World Wide Web + seminar
By now, anyone who works for, or used to work for, a high-tech or an international company has taken part in a webinar. They’re great, because no one has to travel. Instead of getting on a plane and flying to the meeting location, you sign in to a website like Webex or GoToMeeting at a specific time and enter a key they give you, and at the appointed time, or whenever you reach a quorum, the seminar begins. The leader can speak and share things from their computer screen, from PowerPoint, and everyone signed in to the webinar can listen watch. If someone has a question, they can click a button on their screen which pops up a place for them to type their question, and when the leader sees someone has a question they can read it and answer it. The same technology can be used to conduct other types of meetings, and often is, again if people are geographically dispersed. You can then archive the meeting, so people who can’t be there at the time can access it when it’s convenient and hear and see what went on.
Some personal experiences:
- The last company I worked for used webinars and web meetings a lot, because we had offices around the world and people onsite with clients all the time.
- After that company and I parted ways, I worked for my brother, who’s in Kansas City, and I never had to actually be there: he could call me, or we could use Skype to talk to one another.
- I’m a member of a writer’s group in Ann Arbor, Michigan. We meet using Google Hangouts.
The hardest thing about webinars and web meetings is coördinating people’s times. With people all over the world, a time that might be good for Asia might not be good for North America, and having to remember how many hours ahead or behind everyone is can be a pain. We ran into this with the Twitter chats we had for the Challenge, especially when the US went on Daylight Saving Time. A good website to use is TimeAndDate.com, which uses world time and computes local time based on the time zone and whether or not they’re on summer time.
Have you participated in any webinars or web meetings?