We­bi­nars rein­vent dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing

We­bi­nars, the new age class­rooms, are grad­u­ally mak­ing space in the mar­ket­ing strate­gies of travel agen­cies. The in­dus­try be­lieves that though dig­i­tal is the way for­ward, we­bi­nars are emerg­ing slowly and have a long way to go to be­come main­stream mar­ketin

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Cur­rently a very small per­cent­age of travel trade at­tends we­bi­nars as means of at­tain­ing prod­uct knowl­edge. In the times to come, we­bi­nars would be a more ef­fec­tive means of prod­uct show­case as com­pared to road­shows as they not only save travel time but are also very cost ef­fec­tive. Road­shows re­quire a lot of travel to trans­act po­ten­tial busi­ness, which is very ef­fi­cient through we­bi­nars. How­ever, we­bi­nars lack the per­sonal touch and one-on-one con­tact.

We­bi­nars and road­show both play a sig­nif­i­cant role in reach­ing out to the right au­di­ence. From a com­pany’s per­spec­tive, lo­gis­ti­cally it is eas­ier to or­gan­ise a we­bi­nar than a road­show and are com­par­a­tively cheaper against road­shows. We­bi­nars can be recorded for fu­ture ref­er­ence as well. How­ever, they are not in­ter­ac­tive enough in com­par­i­son to road­shows. As far as road­shows are con­cerned, they look to be more im­pact­ful for cer­tain sit­u­a­tions like prod­uct launch, new des­ti­na­tion up­date, to name a few. One to one in­ter­ac­tion is al­ways ben­e­fi­cial.

We­bi­nars are more im­pact­ful com­pared to road­shows as they are the eas­i­est way to reach larger au­di­ence while you sit in the cozy set­ting of your of­fice. Road­shows are ex­pen­sive and time con­sum­ing. How­ever, it is also true that road­shows are needed to main­tain a per­sonal touch with your clien­tele. We­bi­nars is tested and tried for­mula and a suc­cess­ful medium to reach tar­geted au­di­ence mostly in metro ci­ties. Very few tak­ers sign up for we­bi­nars are from smaller towns and re­mote ar­eas. Road­shows are specif­i­cally tar­geted and city ori­ented and is a tra­di­tional medium that keeps in­no­vat­ing.

Con­ven­tional road­shows are more im­pact­ful be­cause of the hu­man con­tact. All queries can be an­swered on the spot and there is an op­por­tu­nity to meet more ex­hibitors and learn about the des­ti­na­tions. There are only ad­van­tages to at­tend­ing road­shows. The time spent on trav­el­ling is worth it as you learn about the prod­uct, gather all nec­es­sary in­for­ma­tion, col­lect printed ma­te­rial and in­ter­act with a choice of ex­hibitors. The emerg­ing dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing strate­gies, bulk mail­ing and we­bi­nars are emerg­ing trends and are cre­at­ing com­pe­ti­tion for road­shows to rein­vent them­selves.

In my opin­ion if around 100 travel com­pa­nies regis­ter for we­bi­nars, the at­tendee ra­tio still re­mains less than 40 per cent. In some cases it is ob­served that peo­ple log in to ses­sions and get en­gaged in other work. We­bi­nars can be more im­pact­ful if the sub­ject in­ter­ests the at­ten­dees and the organisers can cre­ate aware­ness be­fore the we­bi­nar whereas road­shows are con­ven­tional ways to con­nect with the au­di­ence which has a cer­tain ra­tio of suc­cess. Though we­bi­nars are cost and time ef­fec­tive, the big­gest dis­ad­van­tage of we­bi­nar is onesided pre­sen­ta­tion and the in­ter­ac­tion is largely miss­ing.

We­bi­nars save time as you can eas­ily ac­cess it from the com­fort of your own home but when it comes to road­shows, noth­ing can beat one to one in­ter­ac­tion. So, the bot­tom line is both the things work. A we­bi­nar com­bines ed­u­ca­tional pre­sen­ta­tion and train­ing on the web. It saves time and is also very cost ef­fec­tive. How­ever ac­cess to the In­ter­net and au­di­ence en­vi­ron­ment can be a few im­ped­i­ments which can oc­cur while con­duct­ing a we­bi­nar. One should or­gan­ise speed meet­ings where 100 peo­ple meet, 10 peo­ple each in a 30 minute slot which will be more eco­nom­i­cal than road­shows.

Jaal Shah Travel De­signer Group and In­dia Travel Award win­ner

Deepak Bhat­na­gar Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor Aa­man­taran Travel Com­pany

O. P. Mendi­ratta Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor, Global Ho­tel Rep­re­sen­ta­tions

Ravi Singh Di­rec­tor of Sales- In­dia, 24x7­rooms.com

Avi Arya Chief Mogul (Founder), In­ter­net Moguls.

An­jum Lokhand­wala Founder and Di­rec­tor Out­bound Kon­nec­tions

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