As well as yourself, you might have a moderator, a co-host, a presenter or maybe even a panel in your Webinar. You might be tempted to have them all in one location – which is completely logical.
However, this can create a single point of failure.
If everyone is in same room, using same internet connection, the same phone and sometimes even same computer and the technology fails, all can be lost.
I remember when one of my colleagues was hosting a webinar using two laptops in same room, running on the same internet connection. He was a very experienced, even expert user of technology and had hosted many webinars before. The presenter was in the same room using same connection as him.
Suddenly, the main laptop failed. Fortunately, he had his back-up laptop so he switched to it. It failed as well.
The audience was left completely stranded.
The presenter and host both just disappeared – no sound, no presentation slides
So how do you avoid creating a single point of failure?
- Try to have the host in a different room to the presenter or other contributors – even consider using completely different geographical locations
- Use a different internet connection for a backup computer – even if it’s wireless
- Always distribute paper copies of any presentation slides etc. so the host or other contributors can carry on if only the sound survives
- Be ready to take over if a remote presenter disappears
I have hosted webinars from live, face-to-face events remotely which has its own challenges but is less prone to technical problems at the event. I could have kept the event running virtually if necessary. It reminded me of the early days of satellite sports commentary where commentators back in the local studio frequently had to take over.
It might seem unfriendly and counter-intuitive but the more you can distribute the hosting, moderation, presenting and technical support of your webinar the less prone to technical disasters you become.
Remember – in webinar hosting, two’s a crowd