Posts Tagged ‘ orlando ’

Tips for Conducting a Successful Webinar

Is distance preventing you from disseminating information to a large audience? If so, I highly recommend conducting a webinar. The term webinar is short for web-based seminars or presentations, also known as web conferencing. It’s simple. Attendees can log on straight from their computers to join a one-way conference or an interactive meeting between the audience and the presenter. You and your audience will never have to leave your desks to be able to communicate valuable information. Just think about all of the time and travel costs that can be saved.

Here are a few tips to assist you in successfully creating a webinar:

CONTENT – This is the most important component to consider when preparing for a webinar. Educate and inspire – know your target audience and create a presentation with graphics and interesting content that will keep them engaged. When you begin, make sure to briefly address the material that will be covered during your presentation. Limit your webinar to an hour and make sure to leave time at the end for Q&A. If you have any content that may take more than 45 minutes to address, break it up into different webinars so your audience doesn’t get bored or run out of time. If given enough warning, most people are willing to spare an hour to learn something new.

MARKET YOUR EVENT – Social media and email marketing are an easy and effective way to get the word out. Consider including a guest speaker to help entice people to participate. Make sure to include this information in your invite along with a summary of the content that will be presented during your webinar. Providing a clear understanding of what your webinar will include will prevent hesitation. If you notice people aren’t responding to your invite, invite them again about a week later and remind them of the opportunity to participate. Let participants know there is limited availability, this allows you to gauge how many people will be attending and make sure the program can handle all of the participants.

POLL YOUR AUDIENCE, before, during and after – if you know exactly who your audience will be, find out what information they are interested in learning. At the conclusion of your webinar, provide a quick survey to receive feedback and make improvements for your next presentation. Always follow up with your audience.

PLAN – Preparation can make or break your event. Know what you are going to say ahead of time – practice makes perfect.

SERVICE PROVIDERS – Many different service providers offer webinars. Go To Meetings – http://www.gotomeeting.com/fec/webinar is one of our favorites. Some other providers that offer a free trial are:
http://www.webex.com
http://www.instantpresenter.com

Still need help with your webinar preparation? Contact evok advertising at 407-302-4416.

Spec & Crowdsourcing Work Hurts Us All

Mention the word ‘spec’ in a room of design professionals, and you will hear resonating boos and witness faces cringe in discontent. Why you may ask? Well it’s a slap in the face to say the least to the design and advertising community.

What is it?
Spec work is any type of work done by a creative individual (designer, copywriter, illustrator, etc.) for a potential client or future employer with no guarantee of compensation. On rare occasions, if the client likes the work provided, he/she may pay you, but probably not what the work is actually valued at. Crowdsourcing is just as unethical as spec. Basically, a company or a person announces a design job that’s available to everyone. Once they’ve received and reviewed all the free work that was submitted, they pick a winner. The winner would be the only one that gets compensated. Everyone else – suck it up buttercup. This may stump many people outside of the design industry. After all, what person in their right mind would work for free and have it actually be the norm? Exactly my point here. It’s ridiculous, and it should stop.

Where does it happen?
Better question – where DOESN’T it happen? When the US Department of Interior is crowdsourcing , you know the US is in trouble design-wise. Recently, the department announced they were in need of a new logo for their 65,000 plus employee agency. This would be a big job for a design firm or a professional freelancer to add to their portfolio. Instead, they went the cheap route and offered a mere $1,000 to the victor. Due to the fact that this is a government agency, it has stirred quite a bit of outrage within the design and advertising community. The actual value of a logo, which represents a company and is an integral part of their branding is NOT $1,000. According to The Graphic Artists Guild’s (Handbook of Pricing & Ethical Guidelines), the cost for a logo ranges from $20,000 – $50,000 which usually includes buyout of copyright.

Another well-known company that is doing the deed is…Huffington Post. They’re having a HuffPost Politics Icon Competition encouraging anyone to enter and posted this:

“Do you know your way around Photoshop or other design programs?”

So do they get paid? Not monetarily. The winner’s compensation is that they will use the winning logo and credit will go to the designer.

Does it really benefit client?
They seem to think so. They figure what a great deal to have a plethora of diverse logos/artwork to choose from and for cheap or even free in some instances. Here is a small list of reasons it actually hurts the client:
• Unoriginal and poor quality of ideas and designs
• You could be sued for trademark infringement
• “Designer” doesn’t have the time to ask questions about your company or service. They are not    intimate, so chances of them creating a design that reflects you accurately is dim.
• Poor to no communication between the client and designer
• No time for research
• Chances of seeing a version of your design somewhere is VERY likely

How it hurts the designer
The way I see it, any designer who knows the value of their talent, experience, and skill will not and should not participate in these practices. It could possibly leave a scar on your design career because you are devaluing yourself. In today’s economic climate where design is not considered a commodity, it’s even more important to boldly claim your worth. For those young designers who are eager to get their work out there – THIS IS NOT THE WAY TO DO IT. Here are some reasons why:
• One by one, it devalues the entire design and advertising community
• Endless hours of design with no guarantee of compensation
• You as the designer are not protected when it comes to copyright
• Client chooses the design he/she simply likes, with no chance of the designer presenting his work and the rationale for his design
• Little time and usually no opportunity to revise designs

One way to do pro-bono work that is ethical is to check out some non-profit agencies and community groups who are in need of a logo or branding collateral. Another route could be to ask a friend or family member if they have any design needs and in return can offer a trade. This way you make it known that your work has value.

