Webinars are not virtual events

I believe we see more and more webinars and virtual events invitation and promo on our LinkedIn and Facebook feed since March 2020. Ever wonder if webinar considered a virtual event?

You may disagree with me but to me, a webinar is not a virtual event. A virtual event should meet some (if not all) of the below criteria, imagine a conference:

  • Attendees interaction
  • Networking
  • Multi sessions
  • Multi tracks or break outs
  • One-on-one meeting
  • Sponsors’ virtual booth
  • Concurrent sessions

A virtual event usually last more than 4-hours or at least a full day with a stellar line up of speakers with well curated content under one common theme and great networking opportunity for speakers, sponsors and attendees.

What is webinar then?

Essentially, webinar is supposed to be a one-hour or so un-engaging presentation, useful for marketing purpose and even existed long before COVID. But today, webinar can be a video with one or more speakers presenting to a group of audience, can be presentation of slides or panel discussion or demo a product. Or you also call it online seminar.

So what do people normally use when hosting webinars?

Sales coaching, motivational sessions, sales pitch or instructional content are usually webinars. Webinars are meant to reach out to as many people as possible, the bigger the audience the better for sales. Therefore, the registration platform or module that comes with the webinar platforms are rather straightforward – register, get confirmation and login link; then join the webinar.

Unlike a virtual event registration, the algorithm or logic can be a lot more complex and accreditation or approval process can be included. For example,

  • an attendee to the virtual event can have their profile viewed by other attendees
  • an attendee can set a meeting with another attendee
  • business match making can be done
  • attendee can select the tracks or sessions to join during registration or before the event
  • sponsors can set appointment with the attendee

So is your next event a webinar or a virtual event? What is your big WHY for the project? One may work better than the other depending on what you would like to achieve.

If you have any questions or need advice about an upcoming event, feel free to contact me at ronald@thinkevent.com

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