Meet the #Webinerd: Tyler Hershberger

At ON24, we take pride in our community of webinar experts. We call them “webinerds.” To celebrate the best of the webinar elite, we’re highlighting one true #webinerd every other week. In this edition of “Meet the Webinerd,” we chat with longtime ON24 aficionado, Tyler Hershberger, and how he makes use of webinars.

Tyler Hershberger is the Production Director at Jackson Systems, an HVAC controls distributor based out of Indianapolis, Indiana. As a supplier to local contractors, Jackson Systems is in a uniquely optimal space to educate its clients on the latest HVAC controls and more. In fact, the company partners with NATE, an industrial association that provides certifications to technicians who pass their exam.

As the Production Director, Tyler heads the company’s webinar and virtual training program (which he has discussed extensively with us in the past here, here and here). We asked him a few questions about his experience with ON24. Here’s what he had to say:

Q&A With Tyler Hershberger

To you, what does it mean to be a webinerd?

TH: I take pride in the quality of both the content and experience of all my events. One definition of nerd is “a single-minded expert in a particular technical field.” To that end, I have dedicated much of my time over the last four years to master the art of web broadcasting. I squarely fit this definition of a “Nerd,” and since my vehicle of delivery is the web, I wear the moniker of Webinerd proudly.

What app or tool can you not live without?

TH: My knife. It is the one thing I have on me 99% of the time (even more than my phone). If we are talking apps, it would have to be my maps/navigation app. Having the peace of mind of never being truly lost is invaluable. Plus, I spend way less time in the car guessing what route will be the fastest then being wrong.

If we are talking webinar land, I could not live without Wirecast and the ON24 Broadcast module. With those two things, I can craft a truly amazing learning experience.

When you’re not in the office, you’re…

TH: Either at home with my family working on projects or in the woods with my boys throwing rocks into a stream. They are currently two and four – rocks and water can entertain them for hours. For hobbies, I fly drones, play frisbee golf, and go out Ballroom/Swing/Latin dancing with my wife.

What is one of your career highlights? What are you most proud of in your career thus far?

One of my career highlights was speaking at Webinar World 2019. In a past profession, I was in adult education. It was fun to marry my current passion for web broadcasting and a past skill of speaking/training. Another career high was running camera for the Big Ten Network at a Purdue Vs. Ohio St. night football game. Both teams were undefeated, and the energy was insane. I love live broadcasting. This has held true throughout my career.

What has made me proud is my team at church. I am also the Tech Director for a 4-year-old mobile church and manage a team of 15 volunteers to set up, run, then tear down the Audio, Lights, and Video each Sunday. The way they have grown and can execute their positions without the need for micromanaging has been very rewarding.

What do you love about ON24?

TH: The flexibility to craft the end-users’ experience to best suit the audience. I can create a training that is highly engaging and easy to use at the same time. This has never been done to this extent in my industry. I love how easy it is to interact with ON24 staffers. They are invested in your success.

How has the ON24 webinerd community helped you?

TH: For a lot of us running a webinar program, we are lone soldiers or working with a small team. It can be overwhelming to have all that responsibility squarely on us, and then having no one to turn to with experience can be isolating. It’s like walking around in a foreign country unable to speak the language, lost, trying to find your way.

That has changed with the introduction of the webinerd community. Now suddenly you hear a group of people speaking your language. You are drawn to them and find out they are going to the same place you are. With the help of that group, you arrive at your destination and experience the wonders of that culture more richly. We are all in the same boat, working through the same issues, with the same tools each day. The ON24 community not only is a place to talk shop, but a means to deliver better content to your audience.

Coming to The #Webinerd Channel: Schneider Electric and Moving Industry Mindsets

People, especially people in slow-to-change industries, like their habits and their way of doing things. But today’s digital revolution is upending the old way of doing things — and forcing companies to do things in new ways. So how can an organization get to moving industry mindsets?

On July 24 at 11 a.m. PDT (2 p.m. EDT), Schneider Electric’s, VP of Marketing Communications, Chris Quinn, will show you how he re-educates and shifts perceptions with webinars. During this event, Chris will explain how webinars have played a pivotal role in reshaping market perceptions, educating and engaging customers and driving cross-sell across their products and services.

