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When DIY web conferencing becomes a liability

John Lovell

With a variety of popular web and video conferencing applications now in widespread use for most companies and organizations, the notion that all meetings and events can now be handled internally is an easy assumption to make. And 90% of the time, that’s likely true.

Regularly-scheduled internal meetings, brainstorming sessions, training classes and events that require small numbers of participants are easy enough to schedule and manage using your organization’s web conferencing tool of choice. A “DIY” approach is entirely appropriate.

But then there are the other 10% of events – high-profile, high stakes, mission critical public announcements. Shareholder or investor meetings that require hundreds, or even thousands, of users both domestic and international. Federal, state or local government events that need maximum levels of security and control. Press conferences that demand very specific controls over who can ask questions, when and for how long. Urgent communications, impacting an entire constituency or community, that need to happen yesterday.

When does “DIY” become “DDIY” (“Don’t Do It Yourself”) when it comes to web conferencing? Realistically, it’s when the complexity level of the conference, and the critical nature of what’s being communicated, combine to make success a non-negotiable. Put another way, it’s when the content of the presentation is so important to your goals that attempting to wrangle the various technologies at play – invitation and pre-registration, audio and visual file formats, muting and unmuting lines, managing interactivity at the right times and for the right people – becomes too costly a distraction.

When you absolutely can’t afford to be distracted from communicating clearly and effectively, that’s when fully managed web conferencing services become not just valuable, but essential. Unfortunately, this lesson very often gets learned the hard way, when things go wrong from the technical side in the middle of an important presentation. Lost connections, long delays for participants (or worse, presenters) who are waiting to join the call, poor live video quality or unregistered participants joining your meeting – these are problems you can’t afford if you are delivering sensitive, secure or high-profile messages.

Focusing on your message, and letting an experience partner manage all of the complexities of the media involved, becomes the smartest play when failure is absolutely not an option.