2000 has been the year of the Webinar, and MarketingSherpa confidently predicts this trend will continue through 2001. Barry Silverstein, CEO of award-winning B-to-B interactive agency Directech/Emerge says, "We find clients are actively looking at the costs previously involved in live seminars -- hotel, travel, speakers, promotions. Perhaps they've been putting $200,000 in. Now they're comparing that with the cost to do the same seminar program virtually. Most organizations find online seminars reduce costs pretty significantly. The average online seminar without promotion costs between $25,000-$50,000."
Tom Gaither VP Business Development for zapdata.com who has converted the physical seminars his company did "for years in every major metro area" into an online seminar series, cites more benefits, "For physical seminars we never beat a 50% rate for people who registered actually attending. We come much closer to 60% with online seminars." Gaither's additional tips for B-to-B marketers considering webinars include:
1) Shorten your marketing cycle: The decision cycle to attend an online seminar is "compressed" -- made much closer to the event than for offline events.
2) Shorten the Webinar: You can't expect to keep online seminar attendees for much longer than 45 minutes. 30-40 minutes may be an optimal length.
3) Mention your Webinar everywhere: You'll pick up additional attendees if you have sign-up forms at your site's home page and links within all emails sent to both current customers and prospects.
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