Attend this session and you’ll learn:

  • How effective webinars can re-educate markets and shift mindsets
  • Ways to design a program that focuses on extracting more value from existing customers
  • Different types of webinars and the role they play in the overall marketing strategy

Don’t want to wait until July 24? Get a head start on educating your audience and moving industry mindsets these blogs:

Meet the #Webinerd: Franco Coniglione

A lot goes into being a #webinerd — even if you’re relatively new to the movement. Webinerds plan marketing campaigns, courses, programs and much, much more. They even — as this week’s featured #webinerd does — help professionals train and learn more about their industry.

Franco Coniglione comes to us from Austin, Texas, and is the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners’ certified webiexpert. His job other than being awesome? Simple: set up, run and help anti-fraud professionals understand the latest deceptions out there as the organization’s E-Learning Specialist.

But Franco does more than digital coursework. He also connects with subject matter experts in the anti-fraud field, organizes online conferences and develops webinars and well.

What else is there to know about Franco? Check out our Q&A below:

To you, what does it mean to be a webinerd? 

To me, a  webinerd is an expert in organizing, marketing, producing, managing and training webinars.

What app or tool can you not live without?

Asana – Project management tool.

When you’re not in the office, you’re… 

Hanging out with my beautiful wife, pulling back a bow and arrow, fishing and/or hiking.

What is one of your career highlights? What are you most proud of in your career thus far?

One of my highlights would be receiving a promotion from a Member Service Representative to E-Learning Specialist (Webinerd). In 2017, I managed, organized and executed our first ACFE Virtual Conference (video live-stream).

What do you love about ON24?

The webinar platform is very robust, easy to use, user-friendly and customizable. ON24 is always willing to listen to my feedback and help with any issues I run into.

How has the ON24 webinerd community helped you? 

It helps me with learning about what other organizations are doing with their webinars. Also a great place to get advice on certain setups and useful tools and widgets.

Three Webinerds Share Their Scrappy Marketing Examples

Marketers are in a constant battle against time. Email campaigns, blog posts, social media, webinars — all of it takes more time than we have. What’s a busy marketer to do? If you’re short on time and resources and want to see great results it might be time to turn to some scrappy marketing examples.

What does scrappy marketing mean? Scrappy marketing means getting rid of perfectionism and being comfortable with pushing marketing campaigns that aren’t polished to the finest sheen. It’s about being creative, discovering the ways to get the most out of your marketing efforts even when you don’t have the answers.

To get a better idea of how webinerds get scrappy everyday, we ran a small contest asking our customers how they make use of scrappy marketing tactics to get things done. We got a lot of responses and, ultimately, three great winners. These winners include Allison Brown (AB), Senior Marketing Programs Manager at Dynatrace; Olivia Chapman (OC), Digital Producer at Devex; and Meghan Conan (MC), LMS and Training Content Administrator at ASTM International. 

If you want to see how these webinerds got scrappy, you can check out their stories at the links below or just scroll through to get all of the stories.

How Dynatrace Gets Scrappy
How Devex Delivers
ASTM International Gets to Training with Webinars

How Dynatrace Gets Scrappy:

Q: What webinar experiments, tests or changes have you made? Why?

AB:

This one is really simple. After seeing our overworked ops team taking time to manually set up confirmation, reminder and follow up emails in Marketo, we encouraged them to try something new! We tested using ON24 automated emails for registration confirmation, reminders and follow up.

Q: How did your experiment go? What results did you see?

AB:

What a hit! No room for errors in translating dates and times into Marketo tokens and emails — such a time saver. We also did not see any impact on user experience for our database. ON24 operational emails = happy campaigns and ops teams!

Q: Tell us about a time you got “scrappy” to make things happen with your webinar program.

AB:

Back to our ON24 email test, instead of involving our whole marketing org we decided to just go ahead and test these emails (ask for forgiveness right?). We just loaded the Dynatrace logo and went for it!

Q: Do you have any plans or ideas for future scrappy webinar experiments?

