Stage I: Planning Your Web Conference

istock_000003956659xsmall.jpgThe other day, I gave an outline of the steps necessary for conducting a successful web conference. The first stage is planning the web conference. This is perhaps the most important step because without a purpose and goal for your web conference, you will most likely not achieve your desired outcome.

Within the planning stage, there are several things to consider. Below is a list of eight things that need to be addressed before any web conference is undertaken:

 

 

  • Objectives
  • Audience
  • Content
  • Budget
  • Technology
  • Speakers
  • Timeframe
  • Incentives

 

Let's look at each one of these steps briefly

Objective: Outlining your objectives will help you achieve a big-picture perspective of your event. It will also help you with the event details and allow you to measure the success of the conference. Some objectives of web conferences might be:

 

 

 

 

  • Increase sales leads
  • Train employees
  • Knowledge dissemination or thought leadership

 


Audience: Specify not only who you want to attend your web conference, but also who could benefit the most from the information you are going to be presenting.
Subject: Careful subject consideration is of the utmost importance. While the topic must benefit the company by achieving your objectives, it must also be tailored for your audience and provide them value as well.
BudgetChoose a realistic budget given your objectives. If you have small budget try to tailor your objectives and expectations to that budget. Some things to consider when calculating your budget:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • The web event itself (audio and web portions)
  • Participant registration and data collection
  • Personnel to help set up and manage the event
  • Speaker fees
  • Technology such as hardware and headset
  • Post web conference material preparation and distribution
  • Thank you gifts for speakers

 

Vendor:Vendor choice is critical because you will need to reserve enough lines as well as train the speakers on the technology. The technology should be easy to use for the speakers and easily accessible for your participants. Support of multiple operating systems is also a bonus.

Speakers & Moderators: If your event is small, the same person can probably handle these duties. With a large event it is helpful to have a different person handle Q&A, registration and the recording.


Timeframe: To maximize attendance, the timing of your event is critical. Mondays are too busy and Fridays are too slow. Make sure you eliminate holidays and days around holidays. Ideally, your event will happen around lunch when most people are free.

Incentives: Giveaways and drawings are great incentive to help improve attendance. You might also want to consider giving your participants a gift at the end of the event.

This is a general outline of what you need to prepare before considering a web conference event. Obviously, this is not an all inclusive list but it will be helpful in getting you started organizing and thinking about it.

I would love to hear what other factors might be considered when organizing a web event.

[tags]web conference. web seminar [/tags]

Successful Web Seminars and Web Conferences

large-empty-convention-hall-with-orange-seats.jpgA successful web seminar is a thing of beauty. The speaker is exciting, the audience is engaged and the technology melds seamlessly into the background never noticed by the audience and never impeding the message of the speaker. In essence, it is feels like you are at a live event.

Unfortunately, perfectly executed seminars take a great deal of practice and planning. At ReadyTalk, we have a dedicated staff of event planners that deal with the logistics of web seminars on a daily basis. They are in charge of everything from the moment a customer decides they want to conduct a web seminar until the final end of conference e-mails are sent.

In this 5 part series, I wanted to share with you the process of a web seminar from inception to conclusion. The five parts will be broken up as follows:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Planning
  • Promotion
  • Registration
  • Speakers
  • Contingency

 

Tomorrow I will talk about the planning stage.

[tags]web conferencing, web seminar, ReadyTalk [/tags]

ReadyTalk and Web Conferencing

Web Conferencing has become a critical component of a vast majority of business' communication strategy. If you are not using web conferencing as a solution now, I would ask – why not?

I have come up with a list of uses for web conferencing. This is by no means a comprehensive list. I am hoping to give non-users some reasons to adopt web conferencing as well as giving current users some creative ideas on how web conferencing can be used within their companies.

Web conferencing uses:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Training: You can conduct remote training sessions using application sharing as a visual guide.
  • Sales: Use web conferencing to reach out to hundreds of people at once
  • Lead Generation: The conference itself can be used as a lead generation tool. The recording can also be used.
  • Internal Meetings: Ad hoc internal meetings are a breeze especially with remote employees.
  • Thought leadership: Conduct a web seminar to discuss your topic of expertise to thousands.
  • Investor Relations: Conduct IR calls with your shareholders and record the call for your records.
  • Public Relations: PR firms can use the tool to disseminate knowledge about their clients to the media.
  • Technical Support: Take control of someone's desktop to repair their software or computer.
  • Podcasting:With the ReadyTalk service, you can turn your recordings into podcasts with the click of a button.

 

Above our nine uses of web conferencing, I just came up with off the top of my head. I am sure there are many more. What are some of the creative ways you use web conferencing? I would love to hear from you.

 

Mile High Games

mhcglogoj.jpgFor the past month, the employees at ReadyTalk have been participating in the Corporate Mile High games. The games feature a plethora of events in which employees can compete in from ping pong to volleyball. The purpose of the games is to promote an active lifestyle, foster stronger working relationships outside the office and enhance company pride.

Currently, ReadyTalk is in second place to Utility Engineering. However, ReadyTalk has been awarded five gold medals compared to their three.

The games have definitely stirred up the competitive fire at ReadyTalk and have been the source of some friendly inter-office banter. They have been a positive experience for all involved and everyone at ReadyTalk is looking forward to the rest of the events. If you have the inclination and the time, come cheer for us at the remaining events. A schedule of the remaining events can be found here.

[tags] Mile High Games, ReadyTalk [/tags]

Using Your Net Promoter Score

istock_000003411173xsmall.jpgThe other day, I talked about how to calculate your net promoter score. This score allows you to see how many of your customers are promoters and how many are detractors. Once you are armed with this information; what can you do? How can you increase the amount of customers that are promoters?

One way is too avoid bad profits as I talked about in a previous post. However, this will only prevent detractors and will not necessarily create promoters.

At ReadyTalk, our focus is upon building advocates by allowing our customers to be heard and by providing exemplary customer support. We conduct usability testing with our customers before new product releases, we give them several avenues of real time feedback about their conference experience and we have dedicated account managers to each one of our accounts.

Our support is done in-house and is available 24/7. We even have an advocacy officer who is in charge of making sure programs and processes are in place to create promoters. Our CRM solution has a advocacy level indicator on each account and it is the responsibility of the account manager to move the needle.

While all of the above is great, the most important thing you can do is hire properly. Our hiring process is focused on employees that have customer service as a core value no matter their job function. If customer service is a core value you hold, you will be driven to help your customer's succeed and will take it personally when you fail. Regardless of the programs you have in place, without customer service as a core value of your employees, an advocacy program may never succeed.