Ten Reasons to Consider Offering On-Demand Webinars

Guest post by Andy Zimmerman, VP and  GM at MyBrainshark, a free multi-media marketing & e-learning site

An on-demand webinar is a pre-recorded presentation that can be viewed by your audience at any time via the web. You may wonder why you need to offer on-demand webinars when you already host live webinars and use live web conferencing. Live web conferencing makes sense when you need to interact, discuss, and collaborate with your audience members or collect their feedback…in real time.  On-demand webinars and presentations, meanwhile, make sense when you want to educate or inform multiple people on their own schedule (and yours) and without technical barriers (e.g. software downloads, plug-ins, etc.).

If you’re not yet utilizing on-demand webinars in your communications mix, here are 10 reasons why you may want to consider starting now.


1. How widely dispersed is your audience?

Trying to find a time that works well for an audience in multiple countries or time zones is often impractical. On-demand webinars enable you to reach your entire audience at each individual’s convenience.

audience2. How large is your audience and how can you reach them all?

As audience size increases, so does the difficulty of scheduling a time that works for everyone as well as the costs of delivery. To address this challenge, you typically have to hold a series of live conferences. Using an on-demand format, your experts can record the information in advance, and then you deliver it to a worldwide audience in one shot. And keep in mind, as large as your target audience may be you won’t be able to reach them all “live” anyway, so having an on-demand version to complement live sessions will dramatically increase the reach of your content.

3. How often does the content need to be customized to diverse audiences?

Altering your core content for each audience is time-consuming and often impractical. With an on-demand version of your presentation, you can leverage core content while personalizing your message—simply by customizing certain slides, for example.

4. How important is consistency of information?

Even the best speakers don’t give exactly the same performance and deliver the same content every time.  If you capture their information in advance, your speakers will be able to give their best performance, and everyone receives consistent information.

5. How do you know if your content is hitting the mark?bullseye

With live conferencing or even a recorded version of a live session, you really don’t know who’s paying attention or whether your content is resonating. With on-demand webinar authoring tools like myBrainshark, you can track who viewed the webinar, what they viewed, how long they viewed, from where they viewed, and even how they answered any interactive survey or poll questions you can insert.

6. Would your audience want to refer to this information in the future?

Information such as product and technical knowledge, business procedures, or competitive intelligence often needs to be referenced again and again.  On-demand webinars and presentations make this information available exactly when it is needed – anywhere, anytime, even from mobile devices.

7. How long is the “shelf life” of your content?

Once you deliver content live…that’s it. And even if you record it, it can be near impossible to edit if you want to change even the smallest detail. A tool like myBrainshark allows you to effectively manage your content, add or replace slides or audio, and significantly extend the “shelf life” and hence value of your content.

8. Is prerequisite knowledge critical to understanding your content?

If your audience has varying levels of base knowledge, you may need to bring everyone to the same level.   Prior to bringing people together in a live forum—whether in a classroom or online—consider getting everyone up to speed by delivering on-demand learning content in advance of a live webinar.

calendar9. How flexible are the schedules of your audience members?

Some of your audience members have schedules that are less flexible than others—such as salespeople who need to maximize selling time, or support staff who can’t be away from the phones during peak periods.   Bringing employees such as these together at a scheduled time often means lost revenues or compromised customer satisfaction.  These audiences need information and knowledge they can view on-demand at their convenience, often at off-peak times and in small doses.

10. How flexible are the schedules of your presenters?

The time of your product managers, executives, and technical experts is valuable and often thinly stretched.  Communicating knowledge to multiple audiences on a repetitive basis takes precious time.  With on-demand communications tools authors can create content once at their convenience, then leverage and re-purpose it multiple times. They can even upload content (visuals or audio) provided by outside subject matter experts on their own schedules, without the need for pre-arranged recording sessions.

Here are some good examples of on-demand webinars to check out:

online video power of story

As of mid-December, WebinarListings now offers on-demand webinars!  See the on-demand page for more information or see the Recorded Webinar Library.

What do you think of on-demand webinars? Do you prefer them over live webinars?  Do you miss something from the live experience? Have you used a tool like myBrainshark to record your on-demand webinars?

(Photo credit: Audience, Bullseye, Calendar; Disclosure: myBrainshark and WebinarListings have a partner relationship)

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