As a result of recent developments in technology, the Webinar or (online seminar) has been used as a tool for remote collaboration between companies and corporations. Webinars bring benefits like cost and time saving (for example business – related travel and hotel fees). Using web conferencing to connect with colleagues and clients around the globe is an excellent way to help companies to reduce their carbon footprint and to show their social responsibilities.
This week, I was invited to join a Social Media Webinar with a worldwide reputable communication trainers Mr. Peter Casier and Mr. Samuel Stacey, organised by the Centre For International Forestry Research (CIFOR). The webinar aimed to communicate ways to optimise the usage of social media and other web-based communication tools to promote the ASEAN Social Forestry Network (ASFN). The session featured 10 participants from different ASEAN countries who are working as communicators for forestry institutions, and two other trainers working from Rome. I was amazed to see how well this web seminar was organised and, particularly, how web-based communications tools were being used on the spot to virtually gather people from across the world. What was needed was only a standard headset or webcam and a broadband internet connection.
What Is a Webinar?
A Webinar is an online seminar, where all participants and the trainer are gathered in a virtual classroom. They communicate online via audio and video. Each participant can watch the presentations, listen to the course, and participate interactively, with questions or remarks. It is a novel way of bringing training concept to reality, while avoiding the costs of traveling. In the market, there are many cloud-based multi-party conferencing tools or platforms available like Bluejeans, Yugma, WebEx, and they serve different groups and functions. Besides companies, many INGOs or universities use Webinars for instructional purposes such as conducting trainings and lectures, given the tool's ability to reach a broader audience.
Webinar – A Way to Go Green
Just imagine how much carbon emissions a single commercial flight releases into the atmosphere? In the United States alone, the transport sector make up about one-third of domestic greenhouse gas emissions. Attending online conferences can save carbon emissions associated with travelling to meetings and trainings. A case study of how US-based training institute AICTC reduced their company’s environmental impact by using Webinars was recently published by video conferencing provider, GoToWebinar.
Web conferencing is still a relatively new addition to the business world. However, it seems to be an efficient way to save time and money, and most of all, it lessens our carbon footprints!
CIFOR is going to organise a 3-day FREE ForestsAsia social media training session for the Forests Asia Summit from 5-6 May in Jakarta, Indonesia. For details check out their website.