I knew I had a free afternoon, so I signed up to a paid webinar. As in paid, I mean that I paid 20 GBP/hour to attend. The topic was of interest to me, and I'm happy to support the hosting organisation. It is a telecommunications industry body representing the smaller companies who install broadband networks for the public. The speakers and other participants were company executives and directors, consultants, senior Civil Servants involved in telecoms and regulations.
After at least one year of Covid Lockdown, you'd think these people would know the basics of participating in webinars from home offices and also organisation premises. Not a chance! There were loads of basic mistakes and it was obvious there'd been no rehearsals by the speakers. They'd all appeared to have assumed it would work okay on the day.
The webinar software worked well with all the usual features, we even had virtual networking "tables" outside the main virtual conference "hall".
However there were lots of fundamental mistakes from the participants:
- Some speakers had no working visual presentation material, and spoke their presentation;
- Some speakers were not ready on appointed time;
- The event had not been rehearsed;
- In most cases the visible background behind speakers on camera was cluttered and distracting;
- One guy had his camera poorly mounted and the picture was frequently shaking;
- A presenter had a poor microphone set up, and his voice faded as he, frequently, moved his body;
- One presenter was drinking from a bottle on camera;
- One had a low resolution camera and an even worse internet connection. She was frequently disconnecting and was often "pixelating" on the screen;
- Some of the speakers had loud background noise;
- Another was backlit with glare lighting into the camera
- Some couldn't get their PowerPoint presentations to work online.