The webinar as a communication channel
Today, there are almost an infinite number of channels and content formats. Last week, we shared our experiences with the great podcast. This week we take a closer look at the webinar and how we work with it in BestPractice Nordic.
2020 was a year of digital transformation – especially for us. Online meetings and webinars have become a big part of everyone’s everyday life. Therefore, it was also natural for us to want to have a go at the webinar – but not without challenging the traditional format.
The webinar is traditionally used for one-way communication on a specific message / topic or as training tool and it usually does not allow for user involvement other than follow-up questions at the end. The style is often formal and less authentic. And even though the participants do not have to be physically present, promotion is still needed to get as many participants as possible.
On the first Friday in January, we tested a new online format on the topic “Best of ASH, American Society of Hematology Annual Meeting and Exposition 2020”, where more than 60 participants were online for 2.5 hours. Here, great abstracts were presented by renown international experts and then put into perspective in a Danish context by talented Danish specialist. It really was a great format with good energy and interaction, as one of our feedback also testifies to:
I have been really pleased with the joint webinar that Young Hematologists held in collaboration with Best Practice Nordic on the topic of Best of ASH 2020. Although there are many “Best of ASH” events, this webinar was unique because it was younger doctors who discussed with younger doctors. The level was thus adapted to the audience! The combination of a short review of a few studies followed by a short video directly from an expert and then discussion in plenum was absolutely optimal. The program was neither too long nor too short. I actually listened to the webinar 2-3 times more.Agoston Gyula Szabo, MD
Medicinsk-Hæmatologisk afdeling, Vejle Sygehus
In the following, we have summarized some of the most important learning points from the past year’s work to develop and improve BestPractice Nordic’s version of the webinars targeted doctors and nurses, attractive enough for them to prioritize both participation and interaction, when the webinar is live, so that the level is raised from a traditional webinar to a dynamic virtual format which provides most value for everyone:
Get the best specialists – think out of the box!
Identify and make appointments with the most inspiring presenters – here it pays off to, for instance not only focus on the most well-known experts, but also rising stars within their fields of expertise. At BestPractice Nordic, we are fortunate to have the very talented and renown presenters at hand – not just as a part of our editorial staff, but also all the specialists who take the time to share their knowledge in the form of articles, MEDtalks and MEDcasts (podcasts).
Make room for ongoing question time – and good debate.
With a structured program, the webinar is a great format for sharing knowledge with a broader audience. But it is crucial for the webinar’s success, to get the participants involved – do not save all the good questions to the end. Take natural breaks and then open up for dialogue or debate at the end.
Use a platform you are comfortable with – or spend the money on a producer / technical facilitator.
There is nothing worse than when there is a problem with the technical equipment. If you do not have a good platform, then make arrangements with someone who has – it is essential that you can hear and see all the way through. The technique should not take focus from your content!
Make sure you have participants on your webinar.
As for physical meetings, it can also be difficult for webinars to secure enough participants. A rule of thumb when planning webinars should be to put as much effort in recruiting as you do in developing the content. It is a great advantage that webinars can be held with many students sitting in different cities – and even countries. But even if you plan a great webinar, the participants will not come by automatically. Either you need to have good contact with your target group, or else find a partner who has that contact and can help you with the recruitment.
The next webinar at BestPractice Nordic is about Atopic Dermatitis and it is planned to be held sometime in April. If you want to hear more about this or how to plan a webinar, you are most welcome to contact Charlotte Knudtzen by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or phone +45 61394747.