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Testing The Effectiveness Of Online Webinars

By Ken Molay

I have had a public survey open for a couple of months asking for people's impressions on webinar effectiveness. I collected 50 responses, which is not enough to be statistically representative of anything, but is interesting anecdotally. Let's take a look at the results.

First of all, I should mention that I left the interpretation of 'effective" up to each respondent. Different webinars have different goals, and companies set their own reasons for holding virtual events.

I also left open what people wanted to include in their definition of 'webinar." I assumed one-to-many or few-to-many presentations delivered live, possibly with a recording available for review. But I recognize that some people may have included collaborative team web conferences or recorded-only webcasts in considering their responses.

Almost half of the responses came from the US Eastern time zone. Interesting. The rest of North America made up the majority of the remainder, with a smattering of other countries contributing as well.

Responses reflected webinars targeted at many different industries, with good representation in education, technology, financial business, and services. They also included webinars used for training and education (included in 71% of responses), marketing and lead gen (included in 37% of responses), and customer communications (included in 29% of responses). Respondents could pick more than one use of webinars, and they also mentioned sales, employee communications, and industry communications in roughly equal numbers.

Adobe (Connect), Cisco (WebEx), and Citrix (GoToMeeting) were represented strongly, but responses came from users of many different technologies.

I was surprised that about half the respondents said they always or frequently formally measure the effectiveness and results of their webinars. That could possibly reflect a self-selecting population on the kind of people who answered the survey:

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When asked what reasons could cause them to not formally measure the effectiveness of their webinars, the most common response was that it was too hard to establish measurable criteria, closely followed by not being able to link results solely to the webinar. It's interesting that the third most common reason was that 'Nobody has asked for it."

Continue reading this article.

About the Author:
With a background in software development and marketing, Ken has been producing and delivering business webinars since 1999. His background in public speaking, radio, stage acting, and training has given him a unique perspective on what it takes to create a compelling and effective presentation. Currently Ken offers consulting services through his company Webinar Success (

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