Advances in technology have brought along numerous methods of disseminating information and knowledge. While the conventional method of holding on-site courses and seminars are still common, online seminars - also known as webinars - have a number of unique advantages, making them increasingly popular as a platform to deliver content.

Organising a webinar allows you as a healthcare professional to contribute your knowledge and expertise from your experience in the medical field to a large audience.

Why healthcare professionals should host a webinar

One of the many advantages of organising a webinar is that it allows you as a healthcare professional an opportunity to reach a larger audience, as it does not require attendees to be at one physical location, and they can interact with presenters or panels remotely.

Another advantage is that a webinar does not involve intense planning and too many resources, therefore allowing you to focus on the quality of the content to be delivered to your audience. Additionally, webinar can be used as a complementary approach to the traditional classroom methods such as lectures, as it is an attractive format for the new generation who appreciates the inclusion of new technologies.

Tips to organise a medical webinar

1. Determine the format

There are different webinar formats that you can choose to conduct. You may choose to conduct the webinar for patient health literacy and educational purposes or as a platform for a dialogue between healthcare experts, for instance.

Depending on the goal that you want to achieve through the webinar, you can choose to perform a slide presentation, a panel discussion, or conduct it in the form of a question and answer (Q&A) session. The suitability of the format chosen depends for the most part on the content and objectives of your presentation.

2. Identify the right platform

Choosing the right platform is crucial because different platforms vary in terms of the features that they offer. Common features include video, chat, desktop sharing, phone/VOIP, web cam and so on.

Some features may only be suitable for a certain webinar format but not others. They also differ in terms of the level of moderation required, bandwidth, and the extent of attendee participation.

3. Technical preparation

The most important technical consideration is in choosing reliable equipment for the webinar. However, this does not guarantee that there will be no issues or interruption due to technical issues.

It would be good to have a person or team in charge of technical support who can assist with any technical issues during the live webinar. It may also be useful to do a run-through prior to the live event to ensure things would run smoothly during the webinar.

After the webinar

In order to determine whether you have accomplished your goals through the webinar, a common practice would be to send a follow-up email with a feedback survey to your attendees. This is a great opportunity to gain suggestions to improve your webinar, and if it runs successfully, this may be your cue to organise similar events in the future.

Developing a positive relationship with the community as well as with other professionals in the field are only a few among many other benefits that can be gained by hosting a webinar. As healthcare professionals strive to contribute their knowledge and expertise to the mass, webinars can be a useful tool to facilitate this effort. MIMS

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