“Prepare more but still save time”.

27 Aug 2012

Bad economic times are just not going away.  Executives, who were used to spending 200 days a year on road till 2008, are spending 300 days with family.  Good for them.  It looks like more marriages would survive the corporate travel grind now!  But business has to continue so more and more executives have moved to web-based marketing and training.  Now that they have mastered the art of effective communication through this medium, I doubt majority would go back to old ways when the good times would return.

I recently attended training on how to design a training course.  The biggest take away was, while the success of training depends on delivery and execution; more than 50% of success depends on the preparation.  What about web based events?  How important is the preparation?

As far as effective web events go, I have seen both sides of the spectrum.  There are sessions where most attendees stayed till the end. There was lot of interaction and even the recordings were viewed and searched heavily.  And then there were sessions where the presenter was the only person left at the end of the session…not even the moderatorJ. The combination of an interesting topic, a real subject matter expert, and attendees with a need for that knowledge is not common. What is common is the preparation.

From experience I can say a lot depends on preparation. You can make an average event better with detailed preparation.  In case of the web events, you not only need all the preparation that you need for a regular face to face session but also need some extra preparation for technical set up, presenter prep, interactivity etc.

Even if we say the success depends 70% on preparation in web events, it is important to consider the economics of this extra time spent.   One web based event allows you to reach more people. Let’s say it is equivalent to on an average 10 face to face meetings.  If we divide the extra preparation time across the 10 meetings where you also need to travel, worry about directions, and traffic, this extra preparation is worthwhile. Also the success dependency on preparation would go down significantly as one becomes familiar with the process. This is where I would say…”prepare more yet save time”.

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