Seminar or Webinar – Which Gives You the Best Return on Time Invested?

With so many learning options these days, it can be difficult to know what your best choice is going to be.

Essentially, your decision comes down to two real options, either a physical seminar or training course, or an online alternative.

While both of these have their pros and cons, the real question is which is going to give you the best return on the time and money that you’re going to be investing. We’re going to take a look at these options a little more closely to find out which is worth your while and why.

seminar action

Seminar learning environment

Time is Money

How often have you heard the phrase time is money? And yet, this isn’t always the case, particularly when you look upon time as an investment. It’s true that in the long run you’re going to be investing a lot less time in a webinar than a seminar. Webinars tend to be relatively short in duration, but more than that a seminar is going to require travel, sometimes for a significant distance.

If both a webinar and seminar are offered on the same subject matter, you might think that means that the webinar is going to be a better investment for you. You’ll spend less time, and less money as well, whilst still getting the same information, right? What you’re not considering here is the advantages that real life seminars are going to give you that you just can’t get from an online training experience.

What Seminars Just Do Better

There are several reasons that you’re going to be getting much better value for money and value for time if you attend a real world seminar, rather than a webinar. One of the biggest of these is quite simply an opportunity to mix and mingle with your peers and experts in your field of business. This human element really cannot be underestimated.

Part of this is a matter of putting names to faces and getting yourself out there and recognised in your field. Another part of it though is an altogether more human experience.

why seminars beat webinars

Seminar attendees discussing what they are learning

The down times that real world seminars provide (think coffee breaks, meal breaks and even overnight stays) really provide you with a valuable opportunity. Spending time with like-minded people isn’t just a question of making contacts, though that’s important, it’s also a chance to problem solve, discuss new information, get niche gossip that could affect your work area, and build relationships that could prove profitable at a later date.

By taking away face to face contact, a webinar might be convenient but it’s also lacking in the opportunities that a seminar can offer.

The Learning Element

When it comes to how information is conveyed, seminars also really have the upper hand, and again there are a couple of factors behind this. Firstly there’s a question of practical, demonstrable skills.

Seminars often offer you the chance to test ideas and even technology with a hands-on approach, involving role play scenarios, discussions and other demonstrations that simply help hammer new information home, and mean that you get practice with ideas before you need to use them in the real world.

The time element becomes important here too. Since a seminar will generally take place over a longer time period, information can be presented more slowly, increasing the chance that you’re going to understand everything the first time around. But you’ll also have the time to take new information in and think about it. Should you come up with questions an hour or two later, all you need to do is find the appropriate person to ask, as opposed to a webinar where you’ve already lost your connection.

The Winner?

You will need to balance all of these factors when deciding between a webinar and a seminar. It’s true that a seminar may seem more expensive and more time consuming, but you’ll have some very serious advantages by going with this option. Time might be money, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t spend longer doing something that’s going to give you some clear benefits. Time is also an investment, and the returns that you’ll get from investing your time in a seminar rather than a webinar are just going to be larger.

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