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Practice

Webinars and web conferences

Herausforderung: Gesundheit

Whether offered as continuing education, to exchange know-how with pro ject partners or to train experts, webinars and web conferences are popular e-learning and virtual communication methods used for honing specialist skills and sharing information using multimedia. They are available wherever participants are located. Unfortunately, many of these events are poorly organised and executed. A few simple techniques, however, can help you host both webinars and web conferences very effectively. The following checklist offers guidelines for both formats.

 

Checklist

Specific tips for webinars

  • Allocate time for interaction with participants. During webinars, participants should interact with each other every three or four minutes. They can do this by answering a chat question or a survey, for instance. Some webinar platforms allow you to conduct small-group discussions referred to as ‘breakouts’. Even with platforms that do not offer this option, you can conduct breakouts by creating and using several meeting rooms simultaneously.
  • Prepare and set up the room. If you plan to use surveys or other interactive methods, you need to set these up in advance. You can also upload the PowerPoint presentations and other files ahead of time.
  • Technical assistant. During a webinar, an assistant should be present to take care of the technical aspects, chats or problems attendees may have. This will allow you to focus on the content and on facilitating the presentation.
  • Webinar platforms. A number of webinar platforms are available, including Adobe Connect, Saba and GoToWebinar.

Specific tips for webinars

  • Interaction with participants. In contrast to webinars, web conferences may be less interactive, depending on the learning objectives you have set. At the same time, web conferences should not be exclusively lecture-style
    events. You can use interactive techniques every ten minutes or so.
  • Technical assistant/note-taker. If the group is small and you have not planned a lot of technical activities, you may decide not to use a technical assistant. However, it is important to have a note-taker on hand during the web conference, especially if decisions are to be taken during the event. This individual can also use the chat feed to take notes.

Web conference platforms: Skype for Business, WebEx, GoToMeeting, etc.