AB:

We all know it can be hard to get a webinar program and registration page live way before the webinar date, so a test that has been on my mind — [which] I heard about at Webinar World — was creating a form option to have someone register for a series or webinar and they will receive the confirmation once the program is ready. We run a Power Demo series and I think our audience would pre-register for the next session even if the full description isn’t built out yet.

How Devex Delivers 

Q: What webinar experiments, tests or changes have you made? Why? 

OC: 

Our latest innovation has come in the form of snappy conference call style events.

We have always produced very structured, hour-long, moderated panel style webinars for our audience. While great for meatier topics, these webinars are very time intensive logistics-wise. Wrangling three high-level speakers — often across different timezones — requires that I (as our singular digital events producer) usually plan our webinars more than a month in advance. As a media company, however, we often have breaking news stories that would definitely be worthy of a digital event… IF we had the time to put one together.

As a solution we came up with a “conference call” vs “webinar” distinction. The conference call is just 30 minutes long; and instead of a series of presentations via slide deck, the speakers on the “call” simply broadcast their audio conversation about a topic, informed by audience questions submitted in advance and during the live event.

Q: How did your experiment go? What results did you see? 

OC: 

The “conference call” has been successful in a number of ways. We’ve been able to dramatically increase our event output, often putting together events in just a few days in response to breaking news. In survey responses, our busy professional audience has frequently highlighted the convenience of a snappy half-hour event that they can listen to during the workday. They don’t always have the time or desire to watch a lengthy webinar presentation.

On the speaker side, it’s been an easier sell as well; busier presenters are happy to jump on a call and chat with one of our reporters versus preparing a 10-15 minute slide-based presentation for a full webinar. The conference calls are super mobile as well — so far we’ve done live calls with our reporters from press centers at the World Bank Spring Meetings in DC and the World Health Assembly in Geneva, making our readers feel as if they’re also on the ground at these events and a part of the conversation.

And finally, these events are fun and easy to market. With just a few days until the live event, we’ll put out a few tweets, link the event in our daily newsletters, and a send out a quick Marketo invite (using a smart list based on readers of the news coverage). 

Q: Tell us about a time you got “scrappy” to make things happen with your webinar program. 

OC: 

Devex has a number of paid subscription types using paywalled webinars in a variety of ways — from a Career Account offering access to CV trainings and panels with recruiters and HR reps to a Business Intelligence Account sharing insights and industry forecasts from Devex data analysts and M&E and funding experts at top international development orgs. 

Access to exclusive webinars is a big selling point for all of our membership types. In order to ensure that prospects are not only being nudged to upgrade prior to the webinar, we create a post-event article for every event which we publish on our website. The article features an embedded 3-5 minute excerpt of the webinar at the top, followed by a summary of the event with the featured panelists and key takeaways. A few paragraphs down behind the article paywall is the full recording of the webinar. We link to this article in our event thank you emails (which go out to attendees and no shows, and also to those who attempt to register but don’t upgrade their account). It’s a great way to reuse live webinar content, drive traffic to our site, and use “old” webinars to generate new subscriptions.

Q: Do you have any plans or ideas for future scrappy webinar experiments? 

OC: 

To get even more mileage out of our digital content via our webinar program, we’ve started putting together downloadable .PDF reports with summaries of our news coverage and data visualizations on certain topics. I’m excited to make these comprehensive reports available for download in the resource widget versus linking to lots of individual articles on our site.

Additionally, for our teams that put on demos or trainings (where the content remains relatively consistent over time) we’re looking into pre-recording demos and/or the simulive option to save time, give prospective members immediate access to product demos, and keep content evergreen. 

We’re also working on rolling out new digital event series — keeping a predictable pipeline (i.e. every first Friday) and tailoring our content to specific subsets of our audience. For example, our #OnMessage series (hosted by our communications director) has been well-received by comms specialists in our sector.

ASTM International Gets to Training with Webinars

Q: What webinar experiments, tests or changes have you made? Why? 

MC:

We have experimented with multi-host seminars to share updates on new course content which is the primary focus of our department. The hope was that we could host an online session in a very interactive environment and engage the learners to add more training to their program. 

Q: How did your experiment go? What results did you see? 

MC:

The experiment went well with one glitch. The second host was not as engaged as we would have liked and did not attend the practice sessions we held. This showed in the live session as he fumbled through his portion of the slides.

