Webinars are extremely popular these days and can be modified and customized according to the needs of an individual. One such type is automated Webinars which are previously recorded online webinars. The best part about them is that they can be used by the host whenever needed and require very minimal resources and setup time. The word automated itself resonates that these webinars are not live.
It is usually seen that the host shares or plays the video rather than live streaming and engaging with the audience through the chat feature. This makes automated webinar hosting a completely different experience from on-demand or other types of webinars. Automated webinar hosting is not only easier than live webinar hosting but it also has other benefits.
Sometimes while hosting live webinars it is challenging to manage the required logistical resources, the availability of the speaker, or the required volume of audience whereas during automated webinars some of these challenges don’t pose an issue. One can even scale their business with automated webinars. The element of surprise called technical uncertainty has very less space and this sense of uncertainty is defeated.
Benefits of Automated webinars:
- They are cost-efficient when compared to live webinars.
- They can be used again in the future saving labour and expenses.
- They can be easily hosted in different time zones on the same day.
- They allow more control over uncertain events.
- The technical issues are far less than live webinars and they are easier to commit to.
Live webinars on the other hand do offer some advantages as well. There is a better scope of engagement in a live webinar and people can be significantly impacted.
One of the advantages that automated webinars provide is that they can be used repeatedly. Thus these kinds of presentations come in handy when the same information is to be shared at different places to different audiences. Instead of setting up a live webinar every single time one can just have a pre-recorded video and just play it for the audience to understand what services are being delivered. These things can include product demos, on-boarding of recruits, training, and sales pitches.
To have the best of both worlds the best solution would be to conduct a hybrid event. It completely depends upon the nature of the webinar one wants to have but a semi-automated webinar could be the answer. It is all about maintaining the balance and not shifting away from the purpose of the event. To host a hybrid event there must be proper research done to shortlist the best hybrid event platform, like Dreamcast, which suits the needs of the webinar. For the event maybe the content can be delivered in pre-recorded video format and discussions or taking up questions of the audience can be done using the chat or the survey tool provided by the various webinar platforms.
Here are a few steps that one can follow while setting up a semi-automated webinar
Initial structure planning
The initial structure doesn’t have to be fancy. It could be as basic as
1. Live introduction (based on preference):
By using either the webcam/microphone, the introduction can be given before the session commences. It can also be in the form of a welcome question or check-in questions that the participants can answer as soon as they join the webinar.
2. Play the pre-recorded session:
This part is the easiest part of the whole webinar as one just has to play the pre-recorded video. It is important to understand that the video must not be too long or too formal when recorded and should be able to connect with the people who are watching it in real-time.
3. Doubts session:
At the end, they could be an adult session where questions and answers could be taken up from the audience. It would be an encouraging way to end a webinar as it will help people understand the content delivered and also engage with the same content.
Key Points for Pre-recording video
A few things to keep in mind while recording for an automated webinar or a hybrid event are that
- The camera chosen for the recording should be of good quality.
- There should be a decent microphone so that the quality is not reduced even if it is played as a video.
- The structure of the webinar should be defined as people will not be able to ask questions in the middle. Therefore the pre-recorded webinars should be clear with the idea that it is trying to deliver.
- It is always suggested to present a summary of the whole webinar by the end of it so that the key pointers that are discussed in the webinar are kept in mind by the audience.
- Last but not the least, it is important that once the video is being made and edited, it is shown to the team as well or to the hybrid event organizer to take critiques and improve if certain things don’t look as per required.
Tips for Doubt Session
If one is planning to have a live doubt session or a small question-answer session through the hybrid event platform after the webinar it is always suggested to prepare a little for some expected questions.
● The best way to do this is to sit down with their team and discuss all questions they can be asked based on the content that is present in the pre-recorded video of the webinar.
● Another thing that could be done is that one could prepare a few flashcards or have a certain kind of help desk right in front of them so that they can have a little helping hand to answer the candid questions.
● Ultimately, it is always a choice of the host if they wish to answer all the questions; they can, if not wish to answer all the questions while being live.
To sum up, webinars and automated webinars are not different from each other, but depending upon the needs of the host, they can be a lot different. Some key factors that play a major role in deciding which form of a webinar to pick up are the audience volume, the motive of the webinar, the product, etc.