June 22, 2015

Success with Streaming Web Conferences

by: Todd Smoots

Business conferences come in all forms including webinars, trainings, all-hands meetings, TED-type talks, and presentations. With so many companies having remote employees and satellite offices around the globe, bringing an organization together for these conferences can be costly and challenging.

For smaller meetings, remote video conferencing is often the go-to solution and can be accommodated by conference rooms outfitted with video conferencing capabilities. But what about larger conferences that serve broad audiences and require you to deliver a professional and compelling presentation?

The Cost of Doing Business

The perceived expense of executing a streaming conference is often the only reason companies choose not to utilize them. While they may seem unattainable, professionally-produced streaming web conferences are an effective solution for large-scale, high-impact conferences.

Streaming conferences can actually save a company money. In-person meetings come at a high cost, relative to the location, duration, and size of the audience. Travel expenses are spared for off-site employees, as are accommodation, food, beverage, and entertainment expenses. And let’s not forget the facility rental cost.

When aggregated, the expense to host an on-site, in-person conference is astronomical. Less tangible, but equally costly, is the time required for travel, which equates to loss of invaluable productivity. Comparatively, the expense of in-person conferences far outweigh the cost of a streaming conference.

Teleconferences Provide Advantages and New Opportunities

Streaming conferences are great ways to energize and engage an audience. When professionally-produced, well-orchestrated presentations are executed, organizations gain credibility with the audience and potentially within its industry marketplace. Multi-camera productions add energy with different angles, while the use of other multimedia and remote feeds keep the presentation fresh and engaging.

Once a presenter is acclimated to the lights and cameras, the studio is a comfortable space in which to operate. It is climate-controlled and offers tools, such as live-view monitors and teleprompters that free the speaker from his or her notes and the podium, encourage a heads-up, eyes-forward posture, and drive engagement with the audience.

Face-to-face interactions are powerful and can be maintained with a streaming conference. Live web conferences have many tools that can be used to achieve real-time, personal interactions. Two-way communications such as web-based polling and interactivity, live calls, integrated presentation software, and live feeds from other locations all serve to connect the audience-at-large.

Depending on the nature of your conference and the content, the finished product, and even raw footage, can be repurposed, reused, and even monetized. Perhaps it is an intensive training that new employees can view as part of the new-hire process. Maybe it is a product launch or demonstration that can be repurposed for promos or commercials. You have labored to produce valuable content. There is no reason its value needs to end with the close of your conference.

Your Next Conference?

While all conferences are expensive, streaming conferences offer cost savings opportunities as well as other benefits. They can boost participant engagement with interactive elements; lend credibility through professional production quality; connect large, distant audiences; and provide opportunities to repurpose and monetize engaging and salient content. The potential and possibilities inherent to a network-quality streaming conference are boundless.