In the Boardroom

Euronext presents a unique series of online broadcasts allowing publicly listed companies to share their story with thousands of private investors.

Presenter and investment columnist Jim Tehupuring will join a market expert/analyst in a live webinar to interview a CEO of a publicly listed company, including discussion of the latest (market) trends, developments and the corporate strategy. Viewers can actively participate in the live webinar via polls and can ask the CEO their questions. The online broadcast
can be watched on-demand afterwards.
Arge and broad reach among private investors

Euronext’s ‘In the Boardroom’ format is particularly unique because it is supported and promoted by the key players in the (active) private investor’s financial community. This ensures very broad and extensive reach among retail investors. All our Dutch and Belgium partners have a total combined reach of well over two million private investors.

In the Boardroom: Frans Muller, CEO Ahold Delhaize (this video is in Dutch)

IR Magazine Global Forum & Awards

The IR Magazine Global Forum & Awards took place in Amsterdam on 9 and 10 October. As one of the largest providers of webcasts for the Investor Relations market and partner of Nevir, Company Webcast is now also the proud partner of IR Magazine. For more information and the aftermovie you can visit this page.
IR Magazine Global Forum & Awards

The IR Magazine Global Forum & Awards is an international and independent event that brought together over 150 IR professionals from around 30 countries. The event enabled attendees to network with the investment community, learn best practice from successful heads of IR and promote excellence. There was also an Award ceremony. There where awards for the best programs for investor relations in various sectors.

Company Webcast has been providing investor relations webcasts for large international names for years now and has been partner of Nevir for years. Since this year Company Webcast is also partner of IR Magazine.

The IR Magazine Global Forum & Awards was a very successful event. Company Webcast has made a highlight video, which can be seen below

Zoom Preparing For IPO?

I just read the second article in a few months speculating that Zoom looks like it may be preparing to go public. I don’t offer investing advice on this blog. My personal track record with stock choices is rather pathetic. But I have to say that I agree with author Dominic Kent when he writes “It isn’t too difficult to imagine a scenario much like the Webex acquisition” (referring to Cisco’s $3.2 billion paid for WebEx in 2007).

Zoom has grown very quickly, with one article reporting 700,000 business customers last year at this time. According to author Erik Devaney, Zoom had licenses at half of the Fortune 50 companies and 90 percent of the top 200 US universities. That article also reported 300% revenue growth in 2016, marking four consecutive years of triple-digit increases.

There aren’t that many proven, independent web/video conferencing players left anymore who can boast a large and valuable customer base, stable technology, and ongoing growth. Companies looking to grow their collaboration and communication offerings through acquisition don’t have a lot of targets to pick from. Obvious potential suitors could include perennial industry behemoth West Corporation, or PGi (which has been on an acquisition kick over the last few years), or even Cisco again – just to consolidate their market foothold.

It seems to me that buying Zoom stock on IPO day (should it happen) might not be the worst gamble to try.

LogMeIn Updates GoToWebinar

LogMeIn announced upgrades to GoToWebinar today. I had a chance to speak with Daniel Waas, the GoToWebinar Director of Product Marketing at LogMeIn. He took me through the latest updates and shared a few thoughts about future developments (many of which are not ready for public disclosure yet).

Today’s announcement focuses most prominently on “behind the scenes” improvements for webinar hosts and administrators. Attendees and presenters will most likely see no changes to the user interface and controls they are already familiar with.

Daniel says that they are now handling on the order of 2.3 million GoToWebinar sessions a year from their customer base. They wanted to make the platform more useful and intuitive for the people charged with scheduling, managing, and analyzing all those webinars.

One of the first and most obvious priorities was to make sure that administration worked well on mobile devices, so all organizational screens are now mobile-responsive.

A new interface for administrators allows a streamlined approach to scheduling and editing webinars. This had been a pet peeve of mine in the past… Working on different aspects of a webinar (eg: branding, email customization, user roles) required opening secondary pages, making the desired changes, and returning to the master page. Now everything is on one screen, with sections that expand and collapse to allow access to all aspects without navigating between web pages.

Similar streamlining makes it easier to get analytics during registration and after a webinar completes. A new analytics dashboard puts many different statistics in one place for quick reporting and visualization. You can also see upcoming webinars in a calendar mode and now you can quickly scan through all your upcoming webinars to see the number of people registered for each without having to run a report.

In addition to just seeing raw numbers for a single webinar, the new analytics interface lets you compare performance of webinars against each other and against a master trend line for all webinars (in chart and table format). You can add filters to include only desired subsets of your webinars and you can download the information in Excel, CSV, or PDF formats.

Cisco Rebrands/Revamps Webex Collaboration Products

There are days when it is really hard to stay ahead of the curve. I just finished posting a big rant about WebEx Event Center functionality when my inbox was suddenly filled with news announcements and commentary about WebEx.

Cisco issued a press release today announcing changes to its suite of web collaboration products. The very first thing that caught my eye is that the product marketing group has FINALLY dropped the novelty capitalization of the product line. What had been WebEx is now Webex. Hallelujah. This now puts them in direct trademark competition with Webex heavy machinery rollers, but I don’t think there will be much crossover product confusion between customers of Cisco and Maxcess.