Q: Tell us about a time you got “scrappy” to make things happen with your webinar program. 

MC:

Since I am called the pitbull of our department I imagine a lot of what I do is considered “scrappy”. One of the biggest initiatives I have recently worked on for the program is to create an engaging and ongoing series in a hot new area for us of Additive Manufacturing. These series showcases both amazing instructors and incredible presentation on how the world is changing thanks to Additive Manufacturing.  

Q: Do you have any plans or ideas for future scrappy webinar experiments? 

MC:

Moving forward I would like to try to use the webinars as more of an engaging marketing plan to support our live training courses. I feel that a personal glimpse into a potential program is a lot more inviting than a paper based flyer (yes we still send these 🙂 ) or an email.

 

Coming Soon to The Webinerd Channel: Eli Lilly and Superior Speaker Management

When you’re a global market leader, there are a lot of people you need to connect with. For one, you need to connect with your workforce. You also need to connect with to customers, prospects, shareholders, technicians, supply chain managers and everything between. But most of all, you need trusted speakers who can confidently communicate all this time and time again.

And speaker management is one of the hardest parts of running a large webinar program.

On July 10 at 11 a.m. PT (2 p.m. ET), Jim Spilman, Associate Information Consultant at Eli Lilly & Company, will join us on The #Webinerd Channel to explain how he brings speaker management Eli Lilly’s webinars. During this event, Jim will explain the basics of presentation practice, the need for slide control, how he facilitates tech support and how he manages every type of presenter — from divas to scaredy cats and more.

If you’re getting your webinar program up and running, or if you’re trying to take your webinar program to the next level with live hosts, next Wednesday’s webinar event is the one for you. But you don’t have to wait until July 10 to learn some great speaker management tips. Check out these blogs below to get a head start on better webinar presentations:

Meet the #Webinerd: SAS’ Erin Hathaway

At ON24, we love all things webinerd. That’s why we wanted to take the time to celebrate the ultimate webinerds out there: you. To do this, we’re going to share some of the #webinerd personalities that make ON24 what it is.

This week, we have Erin Hathaway, Campaign and Events Specialist at SAS. Erin is an event organizing guru who’s seen it all. Tradeshow booths, user conferences, executive receptions and, now, webinars. These are all helpful skills to have when it comes to explaining SAS and sharing how the company makes advanced analytics work for organizations across the globe.

What else is there to know about Erin? Check out our Q&A below:

Q&A with SAS’ Erin Hathaway:

Q: To you, what does it mean to be a webinerd?

Erin: To be organized, innovative, and encouraging.

A: What’s an app or tool you can’t live without?

Erin: My calendar and task reminders – it’s all about keeping things on track and moving forward.

Q When you’re not in the office, you are…

Erin: Making pens on my lathe, weaving chainmaille jewelry, or hiking somewhere near a river.

Q: What is one of your career highlights? What are you most proud of in your career thus far?

Erin: Finding small efficiencies that can add up to big time or monetary savings.  It’s been a recurring theme in my life and I’m constantly on the lookout for new ways to save.

Q: Okay, what do you love about ON24?

Erin: It offers so many ways to engage your audience and customize it to fit your brand.

Q: Final question. Why is the ON24 #webinerd community important to you?

Erin: As a newer user, it’s helpful to have a group to ask your obvious questions and provide feedback on your efforts.

 

Using Engagement Data to Delight Your Audience

When it comes to delighting your audience with surprises and turning attendees into brand advocates, engagement data goes a long way. Engagement data identifies your company’s biggest fans, gives them the recognition they deserve and shows your organization is invested in its community.

How do we do this at ON24 with the #webinerd community? Simple. Any person who attends a webinar hosted on the ON24 Platform has a tabulated 1-10 Engagement Score based on how they interacted with a webinar experience. Before we reach out, we ask ourselves if the audience member…

  • Answered the poll questions?
  • Completed the post-webinar survey?
  • Asked any questions?
  • Downloaded any of resources?
  • Or if they did all of the above?

The Engagement Score takes all of these webinar interactions into account. Many ON24 customers take this supercharged data point and include it strategically into their lead scoring models and lead routing, but there are additional high-touch use cases to consider.

