Technology or Reality?

Way Cool Piano WomanTake a look at this picture. Would you rather be in this scenario or simply looking at it? C’mon be honest. I’m playing Billy Joel’s Piano Man and everyone is singing along and having a  grand ol’  time! (So what if no one’s singing in tune?)

If you answered ‘yes’ you’d rather be there for the fun experience then Woo Hoo!  Nothing beats a real live uplifting atmosphere to get energized and recharged. On the other hand – maybe you’re too busy to go. After all, you’ve got to get Linked Up to date, Face Booked until kingdom come and Twittered up to there. Oh, and don’t forget all those regular emails sitting in your inbox that are SO all urgent.

Yesterday I had a meeting with a client who wants me to host/facilitate webinars for companies that don’t want to send their employees to meetings and conferences for training.  As a keynote speaker passionate about her work part of me cringed inside thinking what about the contagious energy and excitement that is all part of a conference? How do you replace connecting with old friends, making new ones and all the rest of that great networking stuff that goes with the meetings territory? How can that be replaced by a computer screen?

But then I got to thinking. In this economy big companies are cutting back and small businesses are having to diversify – at least until we see an upturn. Why not bring some of  the conference  to the client?

My client is one smart cookie. She’s a wiz at recognizing trends and she’s jumping on the technology bandwagon to put the Yee Ha! into webinars for corporations. One of the squillion ideas she has is to inject some  fun into  training webinars utilizing my quirky Aussie humor and musical skills. Kinda sorta like an emcee on steroids.  Hmmmm……the mind boggles with possibilities. We could have an American Idol team building exercise using my piano keyboard and have everyone sing about challenges they’re facing at work. (Sans boss?) I could pretend to be Simon Cowell, no wait, Paula Abdul and employees would get a big boost in morale even though they suck at singing (much like me). We could make up a song about the company so they could be icons in their own eyes (lol). Solutions to specific issues could be drafted to the tune of New York New York……or Margeritaville. Whatever.

What would you do? Would you prefer to actually attend a meeting or be there virtually?

Leave me your virtual thoughts in the virtual comment space and I’ll virtually  Tweet you if I’m not too Linked In to Facebook yada yada yada….

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2 Responses to “Technology or Reality?”

  1. Celia Dunlop Says:

    Hi Theresa,
    I’ve experienced the quandry you’re in about hosting virtual sessions where you’re nowhere within touching distance of your audience. I was expected to faciliate risk assessments (don’t even ask…) with project and operational teams when I was working in the corporate world. How to host highly interactive sessions, which are all about communication, from afar? The bad news was that it just totally compromised the process and the outcomes, and took so much longer that it was cheaper and quicker if I’d just got on a plane and did it in physical reality. And that was using the most expensive video conferencing system available…. So, my answer is that if it’s intended to be highly particpative, then do it in person. Otherwise just don’t bother, or keep the numbers down. Not bitter and twisted, just realistic. Good luck girl. By the way, what’s wrong with the left side of your face? It’s not in any of your photos…. 🙂

  2. Marti Pattinson Says:

    Great post Theresa… Virtual vs. Reality! In my world (tiny as it is) I have learned from webinars to the 100th degree. Do I like them – as a student yes – they are more affordable! As an instructor not really as I like the warm and fuzzies like you when I see the glistening of the audiences eyes or in your case the tapping of their toes or clapping to the beat! But as a presenter – I know you well enough to know whether it be you the real live person or you the virtual presenter – it will be dynamo! You go girl!!!

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