To kick off 2013, Jeff Hurt (@JeffHurt) published an insightful blog posting titled “Five Top 2013 Conference Trends To Watch.” Reading Jeff’s post made me realize that conferences have a lot of similarities with B2B webcasts. Nothing drives this point homemore than the quote Jeff includes: “participation is the new consumption.” For me, this quote defines what webcasting is all about in 2013.
Let’s consider this trend, along with two more from Jeff’s post.
Participation is the new consumption.
As Jeff writes in his post, conference attendees don’t want “to attend your event and then sit passively for four to six hours a day. It goes against what they normally do. Instead, they want to participate.” This is true for webcasts, too (although one hopes that most webcasts are shorter than 4-6 hours!).
In the Webcasting 1.0 days, the webcasting experience was defined by the presentation. In 2013, the presentation (subject matter) is still important, but it’s augmented by audience participation. While webcast presenters are subject matter experts, audience members have lots of valuable insights to share.
In the past, we placed a large “mute button” on the webcast audience. In 2013, we’re going to give them a voice. They’ll provide nuggets of knowledge to other audience members. And, they’ll provide input and counterpoints to the presenters to help them guide their programs.
Some webcasts provide internal communications and are meant to be consumed within an organization. In those instances, social sharing may be permitted within private social networks (e.g. Chatter, Jive, Yammer, etc.), but not on public social networks.
Webcasts providing external communications, however, should provide convenient social sharing capabilities, to services such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. The social integration should provide for “read/write” access to social networks: read/monitor social media posts related to the webcasts and allow posts, tweets, Likes, etc. directly from the webcast console.
The mobile web.
For 2013, I insist that you make your webcasts available on mobile devices. Why? Because it’s such a win/win scenario. For you, it extends your audience reach to viewers who are not near their laptop or desktop computer. For viewers, it means they can view informative webcasts wherever they happen to be.
INXPO Webcasting: Find Out MoreOf course, the mobile experience must be fully functional – it needs to support all (or at least most) of the features available on the desktop experience. At a minimum, ensure that the mobile experience supports a high quality viewing experience, along with participation and social sharing.
We’re looking forward to a great 2013 in webcasting, online events and social business television. If this webcasting post interested you, we invite you to check out the Webcasting Overview page on our web site.