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Guys and Girls, we need to discuss Webinars! There are many of them, and I hope and believe that organizers are considering topics, execution, and value for the attendees over almost everything else. 

When we create webinars under the title 'Learn With Us,' we have a mix of sponsored content and editorial content. We charge sponsors, and we pay the editorials to ensure a good balance for the audience. We also believe paying the speakers is an incentive to do their best. We work hard on curating good programs and encourage our sponsored content to be as educational as possible. We get good feedback from the attendees and the sponsors.

Live vs. pre-recorded vs. YouTube vs. in person. 
I have been at countless conferences over the years, and I have LOVED being at almost everyone. I, of course, learn from the speakers, but while writing this article, I realize that what I like the most is probably the social time with speakers, colleagues, and the industry in the breaks, in the bar, at the dinner, and the time that follows. 

So everything not physical, in my opinion, is second to the physical events - or - almost always. 

If I want to learn, my first choice is maybe the virtual events since it allows me to be pickier and attend when I have time. It also allows me to run a full hour webinar at 1.5 speed and save time when in a rush, and even the option to skip things that I already know or find less attractive is an added value for me! That isn't an option at the physical events, and it isn't an option if I chose to attend a LIVE event - like our Learn With Us.

But it's LIVE! We find this fun, stressful, engaging, and extremely challenging, demanding a lot of confidence from the speakers. 

Some of our competitors prefer to pre-record their sessions. 

Pre-recorded sessions are‚ of course, easier to manage, and you will also avoid some of the technical flaws that can happen when delivering a live-event. BUT - why attend at a specific time, if it's not live? 

Pre-recorded webinars are just "films" that could be shown at any given time, on YouTube, Vimeo, or other streaming services. 

Learn With Us is live for a couple of reasons. We like the positive stress and the opportunity for engagement. What we also like is the production-value since we can deliver valuable content up-to-the-minute. But we also do this since we save a lot of editing time afterward or before - and we continue to have the content for replays later - which gives the option to the audience who couldn't attend live to watch the content when they like. So kind of best options for both purposes!

When we did the Learn With Us Smart Factory, we had a replay ratio of 1 to 8-10.

Numbers?
A couple of weeks ago, we executed our Learn With Us Inkjet event, and though we haven't had time to look into the numbers yet - we must have failed big time. 

When I read that drupa delivered more than 5,000 attendees at their event, and when others announce stunning numbers, I simply must admit that they are not even close!

We can't deliver the number of views as some of our competitors can. Some of our sessions had 15 viewers, and some had close to 300 - and it, of course, leave me with a conclusion that our program isn't good enough. 

When we show the number of attendees in our sessions, I can't hide anything. I can't lie, it's in your face! Not all webinars reveal the number of attendees when the webinar takes place - why?

Last week I got mails like "Next session is about to start" more than 20 times at an event that I didn't register for nor attended? Maybe the numbers are bolstered beyond actual?

Attendee Quality
Who should attend the webinars? Sponsors want to reach PSPs, and so do we. But even the most popular sessions only attract a few hundred attendees LIVE - and with more than 100.000 printing companies in Europe, these numbers are crazy small. Even drupa, who announced a bit more than 5,000 attendees in their event, can't attract people to attend - so what is wrong?

Of course, one can argue that the content isn't appealing or interesting - but maybe vendors, media, and event organizers are totally disconnected from the people we believe should attend? 

Even the events organized by the printing federations have a limited audience. I feel sad that the learning options delivered by both INKISH and our competitors aren't attractive to the owners and the employees of the printing companies. 

The challenge
Whether it's the content or the format that doesn't appeal to the printing companies is difficult to know, I would like to find out, so I will call a few random printing companies to see if I can learn how to improve.

In the following week, we will publish our numbers from our Learn With Us event, and then we will evaluate and see how we can improve on all measures. The good thing about competition is that it challenges us to do things even better.

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