In many cases, webinars are a supplier’s choice method for providing travel advisors with useful destination information, sales tips and product updates.Primarily consisting of live-streaming video or slideshow formats delivered directly to the attendees’ monitors or smartphones, this method of education is also a particularly beneficial and convenient way to stay up-to-date on the goings-on of your preferred partners – without having to spend time away from the home or office.
Primarily consisting of live-streaming video or slideshow formats delivered directly to the attendees’ monitors or smartphones, this method of education is also a particularly beneficial and convenient way to stay up-to-date on the goings-on of your preferred partners – without having to spend time away from the home or office.But webinars are also tricky. They’re easy to commit to, and even easier to skip out on, or daydream through. And really, it’s not your fault; as a travel professional, you’re hard-wired to multitask and think on the fly, while webinars require your full, undivided attention.
But webinars are also tricky. They’re easy to commit to, and even easier to skip out on, or daydream through. And really, it’s not your fault; as a travel professional, you’re hard-wired to multitask and think on the fly, while webinars require your full, undivided attention.
Here are a few tips to help you make the most of the next webinar you attend:
Be selective with your time.
When the invitation for a not-to-be-missed online supplier training session lands in your mailbox, be honest with yourself about whether it’s a topic that directly interests or applies to you. There’s no point in committing your time to a session if it’s going to get bumped to the bottom of your list of priorities on the day-of. If you do decide it’s worth your time, RSVP promptly and be diligent about scheduling meetings and other activities around the webinar timeframe so you’re not tempted to pull out at the last minute.
Make sure you’re compatible.
Webinars use streaming technology and typically occur in real time, so it’s important to make sure your computer and software is up to snuff. Check the system requirements for the webinar well ahead of the session, in case you need to download any updates or speak to your Internet service provider about your bandwidth. If possible, utilize the test webinar provided by some suppliers prior to the live session as well.
Do not disturb.
Whether you work from home or an office, it’s important to eliminate distractions which might prevent you from attentively attending a webinar. Unlike an in-person workshop or presentation, this particular format makes walking away unannounced extremely easy. Common disruptions include: smartphones; additional browser windows; pets/children; chatty coworkers; and hunger. Don’t waste your time by using a webinar as an excuse to catch up on your Instagram – lock away your phone, full-screen the presentation and pack a snack before sitting down in a quiet room. Remind yourself that the presentation won’t last forever, and make the decision to actively pay attention.
It may help your process to record what you see and hear during a webinar. Even though accompanying information sheets usually arrive via e-mail following a session, jotting things down as you go is a good cognitive exercise that helps you listen more effectively while staying in the moment. It’s also helpful when it comes to referring back to points and figures while the session is still taking place.
If – or when – the opportunity arises to send in questions, live-tweet or otherwise participate in the webinar, don’t hesitate to take advantage. Not only does the remote nature of an online session eliminate the social anxiety which can sometimes set in during a live workshop, posing thoughtful questions and offering your own experiences upon request also makes it easier to take ownership of the session, your own time, and ultimately, avoid distraction.
Of course, even after following best-laid plans and practices, some distractions and double bookings just can’t be avoided. If you do have to miss out on a webinar you’ve RSVP’d to, e-mail the host, explain the situation, request access to a recording of the session and then see the tips above for paying attention. Just because you can pause and rewind it doesn’t mean you should browse Facebook while the recording is running. In addition, try not to make these kinds of requests a habit; hosts usually measure their session success by the live attendance numbers in a webinar, and after awhile of being given the recording run around, they’re bound to remember your name…
This piece was brought to you by Air Canada, as part of the airline’s ongoing efforts to support travel agents. ACTA members click here to access Air Canada’s ACTA Training program for agencies.