Is there ever a good opportunity to do it?
Spec work has been around for a long time, especially in advertising. Different firms may be offered an opportunity to present some initial concepts to a potential client in the hopes they will win the account. Previously, agencies made their money from media sales, and so creative work was given away as a way to profit from the media. Now this is not always the case, and each agency employs a different structure. An agency that’s starting out may be more inclined to include spec work in their proposals, whereas, a stable one wouldn’t dare. They figure they have paid their dues to be the strong agency they are – and they would be right.

Bottom line
No one is going to push you to do what you don’t want to do. The choice is yours. It’s based on your ethics and principles. I just caution you to be very careful and answer this question:

“When is the last time you went to the doctor, mechanic, attorney or grocery store and told them after services were rendered you will gladly pay for their service/product if and only you were satisfied?”

…Yeah I thought so

Links and Resources
http://www.no-spec.com/

Analytics are NOT an Audit

A Point of View from our friends at BPA Worldwide…

By Peter Black, Senior Vice President, Business Development

To start, analytics are not an audit. An audit involves a series of checks and balances, beyond simply quality control, that tests data for accuracy. Further, audits provide standardized metrics and methodology, consistency of process, and transparency of results.

Traffic analytic tools certainly have their place as an important business resource but they do not produce audited data. From their inception, reputable companies providing analytic tools have never claimed to be auditors but they have consistently positioned themselves as “third party”. In the world of media, third party equates to an auditor. This has caused misunderstanding in the marketplace whereby analytic data has been accepted as audited data.

This is not to disparage analytic tools. They do a very good job providing actionable information to help one manage a site and improve performance. But analytic tools were never intended to produce the audited traffic data upon which an ad buy/sell decision is made. And buyers of online media need to be aware that different tools produce different results.

Standardized Metrics and Methodology
Two years ago, a white paper was issued by Stone Temple Consulting entitled “Web Analytics Shootout” (http://www.stonetemple.com/articles/analytics-report-august-2007.shtml). It is a comprehensive look at many of the popular analytic tools and explains why they produce different results.
An excerpt:
Web analytics packages, installed on the same web site, configured the same way, produce different numbers. Why?
1. By far the biggest source of error in analytics is implementation error. There are dozens (possibly more) implementation decisions made in putting together an analytics package that affect the method of counting used by each package.
2. Placement of JavaScript on the site.
3. Differences in the definition of what each package is counting. The way that analytics packages count visitors and unique visitors is based on the concept of sessions. There are many design decisions made within an analytics package that will cause it to count sessions differently, and this has a profound impact on the reported numbers.
Makes sense, right. But it’s also scary because it means data results from a single site can be inaccurate due to several factors. It also means data results from different sites are not comparable since there is no way to tell if mitigating factors are the same across all sites measured.

Let’s look at a specific example of Point #3 above using sessions and duration as the metrics.
Using analytics Package A, session begins when one arrives at a site and ends when one leaves. The session will also end if there is 30 minutes of inactivity from that visitor. So if a visitor arrives at a site, stays 5 minutes, leaves, and returns 10 minutes later again for 5 minutes, the package will report two sessions with a duration of 5 minutes each.
Using analytics Package B, a visitor exhibiting the same activity pattern (5 minutes on the site, 10 minutes away, 5 minutes back) will be reported as one session for 20 minutes. That’s because this package allows any visitor returning within 30 minutes to count as part of the original visit.
For buyers of online media, this poses a significant problem: how does one reconcile the difference between Package A and Package B in order to evaluate activity and make the best possible buy?

Consistency of Process
A further variable with analytic packages is that the user of the package controls many of the processing functions. For example, the user can control the degree to which filters are set to exclude mechanical traffic from spiders/robots. The user also controls whether to set any filters at all.
A generally accepted best practice is to filter spiders/robots listed by the Interactive Advertising Bureau ( http://www.iab.net). Analytic tools certainly have the capability to filter according to the IAB list but to what extent do they? With the user of a tool controlling the filter settings, traffic results can be manipulated. Unless all sites follow a standardized process of applying filters, as occurs in an audit, results can be questionable and are clearly not comparable.

Transparency of Results
One function of an independent media auditing firm is to make results publicly available. This is typically done through the auditing firm’s web site which buyers of online media can access to identify those audited sites in a specific vertical market. The availability of audited traffic data in a single location is a benefit to buyers as it provides an easy-to-use resource which makes the search process quicker and more efficient.
In conclusion, here’s another excerpt from the Web Analytics Shootout:

Don’t get hung up on the basic traffic numbers. The true power of web analytics comes into play when you begin doing A/B testing, multivariate testing, visitor segmentation, search engine marketing performance tracking and tuning, search engine optimization, etc.
Not a single mention in the paper of using the data for ad selling/buying. And that’s because analytic tools were never intended for this purpose. They are intended to help one better manage a site and they do a good job of that. But for an actual audit of traffic data, only a truly independent media auditor provides standardized, reliable data upon which a media evaluation can be made.
http://www.bpaww.com – check ’em out

And the input from EVOK…”Analytics, like research, can be molded to the advantage of the one gathering intended results. The benchmarking and retesting with the same analytic tool is the best we have in many cases. Urchin, for example, is often way off from Google’s analytics, but which will an advertiser use who is trying to justify the continued ad spend? We hope, and advocate, the one that shows the truest measured results that can be reproduced to show trend. And we hope, on the client side, that the knowledge base is there to understand and value the difference between true research and measurement and puffery.”