Are Google Hangouts on Air the New Webinars?
In November 2013 I announced to my community that I would switch all my webinars to Google+ Hangouts in 2014. Of course that meant that I first had to learn how to use the Google Hangout technology. So I decided to start off with a ‘Learn-N-Play with Sarah on Google Hangouts’ series. Over 5 weeks I learned more than the rest of the year ! If you’re curious you can find out what I learned and the mistakes I made in this article (includes video replays of all the Learn-N-Play sessions).
First Google+ Hangout/Webinar was a success
As a result of my experiment I hosted the very first ‘hanginar’ on January 16th. I used the Google Hangout technology combined with a webinar type format where people had to sign up and leave me there name and e-mail to participate. That’s not usually the case in a regular Hangout on Air on Google. The event was a success and the format was appreciated by the participants.
Benefits of a ‘Hanginar’
There are a couple of reasons that made me decide to change to this new technology. Here they are:
- You save on webinar fees: as a small business we want to minimize overhead costs. 99 USD per month for GoToWebinar is not exactly cheap. Google Hangouts on Air are free!
- You get unlimited viewers: Most webinar plans come with a limit of a 100 viewers. Whether you have only 20 people viewing or 99, the price is the same. And if you want more than a hundred, it costs you much more. Again, Google Hangouts on Air are free & you get unlimited viewers.
- Your event is automatically recorded to Youtube: some webinar platforms come with recordings, but they are not very easy to download or share and most of the time they are hosted on their site. Alternatively you can use a recording software such as Camtasia & record with a different computer, which is what I used to do before. But now, with Google Hangouts on Air the event is automatically recorded to your Youtube channel and the replay is available immediately after you end the webinar. Does it get any cooler?
- You get more personal: On webinars people see your slide presentation and hear your voice. On Google+ Hangouts, you add your face! You are essentially switching back and forth between your webcam and your screenshare.
Want to see an example?
I’m convinced that more and more people will be moving away from the expensive webinar platforms and opt for Google Hangouts. What do you think?