The use of Web conferencing has grown dramatically in recent years. But while experience shows it to be a great medium of communication in several situations, there are other kinds of occasions for which it is probably not a good choice.
The medium has shown to be effective for these purposes:
Marketing: It’s a great way to attract people to a product or service, using an educational, explanatory approach
Business meetings and collaboration: The appropriate use of online meetings will considerably cut the cost of travel, allowing for more frequent meetings. And with the varied tools for collaboration provided by good web conferencing platforms, meetings can be rich, engaging, and memorable.
Education: Distance education and after-hours help are just a couple among many examples. Again, the resource-sharing and collaborative tools available make web conferencing a natural and exciting choice here.
Awareness programs: Have something to say to a worldwide audience? A video conference can handle as many people as you and your team can invite.
But think twice before you host a web conference for these purposes:
• To begin a relationship: when getting to know new clients, personal contact is best. Web conferencing is a great choice to maintain a relationship, but to start one, it’s important to be able to read your clients’ body language, to see the expression on their faces, etc. If, however, you still feel a web conference is the best option, exercise caution. Pay extra attention to the little things–even the breathing at the other end.
• Day-long sessions: The suggested max length for a web conference is two hours. An online meeting is not an ideal choice for a day-long skill-building workshop.
• When you don’t intend an interactive presentation. If you just want to impart information, a dedicated video is a better option. Web conferencing is all about interactivity.
Author: James Parker Doyle