Webinar series solidifies legal firm’s thought-leader position
As one of the most respected intellectual property law firms in the country, Fish & Richardson began hosting a monthly webinar for their post-grant practice in 2012. The live events provided legal updates to clients, prospects, industry peers and others who showed an interest in the practice, the firm and the topic at hand.
In line with supporting the legal community, attorneys attending the webinars also earned one hour of optional continuing legal education (MCLE) credit, free of charge.
Perceived as an innovator and thought leader, Fish & Richardson needed a reliable webcasting provider to help execute their webinar series. They needed ON24 and the powerful
Webcast Elite platform.
Finding a reliable webcasting vendor
In 2012, the webcasting platform vendor Fish & Richardson had worked with for years was in the process of being acquired, causing serious problems with customer service availability and product knowledge:
- The vendor set up the webcasts, and there were often errors in presenter names and titles
- The user interface was not customizable
- The software was not compatible with Mac computers, mobile devices or all Internet browsers
- With the lack of a fully staffed customer service team, registrants calling in to the webinars’ phone bridge were knocked off or not connected at all
- The archived files could only contain speaker audio
Many of these issues had a direct and negative impact on the webinar registration numbers, making it very difficult to justify the value and cost of the webinar series.
The powerful ON24 Webcast Elite
Fish & Richardson chose ON24 because of its experience serving the needs of the legal industry. In particular, the firm was sold on the ON24 Webcast Elite platform’s user-friendly webcast-creation tools, interactive widgets and powerful event-reporting analytics.
The firm utilizes the Twitter and Facebook widgets within the webcast console to generate social media engagement throughout the hour-long webinars. Within 24 hours after a live webinar, an archived version (audio and slides) is posted on their corporate website and various microsites. Follow-up emails are sent to all registrants — attendees as well as noshows — that include:
- The link to the archived webinar
- A plug for the firm’s Twitter handle
- The upcoming webinar schedule, with appropriate registration links
The firm’s attorneys also personally follow up on any attendee questions that go unanswered during the webinar. Attendees looking to earn MCLE credit can simply provide information on the state they practice in and their bar number, and Fish & Richardson completes the necessary paperwork after the webcast.
Growing the webinar series three-fold, strengthening the brand recognition
Since Fish & Richardson began presenting its monthly post-grant practice webinars on Webcast Elite, the firm has expanded its webinars series schedule to include two additional practices: litigation and patent. The practice-specific webinars are held on the same day of each month, the second, third and fourth Wednesdays.
This approach has proven successful, as audiences have become accustomed to the schedule and often inquire about the next webinar’s topic long before the email invitations are sent.
The 2013 webinar series exceeded its goal, nearly doubling the number of attendees. Across all practices, Fish & Richardson is now averaging 100-350 registrants/attendees per session.
The firm has also received numerous requests from attendees to deliver a particular webinar presentation on site, at a client’s premise, providing increased opportunities to build relationships and increase business.
“We have nearly doubled the number of attendees in 2013, which I feel correlates to our extensive marketing and promotional efforts but also to the ON24 platform’s ease of use. Before we began using Webcast Elite, I was busy working on registrations, keeping up with the RSVP list and so on. Now, ON24 allows me to focus more on business development and marketing and less on event creation details.” — Emma Brown, Senior Marketing Assistant