Webinars offer an effective way to convey a company’s message to a large group of people in various locations at one time. However, a marketing department will have no way of knowing which advertising campaign attracted the highest number of registrants, or whether participants were engaged in the webinar.
aims to change that with Connect 9, the latest version of its web conferencing software. Connect 9 is expected to be available worldwide on an on-premise basis and begin rollout on a hosted basis in calendar Q3 2012.
Connect 9 offers a number of new features which the company claims make marketing webinars easier. Adobe Connect evangelist Peter Ryce explained that this version of Connect gives marketers a wider range of tools to create advertising campaigns for webinars. Users now have access to easily customizable HTML templates that they can use to generate a catalog for the webinar. The catalog contains information about the webinar, the keynote speaker and the registration form. Another new feature in Connect 9 is an increase in the maximum number of attendees. In the previous version of the software, webinar organizers could only host up to 600 attendees. Now, up to 1500 people can attend a webinar, although organizers have the option to limit the number of registrants.
Once attendees are in the webinar, Connect 9 tracks the level of participant engagement. Ryce noted that other web conferencing software tracks audience interest with an attentiveness meter that shows whether attendees are looking at the webinar window. Connect 9 features an engagement meter that measures whether participants have responded to polls, asked questions, downloaded files or chatted. While the polling function of Adobe Connect is not new, presenters can now ask open-ended polling questions, meaning audience members can provide their own responses to polls instead of choosing from a set of answers. This new functionality allows presenters to tweak their future presentation to better hold the audience’s attention. A more attentive audience has a greater potential to become a customer base.