Gamify your webinar, award prizes to top engagement scores

Using engagement data and gamification is a great way to encourage audience participation! When you’re promoting your webinar, advertise that you’ll be raffling off something, like conference tickets, a book or gift card based on audience engagement. Once the webinar is over, use your top engaged audience members to choose your winners.

For example, here at ON24, we’ve taken this approach when promoting free tickets to our annual conference, Webinar World, along with roundtrip travel and lodging.

Surprise your most loyal followers

Our friends at the Content Marketing Institute decided to surprise and delight their most loyal webinar follower. They ran a report on previous webinar attendees and realized that there was one customer who had attended every single webinar over the past six months with high engagement. To reward this super fan, they decided to gift a nice pair of headphones that he could use to tune into the upcoming webinar with.

You can do this too. Here’s how to find and delight your biggest fans in these easy steps.

Step 1: Pull the Data

With the ON24 Platform, you should be able to generate a Power Leads Report that’ll provide you with a lot of insights into your attendees. The reports show how many webinars an attendee has attended, the number of minutes they’ve had of viewing and their average engagement score. The higher the score, the more time they’re spending and interacting with your brand. This is a good indicator of a fan you might be able to connect with.

Step 2: Decide on an appropriate gift and who should say thank you.

Try to get creative or provide options. I’m a huge fan of Loop & Tie for gifting. Perhaps you have an internal SME that your audience looks up to. A few nice words from them goes a long way.

Step 3: Connect!

Send a gift and request a call to get to know them better. Along with your message, you can offer opportunities to highlight them on your blog. Sit down and ask your top advocates how they use your platform/technology and develop tips based off of those interviews. And, who knows, you can learn something new about your client in the process.

Meet the #Webinerd: Securly’s Will Patterson

At ON24, we love all things webinerd. That’s why we wanted to take the time to celebrate the ultimate webinerds out there: you. That’s why, over the coming weeks, we’re going to highlight some of the biggest webinerds out here with a quick overview and interview.

Our first webinerd of the week is Securly’s Will Patterson, Customer Success Engineer and Chief Webinerd. Securly and Will’s mission is a critical one in today’s society: ensuring all students — from kindergarten to senior year of high school — have a safe and secure digital life.

To make this safe environment a reality, Securly developed a parental integration program which allows parents to see how their children are interacting online and — yes — to see if they’re actually doing their homework.

To see what makes Will tick as a #webinerd, we asked him a few questions. Here they are in Q&A format:

Q: To you, what does it mean to be a webinerd?

Will: Fully embracing that it’s alright to geek out over the smallest feature releases inside of ON24.

Q: Tell us about an app/tool that you can’t live without

Will: …an app that I can’t live without is Slack. There are Webinar Channels and DM’s going back and forth which help me stay on track.

Q: When you’re not in the office, you are…

Will: Riding my bike.

Q: What is one of your career highlights? What are you most proud of in your career thus far?

Will: My first 600+ Attendee Webinar. I felt like a famous newscaster and the live feedback we were receiving was humbling. I would say I’m most proud of how far our webinar platform has come over even the last year.

Q: Okay, what do you love about ON24?

Will: I love ON24 because of two things; Customization and Analytics. Last year we gave the ON24 keys to our design and marketing teams, the things they have put together have just been mind-blowing.

Q: Final question. Why is the ON24 #webinerd community important to you?

Will: It’s such an amazing platform that brings highly creative advocates together to share ideas. I went to Webinar World for the first time this year and walked away with about 20 pages of notes of things I couldn’t wait to put in action.

Insight50: How to Make International Marketing Less Complex

Each month, the team at ON24 puts together Insight50 – where we provide fellow Webinerds with 50 minutes of expert insight and answer the questions that are important to you.

This time, the theme was taking your marketing global. Thanks to innovations in technology, our world has shrunk making it possible and necessary to think globally in marketing but how do marketers go about making the seemingly complex task of marketing to other countries simpler?

The below is just a brief wrap up of insights from Paula Morris at Pi Marketing Solutions, Michael Meinhardt at Cloudwords and Peter Bell at Marketo – and of course, you the viewers! If you didn’t manage to see it, view it on-demand here.

