Webinars: Worthless or Worth it?

Five Questions to Ask Before You Register for a Webinar to Know If It’s Worth Your Time

We know there have been a lot of emails going out about upcoming webinars. They are great, inexpensive alternatives to classes and conferences that you can attend right from your home or office. But how do you know which ones are worth your time?

First, let’s start with a definition: “A webinar is a live, virtual event that is executed online. It is an educational or instructive session that includes audio and visual communication between a speaker and attendees.” https://learn.g2.com/what-is-a-webinar

Five Questions to Ask Before You Register

Before you register, ask yourself these five core questions to see how relevant the webinar will be to you and how much you may get out of the topic:

  1. First and foremost, what is the identified audience? All good webinars will indicate in the description who the content is geared towards. Do you relate to the categories or job titles?
  2. Does the webinar provide a speaker bio in the description? Who will be taking an hour of your time and what is his/her experience with this topic? Do you feel you can learn something from this individual, or do you feel you could teach the class yourself?
  3. Does the webinar match your learning style? Do you learn best by listening, watching, or interacting? Do you like to listen to expert speakers or hear first-hand trial-by-error stories from peers? There are four main webinar styles:
    1. Educational Webinarsthis is the most common type of webinar. You’ll know you’re in this type of webinar if there are one or two speakers talking about a topic or product using a slide deck to illustrate his/her point.
    2. Q&A Webinars – there are minimum visuals in this one but lots of interaction. These webinars typically allow a panel of experts to introduce themselves, briefly provide an overview of the topic and then dive right into questions from the audience.
    3. Interview-Based Webinars – these typically prove to be incredibly fruitful when it comes to gathering best practices and advice. These types of webinars are guided by a moderator (or interviewer), who asks prepared questions to a panel of experts (the interviewees). Each panelist has an opportunity to answer the question, or the questions can be geared toward specific individuals. You get to hear shared experiences and differing opinions in an educational format.
    4. Online Workshops – these are highly instructional. The moderator will typically walk the audience through a live step-by-step process by demonstrating on his/her screen.
  4. Is this webinar going to teach you a new skill or try to sell you a product? Are you doing research on a particular item or solution for your business? If not, look out for words like demo, trial, exhibition, launch, or try out. These usually indicate a sales focus for the webinar topic.
  5. What kind of follow up can you expect? Is the host’s contact information readily available? Will there be polls, chatrooms, or surveys offered where you can ask questions and see responses in real-time? Is there a hashtag you can use to follow for more information after the webinar ends? And don’t forget to ask for the host to share his/her slides after the webinar every time. A good webinar host will not hesitate to provide a summary of key points.

Vote With Your Mouse

There are lots of ways you can indicate to the host whether or not the webinar proved to be worth your time. With webinars, it’s easy because you aren’t trapped in a room face-to-face with the presenter. You can “vote with your mouse” either by filling out a survey at the end of a webinar or by simply leaving the webinar. Hold your host accountable for your valuable time, even if the webinar is offered free of charge.

Give Us Your Input

ASNOA hosts a variety of webinars every month to help independent insurance agents with common business needs. We take great care in providing relevant training for insurance agents. Please take a moment to let us know what kind of topics you want to see from ASNOA Training: CLICK HERE.

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