What a four months it has been! Who knew back in March that after a couple of months I would be writing a blog all about webinars – certainly not me! But what a roller coaster of a couple of months it has been, filled with unprecedented challenges and unexpected successes at a time where any small win was like winning an Olympic medal!
Now, as much as the agreed marketing plan & budget for the year was effectively ‘thrown out the window’, I could never have predicted the success of our CPD webinars and the ripple effects of that success!
How our webinar journey started
At the PCA, webinars had been on our radar for a while. Our initial idea back in February was to start a monthly broadcast to see how it went with the hope that after 12 months, we would have the beginnings of a nice library to share with you all. Who knew we would be squeezing MORE THAN twelve months of webinars into three months!
However, like a lot of things in life, sometimes you need a little push. Rather than just a push, off the back of the COVID-19 pandemic, it was more of a ‘workie’s size 12 steel toe-capped’ motivational ‘boot up the ass’!
That’s not quite how it went down at the PCA! Thankfully, we were already going down the webinar route however, with everything that was going on regarding COVID-19, we were keen and eager to try and support and communicate to our members as best as possible during these unprecedented times. Along with many other changes to our marketing activities, along came the birth of our weekly CPD webinars!
Impressive figures from the webinars
Now…before mentioning anything about the impact of our webinars, I just want to say right from the start that when we started this journey, our original goal and intention was to help support and communicate to our members as best as possible during what was (and continues to be) a difficult time. We did not go into this pandemic with the mindset to gain ‘brand mileage’. Nor did we ever expect for our webinars to gain traction the way they did…and we certainly did not expect some of the ripple gains that have eventually come from the webinars.
Just to give you an idea of what I mean, in terms of numbers, over the last 15 weeks the PCA webinars:
- Produced 14 unique ‘Thursday-based’ CPD webinars
- Had just shy of 2,500 LIVE attendees
- Stimulated 17,000 website hits over the webinar pages
- Have been additionally watched/replayed over 3,300 times
- In total, between live audiences and replays; our webinars have been viewed by just under 6,000 individuals
When you put that into perspective, as proud as we are regarding our PCA conferences, our webinars over the last three months are equivalent to 35 full conferences! I don’t know about everyone else, but that ‘damn well’ impresses me!
The ripple effects of our webinars
As I alluded to earlier, it was not just about the surprising numbers that have taken us aback, but also the ripple effects of the webinars. Over the course of our webinars, it has:
- Helped to stimulate and generate a surprising number of new membership applications
- Help boost and generate a gradual increase in training enquiries
- Helped to generate member/company searches
- Maintained website traffic and boosted the performance of the PCA website. Shockingly & surprisingly, at the high point of COVID-19, we actually generated MORE traffic than we did for the same period last year!
The best bit however, it that the webinars just seem to keep on giving! Month on month, the replay pages generate more traffic and more views leading to other opportunities and enquiries!
Not forgetting about the ‘Tune in Tuesdays’ too
As much as our main Thursday CPD webinars were a success, the introduction of our now finished ‘Tune in Tuesdays’ for PCA members only brought a refreshing and more ‘casual’ platform for our members.
For those unaware of what our ‘Tune in Tuesdays’ (TinTs) were, they were an attempt to produce a platform to allow our members easy access to PCA staff for any support and help during the COVID-19 crisis. Our ‘TinT’ mantra was: “Your Forum – Your Platform – and Your Opportunity” to ask your Association questions on topics that mattered to you.
For 8 weeks over the height of the pandemic, the ‘TinT’ broadcast helped support our members. It never had the same sort of live attendee numbers as our main weekly CPD event (it was never expected too) however, over the course of those 8 weeks, we had just shy of 1000 live attendees with many PCA members tuning in on a regular basis.
As sad as we are that our ‘TinTs’ are no longer with us, it was ‘indirectly pleasing’ to see the weekly attendee numbers drop as we started to come out of lockdown. They had, in effect, ran their course and purpose! However, for those of you that did join us, I do hope you enjoyed them – we certainly enjoyed producing them!
What happens next?
So…what exactly are we doing next? Good question, and one that we are still looking at and discussing.
In terms of our CPD webinars, moving forward, we have now switched back onto our monthly format. For those that are unaware, our next CPD webinar is on 23rd July titled ‘Verification of Ground Gas Protection Systems’ however, you can also visit a back catalogue of webinars at your convenience via our webinars home page.
We are also looking at a ‘revamp’ of our ‘Tune in Tuesdays’, possibly to a monthly or quarterly format to keep PCA members in the loop as to what your Association is up too. This I suspect, will also include broadcasting the regional meetings (or a version of them at least) via a similar means.
We are however, VERY KEEN TO HEAR FROM YOU! As much as we have ideas for webinars that we feel are insightful and educational, what exactly would YOU like us to cover? Is there something of interest that you would like us to cover? If so, please do let me know at email@example.com.
It is not all out webinars though. Over the coming months, your Association will be doing its utmost to do more with existing forms of online technology, such as videos, and to embrace new forms of digital technology that helps us better inform and communicate to you, our members!
Lastly (but not least)…my thanks to all
Prior to signing off, I just want to say a BIG THANKS to everyone that has been involved with pulling together these webinars and keeping the momentum going for as long as we did. For those not in the know regarding webinars, you will be surprised by the weekly effort that is generally required!
I want to however, express an extra special thanks to all our presenters over the last three months that helped deliver valued learning and knowledge to all. You guys know who you are! Without you on board, our webinars would never have been the success that they were.
LASTLY…I just want to say thanks to all that tuned in to both our CPD webinars and our ‘Tune in Tuesdays’ over the last 3 months. I do hope you have enjoyed our webinars and have gained just a little bit more knowledge than what you had originally had. If so…that makes me very happy!.
Until the next blog folks, “Awa the best” and I will hopefully see you at the next webinar.
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