Marketing internationally can sometimes be complex and challenging. In fact, when webinar attendees were asked what level of complexity they are finding with their international marketing campaigns, the majority (65.6%) said they were finding it ‘somewhat complex.’

While we live in an era where the world seems much smaller and technology has made us more connected, there are still cultural differences to consider, along with obstacles such as language that only adds to the complexity. So, how do we go about addressing these differences and overcoming the obstacles in order to see success?

Here are a few insights from the webinar that can help those companies already engaging in international marketing and those who are getting ready to go global:

Why Make the Effort?

For many organisations, whether to go international isn’t really an option. As Paula Morris explained, with the growing use of marketing channels like social media, there isn’t much of a choice.

“Marketing has to be global now. The world is a lot smaller as people become more connected. So, I think if a company isn’t looking at international marketing, then they won’t drive consistency. I think more and more, you have to think globally and then look at those local nuances for different markets, rather than the other way around. It should be global first, and then start to tailor your campaigns thereafter with a local feel. Then you’ll see the impact of what global campaigns can drive for an organisation.”

Michael Meinhart agrees with Paula about organisations adopting a ‘think globally and act locally’ mentality and believes many organisations have already started. At the same time, Peter Bell believes that marketing globally isn’t so much an option as just how things are now and, because of that, performance needs to be addressed accordingly.

“Once you’re in that world, then you really start to focus on the things that matter. ‘Why is that campaign not performing as it should in France? What is it?’ Dig into it to find out what it is because otherwise, quite simply, you’re going to be called to account. And it’s not like any of us have the option to elect which countries we market into. For the most part, markets are global and therefore performance is expected to be global, too.”

Why is international marketing so complex?

None of the webinar speakers were at all surprised by the audience’s response to how complex they are finding marketing internationally, but they did offer some insight as to why that is and where marketers needed to focus to alleviate some of the complications.

First off, Peter brought up the point that there is a difference between translation and localisation. Marketing to a different country doesn’t just involve getting the language right. Although that can be an obstacle, it goes beyond that.

“You need not just to have that the local market knowledge, but to listen to it. And listening to it makes life harder. It means you have to change things. That means you don’t have one size fits all. And fundamentally, that means it does create complexity but it’s a good complexity – because if you can master it and overcome it, then you’re going to see the results.”

Acknowledging the importance of localisation versus translation, Michael noted that organisations often overlook the strategy behind entering global markets. He believes that what organisations struggle with is having a business process behind going to market in specific regions. What kind of strategies has he seen?

“We see really two different ends of the spectrum, one in which there is a centralised model, where you have a team that is responsible for the content and for pushing content forward out to the different markets. And then you have a decentralised model, where the markets themselves are responsible for developing that material, and ultimately, the overall strategy. It really depends on the kind of the organisation, the kind of the maturity of those organisations and how they’ve kind of been structured historically.”

What are some quick wins for going global?

The panellists offered some quick wins and parting words of advice to help going global progress smoothly.

Michael, again, emphasised the need for a strategy and finding out which regions are most important to you. Also, he suggested that when it comes to language, it may not be as overwhelming as you think.

“You really don’t need to address all that many languages to capture 90% of the business speaking market. You’re really looking at 10 languages…those languages are English, French, Italian, German, Spanish, simplified Chinese, traditional Chinese, Korean, Japanese, and Portuguese.”

One of Paula’s main wins was regional enablement and giving your regional team the tools they need to be successful.

“Whether it’s local marketing resource or sales resource in a country, you should be enabling them, whether that’s from a marketing perspective or a sales perspective. You need to be giving them the tools to go out and market.”

Peter expanded on this by suggesting organisations hire locally. Not only that, he advises being open to what those local colleagues have to say.

“If you won’t listen to your colleagues who are foreign or different from you, do listen to the campaign results because they will speak for themselves. They will probably tell you to listen to your colleagues who have been telling you this for some time.”

Hear more on our Insight50 session

The quotes above are just a small sample of what was discussed and answered on this Insight50 session. Make sure to register to watch on-demand to learn more about simplifying international marketing.