Use Online Seminars and Webinars as Training Opportunities

Webinars and online seminars have become increasingly important since the beginning of the corona pandemic. Even if face-to-face training is not over, the number of virtual seminars can continue to grow. But what do terms like online seminars and webinars mean? What are the advantages of face-to-face seminars? How do you perceive a good professional webinar? If you are interested in Continuing Education, ask yourself these and other questions before booking an online seminar or webinar.

What is an online seminar or webinar?

Online seminars and webinars are virtual events where participants get together to learn about topics together. There are alternative terms, such as webinars and web workshops, that are not always used as synonyms.

The definitions of the terms webinar, online seminar, and online workshop are different.

  • Webinars are online lectures with interactive elements and questioning options.
  • In addition to communicating information, online seminars focus on task resolution and group work.
  • Online workshops focus on practical relevance, which tends to keep teachers modest and allow participants to work independently. These definitions are not clearly distinguished from each other.

All of these digital learning formats have in common that they are live events, unlike training videos and blogs. Participants get together at virtually the same time, rather than receiving ready-made learning materials themselves.

What are the benefits of online seminars and webinars?

One of the biggest advantages of online formats is flexibility. Participants are spatially independent. Webinars can be integrated into your daily office life or can be comfortably completed from home. If you need to change the scenery, you can also attend a seminar of your choice during the holidays and gain knowledge in the pool if you have enough internet connection at the holiday location.

In contrast to the face-to-face seminar, there is no need to plan arrivals and departures. This saves not only time but also money, as there are no travel or hotel costs. However, the exchange remains in the live webinar. Participants can actively participate, exchange ideas with each other in real-time, and ask seminar leaders questions. Some online seminars have also been recorded and made available to participants for individual review of the content.

How do online seminars and webinars work, and what do I need to consider?

Webinars or online seminars can be conducted in completely different ways. Such events can last for hours or days for online training. Therefore, breaks are a must, especially for the longer webinars. Online events stand out more than attendees. Therefore, it’s not rude to take your eyes off the screen from time to time during an online seminar and look up the distance easily, but it’s perfectly legal. In addition, sitting for long periods can lead to back pain. Therefore, breaks should also be used for exercise, whether to go to the mailbox or for a few minutes on a cross-trainer.

If you want to get the most out of your online seminar, you should also make sure that your work environment is as quiet as possible and that there is little distraction. The content of the webinar is as rigorous as the content of the face-to-face seminar. The spatial flexibility and the ability to switch off the camera in between shouldn’t make you want to do anything else at the same time.

How does the online seminar work?

The video conference provider creates the technical requirements for the virtual seminar room. Currently, there are the following providers whose tools can be used for webinars and online seminars.

  •  Zooming
  •  Skype
  •  Teams
  •  Goto Meeting
  •  ClickMeeting
  •  Vetting Rooms
  •  Cisco WebEx
  •  Edudip
  •  Fast Viewer

These tools are constantly evolving, constantly creating new possibilities for trainers and participants to interact well with each other. Therefore, for webinars and online seminars, seminar leaders need to work with technology. You should be able to answer technical questions from participants regarding the platform and the tools used. Additional interactions with videos, games, surveys, and other technical assistance will relax the course. However, it should complement the transfer of knowledge and not overwhelm the content.

How do you perceive a good professional webinar?

First, the content of the online seminar must be well organized and suitable for the target group. In addition, the course must be adapted to the technical requirements of the online situation. It doesn’t just include the smoothest possible process with working images and sounds. Seminar leaders should also pay attention to some lessons learned, as the learning situation is different from the face-to-face situation.

Especially in large research groups, it is difficult to pick up everyone without boring the rest of the participants. Distractions are hidden in every corner, so a high degree of self-discipline is required. A good seminar leader does not have a long confession but provides an opportunity to participate in attracting and maintaining the learner’s attention. This is even more important online than on the site. It is also difficult to exchange ideas and networks with course participants due to their lack of physical proximity. Seminar leaders can counter this with breakout sessions and other dialogue options.

Conclusion: Advantages and disadvantages of online seminars

Webinars and online seminars are suitable for many training topics and will replace some face-to-face events in the future.

This is due to the following advantages:

  • Space flexibility
  • Low cost due to lack of arrival and departure
  • There is no limit to the number of participants
  • Seminars can be recorded and edited
  • Advance technology creates better opportunities for interaction

Still, the webinar has the following drawbacks, so the face-to-face seminar will not end.

  • Dependence on technical requirements
  • People who are less focused or lack self-discipline have a hard time following the content
  • Webinars and online seminars can train your eyes and cause health problems such as back pain
  • The exchange is more impersonal because there is no direct physical contact with the seminar leader or fellow learners.

Whether an online seminar or a face-to-face seminar is a better choice depends on the individual needs of each person learning. Therefore, it is worth comparing offers and even contacting training professionals.