Monday, 14 October 2013

Webinars: welcome not warm enough?

"At last, the webinar
has finished ...!"
Following a survey of his clients and contacts, IP transactions guru Mark Anderson (Anderson Law LLP) has posted a note on the responses he received to his various promptings regarding the use of webinars for legal training (see "Is webinar legal training viable? The results are in…", on IP Draughts here). he concluded that, while there was some interest, it was not expressed with a degree of warmth and conviction that would tempt him to organise it himself.

Within solo and small IP practices, the need to collect points or hours for continuing professional development purposes can be a continuing worry.  Commercial conferences and seminars can be expensive in terms of registration fees and time spent away from one's practice. Even when they are reasonably priced and not too inconvenient, by the time they come round they may clash with urgent and deadline-facing client work that cannot be dropped. Many practitioners leave it till late in the year to clock up their entitlements, which can also induce extra stress.

Webinars would appear to address most of these issues pretty well. Why, then, are they not more popular? Is it because those who work in relative isolation from their colleagues really appreciate the chance to meet them socially at training events? Or is it that they spend quite enough time facing a computer monitor as it is, and need to get away from it from time to time?


Barbara Cookson said...

If you work on your own then CPD is for learning and finding out what others in larger firms are learning in their coffee breaks from colleagues. Webinars like so many paid for conferences are just not educational enough. Clearly paying is an issue but payment when you are likely to be disappointed is even more frustrating if the budget is poor. The ITMA approach of offering a bundle of CPD as part of your subscription is the way to go.
Increasingly I am looking at the teaching quality - professional instruction and content may be more critical than the usual suspects from amongst your peers.
I rather liked Peter Groves podcasts - a better marketing effort for that approach might be worthwhile.

Sally Cooper said...

Webinars are - for me - simply another way of collecting information that may / may not be relevant to my practice. I'm inclined to "ask questions" to let the organiser know I'm following the session and I've found such questions answered swiftly and concisely. I've not yet been taken in the direction of paying any significant sum for a webinar - but they must have a role to play in the lives of those less mobile than they once were (so less able to get to venues for conferences and seminars). Perhaps we need statistics from organisers on how many opted to log in / how many did log in / how many sat around the screen ?