Webinar training has captured the imagination of many corporate trainers, but is it an effective medium? How do you know when webinar training is appropriate and when a different medium is a better choice? Below are a few key points to keep in mind when considering using a webinar for training your team.
Geography and travel - Webinars are often preferred when participants are scattered across the country or when timing makes traditional training impractical. Even if great distances are not involved, for example, if you have several small offices within 30 minutes of each other, short travel requirements can still affect productivity. By holding a webinar, you can bring the team together virtually and eliminate travel completely.
Timing - Even when everyone is centrally located, timing often brings challenges. For example, if your office has two shifts, you could hold a webinar in the morning and ask your night shift to participate remotely. Likewise, you could record the earlier meeting and make it available to your second shift workers to view later.
Technical considerations - Do all of your trainees have access to a compatible computer or device? Will they need to install software? How will they interact with the trainer during the webinar (via phone, web chat, or a microphone)? Is the webcasting software easy to use or do you need to train trainees in how to participate in the webinar? If you plan on doing webinar training frequently and have invested in webcasting software, this consideration will become less of a concern the more your team uses the platform.
Type of content - Some training topics lend themselves to webinar training while others are better suited to face-to-face sessions. If you need to observe trainees in order to provide feedback, a more traditional training session may be the better choice. On the other hand, if you will be training employees in how to use new software, using a webinar along with screen-sharing technology is a great way to help new users become familiar with the software.
Recordings - If the training material is appropriate for either a webinar or an in-person training session, geography and timing aren't an issue, the technology is in place, and you could go either way, the deciding factor could involve the ability to easily record the training. With webinar software, a few clicks of the mouse are all it takes to create a recording for later use. This ensures that absentees can receive the same training after the fact. Recording a webinar is also useful for training new hires or sharing a training session with a wider audience.
Knowing when to hold a webinar and when to hold a traditional meeting is crucial to the success of your event. Webinar training can be convenient and effective, especially when the topic lends itself to the medium. By eliminating travel and allowing absentees, your webinar can also save time. If you record your webinar, you can allow those who missed it the first time to watch it later. The webinar can even continue to deliver results as new hires join your team.
Mark Phillips has experience conducting lectures through webinar services from MediaPlatform for one of his presentation. He has worked in the IT industry for a number of years and loves to write about his experience. To know more about Mark, connect with him over at Google+.