Boost the ROI of Your Next Webinar
July 30, 2010 @ 09:42 AM | By Cambria Vaccaro

Many businesses—especially SMBs on a tight budget—view free webinars as the best thing in media since Johann Gutenburg invented the printing press. We may be biased, but we happen to agree. Webinars permit you to reach large groups of soft leads at a low cost per head, captivate them with an interactive, multimedia presentation... and then what?

Previously, it wasn't easy to gauge attendees' interest or quantify your leads so your sales staff could contact prospects most likely to turn into conversions. It also wasn't easy to track the ROI of a webinar—until now.

Today's webinar and event management software does much more than just permit you to host a webinar and let people know how your product or service can help them. Event management and webinar software like Cisco WebExTM Event Center® provided by InterCall, offers a number of features that help you increase and measure the ROI of your big event.

  • Polls and surveys let you measure the effectiveness of your event while gathering information on ways you can improve next time.
  • With customized event registration you can track answers to questions designed to gauge your registrants' interest and find out exactly what they hope to get out of the event.
  • Upload the results from registration polls and post-event surveys to CRM systems to give sales staff easy access.
  • Identify your most cost-effective lead sources.

How did you measure the ROI of your last webinar? How can one of InterCall's event management software and other services help you with your next online event?

Cam_blog Cambria Vaccaro is the Senior Director, Marketing Communications and our “Industry News” blogger.  Cambria has been in the conferencing industry for nearly fifteen years, and has seen it evolve from a traditional video bridging service to include cool web features and remote communication services.  She is an avid runner, cook, wife and mother of two gorgeous girls.

Doing international business is difficult enough as you struggle to understand a culture very different from your own. But perhaps the biggest issue when engaged in audio-only conference calls with international business partners or clients is simply the language gap.

It's a challenge to understand accents over the phone; so much is lost when you can't see the person you're speaking with. Because different languages have different nuances, it's sometimes difficult to catch subtle meanings behind the words. This challenge is compounded when you're speaking with someone who has only rudimentary English speaking skills.

Marieke Guy offers some tips on the blog Ramblings of a Remote Worker:

  • Enunciate clearly.
  • Don't use slang or figures of speech.
  • When in doubt, be overly respectful.
  • Remember personal relationships.

A Web Conferencing Center Overcomes Cultural Gaps
It's much easier to communicate with someone when they can see you. Reduce cultural misunderstandings by using video liberally—whether it's for a product demo or a talking head on the screen. You can find these features through a web conferencing center, like Cisco WebExTM Meeting Center, provided by InterCall. A smile can go a long way in building a long-distance relationship.

Additionally, take advantage of tools like file sharing, shared web browsing and a virtual whiteboard. Remember you have more than just words to make your point when you meet with international clients through a web conferencing center.

Any good stories to share about cultural differences on conference calls?

Dan_2 Dan Uhlmeyer is a Sr. Product Manager and the "Web Conferencing" blogger.  He has nearly ten years of product experience in Web Conferencing and has managed several services at InterCall. When not punching on the keyboard, you can find Dan enjoying time with his wife and two children or running a marathon.

Online Web Conferencing Makes Marketing Easier
July 23, 2010 @ 08:03 AM | By Cambria Vaccaro

The job description of marketing professionals keeps expanding. As companies face cutbacks, more and more duties fall under the banner of the marketing team. Some of the marketing team's duties include:

  • Training sales reps
  • Media and analyst relations
  • Maintaining a professional and positive image to the public
  • Making advertising decisions
  • Assisting in product development by determining customers' needs, desires and likes and dislikes

Online web conferencing can help with all of these objectives and more. Here are just a few ways online web conferencing can help marketing professionals.

Media and Analysts
Stay in close contact with media and analysts through webinars and virtual press conferences. File-sharing lets you distribute press releases and images during the meeting, while video capabilities permit long-distance product demos.

Product Development
Use surveys and polls to get immediate feedback from your target demographic on new products or products in development. Host focus groups with key demographics in geographically diverse regions.

Sales
Qualify leads for your sales team through free webinars that require simple pre-registration. Gauge the interest of your target market and find out what they hope to learn in the webinar with quick surveys distributed prior to the event. The InterCall team can help you formulate a marketing plan for the months leading up to your webinar so you'll get the most out of the event in the least amount of time.

After the webinar, distribute qualified leads to your sales team, saving time and resulting in quicker closings.

Training
Use remote training software and online web conferencing services to train the sales team on the features and benefits of newly-launched products—even if your sales team is scattered across the country. Online web conferencing provides an easy means to stay in touch with regional sales reps, answer questions and provide timely training so your team can hit the ground running.

How can web conferencing help you streamline your marketing activities?

Cam_blog Cambria Vaccaro is the Senior Director, Marketing Communications and our “Industry News” blogger.  Cambria has been in the conferencing industry for nearly fifteen years, and has seen it evolve from a traditional video bridging service to include cool web features and remote communication services.  She is an avid runner, cook, wife and mother of two gorgeous girls.

Employ Three Styles of Teaching with a Web-based Conference
July 21, 2010 @ 08:11 AM | By Nicole Scheel

Everyone absorbs concepts in different ways. Everyone uses three senses (hearing, sight and touch) to learn, but people tend to lean predominantly toward one sense. Some people learn visually, others primarily through words and some people need hands-on interaction before they can grasp a concept.

Audio-based conference calls limit your means of communication to one method only. People who aren't auditory learners are out of luck.

Statistics say only 20-30% of children are auditory learners, and this statistic doesn't change much as those kids become adults in the business world. How do you reach the other 70-80% of the population? A web-based conference lets you employ all three senses to make a point, share information or close a sale.

Auditory Learning in a Web-based Conference
The audio component remains an important part of any web-based conference. Whether you dial in through your telephone or listen through your computer speakers, InterCall's web-based conference services promise clear service to make the most of oral presentations.

Visual Learning in a Web-based Conference
Integrate PowerPoint® slides, videos and web browsing to show your audience what you want to show them. When you can't find the picture you need, draw it out on a virtual whiteboard. When participants don't understand what you're telling them, you have other tools to make your point.

Kinesthetic Learning in a Web-based Conference
This is perhaps the most challenging learning style to integrate into any environment. But by sharing your desktop or web browser with conference participants, you can give them the hands-on interaction they crave. Consider letting participants brainstorm ideas on the whiteboard, turning over control of your web browser or letting training session participants actually perform functions on the program they're learning. Don't underestimate the value of polls and surveys to keep kinesthetic learners involved.

What type of learner are you? Do you keep all three styles of learning in mind during your presentations?

Nichole_blog

Nicole Scheel is the Director of Training, and the “Tips & Training Blogger”. Nicole has been in training with InterCall for nine years and currently manages our internal and customer training departments, also known as InterCall University. When she's not training someone, you can find Nicole volunteering in her community or finishing her Masters in Training & Development at Roosevelt University.

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