The growing popularity in Webinars doesn’t come as a surprise. Any technology that makes life easier — without sacrificing quality — has a chance to catch on rather quickly.
This has certainly been the case in ag retail. Nearly 80% of retailers say they have attended at least one Webinar, according to a 2012 CropLife Media Group (CLMG) survey. That was up 12% from 2010 and 47% from 2008. CLMG has hosted dozens of these online seminars over the past five years, giving organizations such as The Mosaic Co., SFP and Valent U.S.A. a platform to present their latest farm research and product solutions. For these companies, it has proven to be a highly effective, cost-efficient way of communicating to a targeted audience.
For ag retailers, Webinars have also been beneficial. Since 2009, nearly 6,000 attendees have viewed a CLMG Webinar. Feedback has been extremely positive, with the participants often providing comments such as “thanks for sharing this valuable information” and “the speakers were very knowledgeable.”
If you’ve attended one or more of our Webinars in the past, then we thank you for your participation. If you haven’t registered for one yet, please consider doing so in the future. Here are five key benefits that just might convince you to give a Webinar a try:
- Convenience. Since Webinars take place over the Internet directly on your computer, there is no need to leave the office or factor in travel time. Because of this, many ag professionals are using this technology as a time-efficient method of training and delivering knowledge to their staff. Not available when the event is scheduled? No problem. Webinars on-demand allow you to view an archive of the event when it’s convenient for you. Mobile devices are also making it easier to attend Webinars. Being able to listen and/or view a session from your tablet or smartphone gives you the option to view them at any time, in any place.
- CEUs. Many agribusinesses are using Webinars more frequently to educate and certify their employees. That’s been the case in ag retail, where thousands of attendees have received Continuing Education Credits (CEUs) through the Certified Crop Advisor (CCA) program since CLMG began offering them in 2010. Credits are awarded for a number of different educational areas, including Nutrient Management, Soil and Water Management, Pest Management, Crop Management and Professional Development. With more than 13,000 CCAs in North America, Webinars are a great way for them to stay on top of their field and keep their certification current.
- Relevant Topics. Unlike in-person seminars, which can take several months to plan, Webinars are better positioned to deliver relevant, timely information to the audience. At CLMG, we have taken advantage of this quick-turnaround to discuss hop topics such as drought management, employee recruitment strategies and Agriculture 3.0. For instance, when the drought of 2012 forced many Midwest farmers to make the difficult decision to give up on the crop and prepare the land for the next year, the consequence was significant amounts of unused nitrogen that remained in the soil. CLMG responded quickly by hosting the Webinar “Dealing With Drought: Securing Nitrogen With Cover Crops.” Other timely, relevant topics have included fall residual applications, precision spray technology and water quality issues.
- Knowledgeable Experts. CLMG has been fortunate to have some of the most esteemed industry experts present during our Webinars, from leading agronomists and agribusiness consultants, to product specialists and technology gurus. And most of our Webinars have featured multiple experts. In fact, our most popular Webinar — “Mini Bulk / IBC Container Compliance And Recycling: Best Practices from TPSA” — featured five panelists. During the live Webinars, experts can further engage the audience through the use of video and interactive options such as Q&A sessions and audience polls.
- Affordability. Besides the fact that there are no travel costs involved with attending a Webinar, the price of registration is typically much lower than other options. In fact, many Webinars are often free of charge to attend, as is the case with CLMG Webinars. In addition, multiple participants can view the Webinar at a single location and therefore “pay” for only one connection. An entire team can gather in one conference room to attend together and discuss the Webinar content without having to invest time and money traveling to and from a physical seminar location.