After moderating my first webinar yesterday (watch our home page for the archive -- should be uploaded within a week. Topic was the rules and regs around pharma meetings for healthcare providers. Update: The link to the archived webinar is here.), I've been e-chatting with some people who do a lot of speaking about which is harder, speaking face-to-face to a live audience, or doing a webinar.
I would have thought a webinar would be easier, but I'm hearing that it's actually more difficult because you don't have the instant feedback from seeing how people are reacting. Plus there's more technology to deal with and worry about. One big plus for webinars, I would think, is that people seem much more willing to ask questions and interact, whether through a chat or submitting questions or polling. Then again, that interaction is more anonymous and distanced than what you can achieve face to face.
So what say you, speakers?
And on the flip side, what do you feel on the audience side? I like the ease and convenience of webinars, not having to travel, etc. And I also like being able to shoot out questions as they occur to me, rather than having to wait until the end when I've likely forgotten them or can't find them buried in my notes. But there's also the distraction factor, which is so much higher when no one can see you fidgeting, pacing, or checking e-mail, and that back-and-forth energy between the speakers and the audience, and among audience members, that is maybe not entirely missing, but definitely different when everyone isn't in the same space.
Webinars are here to stay, no doubt about it. I'm just wondering how we can bring more of the good aspects of the live experience to the Web, and those of the Web experience to the live?