Working with Virtual Meeting Platforms
What are your greatest frustrations with virtual meeting platforms and what can we do to overcome these?
Everything Webinar asked me to chime in on this issue’s theme by picking one of my greatest frustrations with virtual meeting platforms. I don’t use all the peer-level web conferencing products, but I’ve probably used just about every major platform for presentation-oriented webinars and webcasts. It’s hard to pick a single feature that “everyone gets wrong,” since I can usually find at least one vendor who has recognized and solved the problem.
I wish more web conferencing products permitted full design customization of registration pages and emails. Given the current state of coding sophistication there is no reason to restrict administrators to adding custom registration fields at the bottom of fixed-design registration page templates. There is no excuse for sending emails on behalf of the webinar host that say what the webinar vendor wants to say (in their choice of font and layout) rather than sending the content and the layout that the customer wants to send. Exceptions do exist, and thank goodness for the companies who give us that level of control!
But there is one functional area where I think there’s room for improvement across every platform… Managing and reporting typed interactions in a web event. Call it chat or Q&A, I haven’t found a web conferencing solution that gives me the control I want during the session and when analyzing text submissions afterwards. Within a session, I want greater convenience in flagging, sorting, and organizing text entries. Post-webinar, I want the same ability to sort and reorganize text data to help me focus on proper follow-up activities.
If you want to get into the weeds on this subject, I wrote a blog post earlier this year that acted as an “open letter” to webinar software manufacturers, pointing out current deficiencies and offering some design ideas that would add control and insight. Many vendors are moving in the wrong direction, with chat windows designed to emulate instant messaging on mobile devices. That’s not a design that works for large groups having lots of different interactions and I hope the pendulum quickly swings back to a more functional approach.
Analyzing and acting on comments and questions from attendees can be one of the best ways to do lead qualification, gain customer insights, head off user frustrations, and demonstrate responsiveness. Virtual meeting platforms need to give us better tools for accomplishing these goals.
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We look forward to helping you rock your next presentation!