Has anyone else noticed an explosion of webinar offers lately? Back in the good old days, about 15 or 20 years ago, I used to jump on planes and literally circle the world for speaking tours and to conduct seminars. Group conference calls were an option back then in lieu of a face-to-face seminar, but much to the dismay of the airline industry, most of us have replaced the off-site, in-person seminar with webinars delivered to our desks.
Companies now use webinars both to attract potential new customers with incentives for free educational opportunities and to retain or train existing customers — much like we used to do in person, but without the travel expense. Some of these webinars use a stand-alone platform or service specifically designed for large conferences, and some are being supported by features already integrated into a unified communications and collaboration (UC&C) system.
We spoke recently with Elise Brogan about her webinar experiences as the marketing channel manager at Corporation Service Company (CSC). CSC offers business, legal and financial services worldwide, providing expertise to a majority of the Fortune 500 companies supporting licensing, identity and brand protection, corporate compliance and regulatory filings, and other services.
The company uses Adobe Connect both for its external webinars and internal training. Typical attendance ranges from 50 to 400 people. CSC has a 300-person room reserved as part of Adobe Connect, and they can expand it as needed to accommodate larger meetings. Their attendance levels are good for external webinars; on average, 58% of those who confirm actually attend. Brogan attributes this to multiple reminders since the system delivers email notices 24 hours, one hour, and two minutes before the webinar begins.
The Adobe Connect service also offers “on the fly” additions and conversations, and online polls keep the audience engaged. Webinars are also recorded for later review in case someone can’t make the original session.
Perhaps the most impressive figure is CSC’s return on investment for their webinar. By tracking sales results based on leads coming from the webinars vs. the cost, the company has achieved a 1000% ROI. If CSC’s webinar success is any measure, that kind of ROI explains why I keep getting so many invitations!