Before the outbreak of Covid-19, working remotely was a topical buzz-phrase, something many companies vaguely aspired to but didn’t really feel the need to implement in their organisation.

As the pandemic worsened across the globe, forcing country after country into total lockdown, employees the world over were ordered to stay at home to minimise the spread of infection. Almost overnight businesses were compelled to seek remote working solutions for their staff to ensure their business remained operational.

With sales professionals no longer able to rely on traditional channels such as face-to-face meetings and industry events to demonstrate technology and services, many reverted to webinars to promote their offering and the popularity of these digital experiences soon skyrocketed.

“Webinars have proven to be a great way to help the construction industry stay connected, promote collaboration and showcase best industry practice,” says Databuild CEO Morag Evans.

“But after more than 130 days in lockdown, we are starting to see definite signs of webinar fatigue, and companies need to ensure that the webinars they present stand out from the noise and provide true value to audiences.”

Webinars provide an ideal opportunity to articulate new ideas and discuss solutions to pressing problems.

“It’s the perfect platform to establish an organisation’s credibility and earn the audience’s trust by giving them new ways to think about tough business challenges, especially in these pandemic-ridden times,” says Evans.

“However, webinars that are touted as educational thought leadership forums but are merely sales pitches in disguise will quickly undermine a company’s integrity.

“It’s the age old bait-and-switch trick – audiences are attracted to attend the webinar based on the promise of engaging in a learning experience, only to hear a detailed product pitch after the original topic is merely afforded surface-level treatment.

“As soon as attendees realise they have been fallen prey to this tactic, they will not only leave the webinar room, but probably also not attend future ones and delete all promotional communications sent by the company.”

Rather be clear about the webinar’s purpose from the outset, she advises. “If the intention is to sell a product, state this clearly in your invitation and structure your webinar content to meet this objective.

“There is no doubt that webinars are an incredible tool for building awareness and generating leads. Having this as a goal for your event is perfectly acceptable, as long as audiences know upfront what they are registering for.

“Those who sign up for a learning experience must have the assurance that their expectations will be met,” Evans concludes. “Providing valuable information that is geared to enhancing business operations will establish your organisation as an industry leader and keep them coming back for more.”