It’s ok; we’ve all done it. You register for a webinar, and when the time comes to log in, you find yourself too busy or not as interested in the topic as you were before, and you decide to pass on the live event. Even with enticing and exciting titles like “Zombie Alert! Is Your Data Center Under Attack?” or “Investing in Your Evergreen eCommerce Strategy” or even “50 Shades of Cloud,” some of the best webinars go un or under-attended.
There are several reasons you should attend webinars. What you get out of a webinar is business-critical information that is relevant to your brand’s interests without having to spend a lot of time and effort on your end. Here are five major reasons you should be more vigilant in attending webinars; your career may depend on it.
1. Career Development
You should never stop learning. Whether your business falls under the scope of technology, couches, or financial services, your industry will always be in a state of constant change. When you cease to stay up-to-date with trends that can affect your brand, you cease to compete with your counterparts and fall further away from your customer’s interests.
Matt Hopkins of CropLife writes, “Unlike in-person seminars, which can take several months to plan, webinars are better positioned to deliver relevant, timely information to the audience.” This relevant and timely information is designed specifically for you, the audience. Webinars are the ideal way to grow your expertise and continue your career development as an industry leader fully equipped with a slew of professional acumen.
2. Impress Your Boss
The more you know, the more you can bring to your company. Maybe that’s why some of the top brands encourage their employees to continue their education so that they can apply what they learn to their workplace. AJ Agrawal, CEO of Alumnify and Inc.com contributor recently found that many billion-dollar companies like Zappos and Facebook invest heavily in their own employees. Agrawal asserts, “Realizing the power of teaching, they promote from within and support their staff to learn skills to bring back to the company.”
How can you make yourself more impressive and stand out from your co-workers? Attending webinars enables you to grow your knowledge of best practices that are pertinent to your brand and industry. This may be the missing piece when a job opens — you look more appealing to upper management and have a better chance at getting that corner office. Using webinars as a form of education can increase your knowledge of latest trends and strategies and, at the same time, increase your professional worth to your company.
3. Learn from the Pros
A good webinar host teaches attendees talking points from personal experiences. The host should have experience in the trenches, discussing real challenges and success stories. As an attendee, you should be confident that what you are learning is first-hand knowledge from subject matter experts.
According to Gary Teagarden of Teagarden Tech, “Webinars are a constant source of fresh ideas and insights from industry thought leaders and notable experts in just about any discipline you can imagine.” Teagarden could not be more correct. Just as there are seminars and conferences held throughout the world, there are webinars on various topics, in a number of languages, broadcasted live on a daily basis. Whether you are interested in project management, marketing, or even environmental policy, you can find a webinar built around topics that are both relevant and current for you.
It can be a challenge to glean information from top execs in your industry. And although it is not as personal as an in-person meeting or informational conference call, a webinar can put you in the room (digitally) with professionals willing to share their expert insight. Where else are you going to be able to learn directly from VPs and board members of Fortune 500 brands — all from the comfort and convenience of your office?
4. See What Your Competition is Doing
Developing a robust business strategy should always include a comprehensive competitive analysis of the industry landscape. It’s always important to understand what your competitors are doing so that you can learn from their business practices, habits, and spending.
If you have ever wondered what your competitors are doing and perhaps why they are performing better than you, gather intelligence at one of their webinars. We recommend using Twitter lists to group your competitors in one place and monitor the announcements of live webinars and events, what content they’re publishing, and how they are marketing their products to the customers you may share.
Don’t be afraid to register for their next upcoming webinar using your personal email address to extract information to help guide your business strategy. You may be pleasantly surprised what you can find out from boasting competitors on live webinars.
5. Make Connections
Networking and collaboration with like-minded people can lead to inspiration and a more powerful brand strategy. Webinars may not offer the benefits of opening night receptions and coffee break mixers in between sessions at a conference or trade show, but there are still tremendous opportunities to connect with the hosts and fellow attendees.
The questions and comments section of the online forum can give you enormous insight. Rebecca Henderson recently wrote about the importance of attending webinars to truly understand a topic by interacting with others during the event and making the most out of the digital experience. Henderson writes, “If the webinar is led in real-time, you should have the opportunity to ask follow-up questions. This ensures that you are getting the most out of your training and fully understand the topic covered.” Content can be overwhelming and confusing at times, but with the right host you should be able to ask enough questions so that you know how to take action after the webinar is over.