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
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