHS budgets we are finding conference numbers starting to dip (in previous recessions, our events have pretty much stopped altogether as a result).
I am looking into the feasibility of hosing many of our events in the form of Webinars, which will reduce cost and travel time to delegates and offer them an interactive experience with its obvious secondary benefits. I am hoping that potential delegates will be drawn to these online events, thus allowing us to sidestep the effects of the recession and bring in revenue from these events. That’s the plan anyway...
Does anyone have experience in moving from traditional events to webinars? Are there any hidden pitfalls? How easy is it to draw numbers into these online events? Do delegates feel that they are getting value for money? These are some of the questions that I am mulling over... If anyone has any advice I would be most grateful.
As a training provider in the Navy, I have just completed a course with the OU where we as a course used Elluminate Live, a synchronous conferencing tool. The tutor moderating these sessions was very good at maintaining the momentum and ensuring that everyone was included. Therefore interaction was fairly high, the biggest benefit for me was the collaborative aspect in that this medium allowed for text chat, verbal chat and has a big whiteboard for collecting the course info which we saved to a folder for later use. The hidden pitfalls for the OU course was that not everyone turned up so thats an issue that needs a bit more work although compulsory turnout never goes down too well. I certainly felt that i was getting value for money.