Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Web cast completed

We had our web cast today and while I don't have the official numbers in yet, what I do have is promising. The numbers (which I'll finalize later) were:
- invited 500+ researchers via e-mail
- had 109 registered
- 90+ attended
- 77 stayed until the end

It seemed to go quite smoothly and I'm impressed with the ease of the Live Meeting tool. Our only technical glitch was thirty seconds of silence, with one of our presenters talking into a muted phone. A few lessons learned:

1) Getting the final slides is a challenge. It's easy to import slides into the tool. Once they're there, I needed support to do the manipulation. The problem came with last minute changes after inserting polling slides, you can't just reload slides. In the future, I may be brave and keep polls in a separate file.

2) Have a separate moderator and presenter. Having someone else review the questions is a huge help. Trying to select questions and answer them is a challenge. We're now discussing how to answer the questions we couldn't get to.

3) Send out a second invite close to the show date. I sent out a second invite e-mail a week before the show (our first went out 4 weeks before the show). We almost doubled registration (58 to 109).

4) The majority of problems are audio problems. Be ready to give a phone number that attendees can use for the audio. Also, remind them that they need to have WindowsMedia player loaded (we found that out on one of our laptops).

5) Give yourself plenty of time for set-up. We set-up and tested all our computers on show day 2 hours before the start time. Even though we practiced with this tool, we still needed this time. It was great not being rushed before the show time.

6) Have a lot of breaks or changes of pace in the show. I heard somewhere that webcasts need a poll or change of pace every 10 minutes. We had 3 presenters and 4 polling slides in our 45 minute show. This seemed about right.

These are my initial reactions. I see a few e-mail rolling so hopefully these won't change ...


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