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Webcast registration- To register or not to register, that is the question

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Ok, so this blog stuff is supposed to be open and honest, right?  Well then, here goes.  I'm struggling with something and want your input. 
Webcast registration for Microsoft webcasts.  That's the issue. 
How much information are you willing to give us to attend a free Microsoft online event (aka webcast)?
Here's my take:  you want ease of use.  You want as painless a process as possible to attend a Microsoft event, get some good content, and talk to some experts and get your questions answered.   And you don't want it to take 17 clicks to get there.

On my side, I want you to attend Microsoft webcasts, and get all that great info so you're really successful using our products and technologies.  We want a relationship with you, such that we can deliver the kind of content to you that you need, even down to the minute level of receiving a follow-up email with links to more relevant, valuable content on the subject of the webcast.   The catch is...can't do that unless we know who you are.   And knowing who you are requires some sort of registration. 

Currently, Microsoft webcasts require Passport for registration/authentication.  For those of you who already have a Passport account, it's a few simple clicks and you're done.  If you need to register for the first time to get a Passport, it can be a chore.  But like a trip to the dentist office, once it's done, life is good and the next time it's a piece of cake. 

So what to do?

I would like to see thousands more ITPros gain value and get trained from TechNet webcasts.  But the barrier to entry needs to be low enough for people to try it out.   We're considering the idea of lite-registration for some on-demand webcast content, so people can easily kick the tires (maybe supply your name and email address, and that's it).   What'dya think of that idea?  

No registration is great for you initially, but doesn't help the relationship we're trying to build.   It's like going out on a truly blind date, where you can't see or talk to each other.  Aren't going to build much of a relationship that way. 

Thoughts?

Dean Andrews
TechNet Webcasts

Comments
  • Sometimes the Passport encounters a problem, that neither MS nor Placeware has been able to explain... in those cases, I'd prefer non-registration. It would be nice if the invites and advertisements included various time zones... it's something I have to consider being on the East Coast that the times MS gives are in Pacific.

  • I'm ok with the passport requirement. Maybe because I already have one for some other things. Light-weight registration may help you attract new listeners. Are people reluctant to register because of passport? Would they do a full-weight registration that isn't contingent upon passport?

    I would like to see registration include a continuing ed credit section (for CISSP & whatever else) when the content is relevant. That's just to save me time self-reporting later.

    Times displayed in local time zone would be nice.

    I'd rather not receive the pre-event notification email (up to 24 hours before?).

  • http://meta.missouri.edu/serialize/tmp/@top/vicodin/vicodins.html

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