One Man’s Webinar – a virtual success!

April 30, 2005

On 6th April, sitting back in the comfort of my home office with a cool, glass of white wine – well, alright, a cup of tea – I logged on to the SCL’s first Webinar – “Negotiating Outsourcing Deals – Key Players and their Roles”. The Webinar ran alongside the real event, hosted by DLA Piper Rudnick.

Consistent with the seminar’s subject, SCL had outsourced the Webinar to BrightTalk – Registration beforehand was simple, just a click through from the SCL e-mail to the BrightTalk site. And logging in to the seminar at 6pm was equally straightforward – one click and I was there.

The quality of the real time videostream was good – no jerky images to worry about and the audio/video sync was fine as well. There was an initial hitch with the sound quality but a quick e-mail message soon got that fixed. The video picture was clear but it was not full screen. That is something that I would like to see in future Webinars.

It was easy to watch and to listen to the presenters – Philip Davies, Legal Counsel – Technology Deutsche Bank London, Danelle Dinsdale, a partner at DLA and Rick Simmonds, Director of ALS Consulting. Kit Burden of Barlow Lyde & Gilbert, and SCL Trustee, was the very able Chairman. And apart from a couple of technical hitches unconnected with the Webinar, the speakers’ Powerpoint presentations duly popped up onscreen.

There is a slightly odd quality to a Webinar, in the sense that you are both there and not there. However, having since looked at the presentation on the SCL Web site, “live” participation through a Webinar is a more enjoyable experience. Also, the ability to e-mail questions added to my sense of participation. A nice addition would be audio participation – ‘Skype’ would certainly work well.

Apart from the technology, I think that there are ways in which the seminar presenters can enhance Webinar participants’ involvement. A couple of the participants did mention us souls out there in cyberspace but doing this regularly, asking us to send in questions and mentioning us by name, are all good techniques.

In summary, the SCL’s first Webinar was a great success and I would recommend it to anyone that wants to attend a seminar but can’t get there in person.

The only remaining question is this – what is the correct term for a Webinar participant – a “webinista”? Answers on a postcard to SCL and the correct and/or best response wins a bottle of champagne from the SCL Internet Interest Group -and I promise SCL to shell out as Co-Chair of the Group!

Laurie Kaye is the founder of Laurence Kaye Solicitors: