By Dr Michal Tsur, co-founder and president of Online Video Platform Kaltura

Despite the popularity in hosting webinars, viewers are starting to become webinar-weary. They are disengaging from generic, text-laden slideware interspersed with video and are starting to look for more personalised, interactive ways of learning about products, technologies and companies.

With all the technological innovations available at our fingertips, now is a perfect time to reinvent the webinar.

This is where the Flipped Webinar comes in.

Inspired by the flipped classroom format, which is proving very successful in the education sector, my company has recently trialed a “flipped webinar” format, which dramatically changes the way webinars are run. Both models aim to offer a more interactive and hands-on experience that encourages engagement with content, be it in the classroom or webinar.

With flipped webinars it is possible to address many, if not all, of the drawbacks of the typical, passive webinar and thereby offer something which is beneficial to both the presenter and the participants.

Flipped webinars are designed to be as interactive as possible. And each session is tailored to suit the participants who will be attending, and their specific interests.

Our approach is to send all those who are invited, and all registrants, a two-minute video that outlines the essence of the webinar and provides an “in-video survey” to get as much feedback as possible about participants’ interests beforehand. This means that we can tailor the content of the webinar to meet the requirements and interests of the registered participants.

During the actual webinar, we run a number of polls and surveys and use that feedback to further personalise and adjust content in real-time.

This personalised approach transforms the traditional webinar into a much more dynamic experience and gives attendees a more interactive and individually tailored experience.

Of course, this approach is more time consuming than a traditional webinar: there is a significant amount of preparation, planning and analysis that goes into running a successful flipped webinar and this should not be underestimated. You also need a video platform that will support the in-video survey. However, we have found flipped webinars to be a highly effective tool for lead conversion, so in our view the end justifies the means.

The results we have seen are truly astonishing. There is significant interest in pre-webinar questions, including very useful input to open-ended questions, and during the actual webinar we generally get about 90% of the audience to actively participate in the polls and surveys. Depending on the context of the webinar these results help us in our product development efforts, in market analysis and also in providing important qualifying information. It is clear to us that the active and engaging nature of the flipped webinar is superior to traditional, passive webinars.

So why don’t you get flipping?

And if you have any other ideas for how the traditional webinar can be made more engaging and interactive, I’d love to hear them.

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