Once again the steady march of technology is set to change the playing field for individuals and businesses alike. But before I get to the exciting part of what’s changing with online conferencing and webinars (AKA Webinars), here’s a little bit of online history to give my story a setting.
Four years ago, my former company entered into the confusing world of live-streaming and webinars. Essentially the plan was to produce a TV quality programme and stream it out on a bi-weekly basis. So was born a 15-minute business programme, Biz To Biz TV.
The learning curve was steep and the technology was a challenge, but 30 live shows later we’d interviewed business owners, MEP’s and MBE’s and reached an audience of over a quarter of a million people. Each show was streamed via my favourite streaming platform Livestream. (Keep reading you’ll hear about them again).
So with that success in our pocket, we turned to online training and webinars. The main draw was the ability for trainers and viewers to communicate in real time. This makes the training more inclusive and honed for the viewer. But sadly, the experience could not have been more different from our streamed shows. Running the webinars through Google’s Hangout platform was (sorry Google) a nightmare. While each webinar reached a satisfactory audience, every show was a boxing match with glitchy software and ‘out of sync’ sound. Consequently, having completed just 6 webinars (Webinar PLUS) the programme was shelved and I personally have dissuaded anyone from embarking on a similar nightmarish journey.
A New Start
YouTube is fun, but for an affordable, professional video platform Vimeo is the best way to go. The exciting side of a new, user-friendly streaming option on Vimeo is it once agin opens the door for producers to live stream events and training. With a solid and reliable platform, to work with the emphasis is now on producers and trainers to make high quality live content.
The next step of course, is then to institute a simple Pay Per View system so trainers can monetise (hate that word) the training. In the meantime, using Vimeo’s embeddable player on any membership site will ensure only members can see the training or presentation.
If I were a betting man, I’d put good money on this single announcement having a big impact for online training. Especially as efficient training requires that viewer an trainer intereaction I mentioned before.
If you want to dive into the distance learning pond, then now is a good time to start looking at the possibilities. BUT, you will need to talk with companies who use more than a laptop camera to film your webinars. There is still an amount of technical expertise to getting the show on the road (or on the air..). The exciting thing is how this announcement has levelled the field for small training companies globally. Given a good internet connection, the right camera kit, and some well produced content, a little company from the stix can be training globally! Doesn’t that sound exciting 🙂
Thanks for reading the post and stay in touch to find out about the launch of The Smartphone Film Studio project by Pocket Pictures on 10th October.
Written by Mark Alexander Todd
Writer, Director and Reluctant Producer