Before the pandemic, how many webinars did you view? If you are like many real estate pros, you no doubt prefer the real thing—to attend a breakfast, lunch or reception where you can snack and heavy duty network, while educated by a lively panel of experts and perhaps a keynote speaker like Robert Knakal, Adelaide Polsinelli, Jonathan Miller or MayAnne Gilmartin.
Those days are on hold. Instead we have been offered a wide choice of webinars powered by Zoom and other platforms that go right to our home offices or kitchen tables with the same often familiar speakers and new faces as well. The better known and often better marketed webinars are often run by media, including this publication, but conference organizers, such as, CAPRE and NYC Real Estate Expo and individual companies are holding their own and giving us couch potatoes a wide variety of times and content to choose from.
So what does this growing form of engagement mean to you now and going forward? Many of us have already gained significant experience in this evolving format through Zoom, Skype and FaceTime meetings and/or as parents of school children or recent graduates familiar with remote learning. The technology for all of these applications is improving rapidly.
As those of you who have participated as audience or speakers in webinars can attest, there is a certain intimacy, focus and chemistry that distinguishes virtual conferences from their in-person brethren. I am not suggesting that webinars will become the new conference destination, just as we all know that home working will surely not replace the office. (It had better not, right?) But the webinar, when done right is earning its place as a virtual destination. As a professional you need to learn how to benefit as a speaker and viewer.
Harry Zlokower is founder of Zlokower Company Public Relations, New York, N.Y.