Cisco is betting hard on video meetings as the primary business application of the moment. If you go to the new Cisco Webex products page, you see an emphasis on Webex as a way to go “From meeting, to brainstorming, to sharing with the whole team.” Today’s press release shared that Cisco Spark is now rebranded as Webex Teams. Webex Meetings is now firmly focused on video meetings, with meeting participants “strongly encouraged” to turn on their camera upon entering an online session. The associated marketing image of the interface features 25 speakers (Cisco says you can now have up to 75 on-camera participants and up to 1000 viewers in a Webex Meeting).

Zoom Offers Integrated Automatic Transcription

Last Fall, Zoom announced that they would be adding the ability for customers to have their web conferences automatically transcribed. It looks like that capability is now live and active. I have not personally tested it yet, but I am very interested. Jonathan Dame wrote about the new functionality on the TechTarget Network, and I thank him for bringing the software update to my attention.

The automated transcription function has to be turned on in the account settings for the Zoom account. It works with Cloud recording, but not with local recording to your hard drive.

Once you have recorded your online session, Zoom sends you a notification email when the recording assets have been created. You may choose to record audio in m4a format, or audio and video in mp4 format. The transcription service adds an extra vtt file, which contains the software’s speech-to-text attempt, timestamped to synchronize with the meeting recording.

You will notice that I said “speech-to-text attempt.” Zoom is not pretending that automated transcription is perfect, and you shouldn’t expect that. Dame’s article quoted Zoom as targeting an 89% accuracy rate under “ideal” conditions. The nice thing about the service is that Zoom lets you review the recording and the transcript side by side. You can adjust and edit the text in the transcript as needed, resaving it with the recording.

Webinato Pre-Announces FLOW Webinar Platform

As I have mentioned before, 2018 marks the big technology switch to HTML5 and WebRTC for web-based web conferencing platforms that previously relied on Adobe Flash Player. All Flash-based products should have shifted to the new technology by the end of the year.

Webinato is one of the web conferencing vendors that is faced with a big rewrite of their Flash-reliant code. They just announced that they are taking advantage of the obligatory update to restructure functionality for presenters. The company sent out an email last week, seeking participants to beta test the upcoming new version of the webinar software, which will be called FLOW.

Webinato FLOW storyboard I am working purely off the announcement letter, as there are no operational sneak peeks available yet. The big change is that FLOW is designed for a highly planned and structured webinar presentation, where the webinar administrator or lead presenter sets up a storyboard of content items to be displayed in a fixed sequence. By “content items,” I mean things such as PowerPoint slides, interactive polls, video clips, and other features currently available in Webinato through selectable “modules” that show up as tabs in the presentation interface.

The announcement web page says you assign each storyboard step to a presenter. That makes me a little nervous, as I have had too many webinars where presenters are swapped out or change roles at the last minute (or even meet each other and decide who’s doing what at the last minute!). I hope the presenter assignment is not a mandatory setup choice.

Free Tips For B2B Marketing Webinars

Are you planning your marketing webinars for 2018? Will they be better than they were last year? Perhaps it’s time to brush up on best practices and practical considerations. Why not join me this Thursday for a free online session covering webinar guidelines for B2B marketers.

You can register at http://bit.ly/B2Bjan25

I’ll be covering the entire webinar planning, production, and delivery cycle. You’ll have a chance to learn how to better promote your webinar, how to encourage registration and attendance, ways to drive action, and what to think about when considering adding live video, video clips, and product demos to your content.

LogMeIn UK has invited me to be their guest speaker, so the time is more convenient than usual for my readers in the UK and continental Europe:

2pm London / 3pm Paris (that’s 9am New York)

As always, I plan to answer your questions live on the air during the session. I look forward to seeing you online!

Webinar vs Webcast – 2018 Update

Every so often, I take a look at terminology preferences in our industry. A great way to get a quick macro-level feel for usage is to track Google searches for “webinar” and “webcast” using the Google Trends analytic tool. Here are my results as of January 15, 2018. I set my timespan for 5 years, so as to smooth out any temporary anomalies.

As you can see from the overall comparison graph, “webinar” continues to grow in common usage, while fewer and fewer searches look for “webcast.”

webinar vs webcast 5-year search trend

The webinar line is in red and the webcast line is in blue. The sharp drops correspond to Christmas each year… a common result for business-related search terms.

The worldwide usage map shows a fascinating regional distinction:

webinar vs webcast by region

If you want to do business in China, “webcast” is the term to use.

And finally, I did a quick listing of the top five geographies performing searches for each term:

top region searches webinar and webcast

I’m not sure what’s going on with webcasts in Sri Lanka, but if you want to ponder a real head-scratcher, take a look at what happens if you shorten the timeline to look for top regions searching for these terms over the last 12 months:

New Layout For The Webinar Blog

I am trying out a new layout my blog provider has made available. This should be responsive to screen size, and thus easier to read on large screens and on mobile devices. Please add a comment to let me know your impressions!

The key difference from the old layout is that when your device screen size is narrow enough, the controls and widgets that were previously found in the right-hand column are automatically moved to the bottom of the page to make more room for the text. So if you see an old post that mentions the right side of the screen, you may need to scroll down on your mobile device to see what I am talking about.

I hope this makes reading the blog more convenient for you. Happy new year and best wishes for a great 2018!