If I go 24 hours without being pitched for some seminar or another, then it must be a national holiday or a weekend. Fact is, they remain one of the most effective ways for small businesses to build interest in their product or expertise. The online versions have only increased in important because of the lingering economic malaise and businesses' interest in cutting back on business travel of all types.
Many of these marketing-focused events are free, of course, but if your company is in the business of monetizing its online sessions take note: One of the conference and webinar production services, AnyMeeting, has now integrated PayPal billing services directly into its invitation system. That means you can bill people at the time they agree to attend the event and use PayPal in addition to allowing attendees to use credit cards (if you want). AnyMeeting wil take a "convenience" fee for the transaction.
The company said the new feature was added in response to customer requests.
I did some quick poking around, and as you might suspect there are a few other conferencing services that offer e-payment integration. Among the ones that I found pretty quickly were InstantPresenter, Webconference.com, VideoSeminarLive and DoConference. Where you won't find this integration is on some of the services offered by the "big guys." I was hard-pressed to find any evidence of this feature in GoToWebinar or WebEx.
AMI Research figures that the market for Web conferencing will grow at a compound annual growth rate of more than 22 percent between 2009 and 2014. Something like 20 percent of information workers and close to one-third of senior staff members at your typical company participate in a Web conference on a daily basis. If you are with an SMB that is trying to leverage this trend -- and monetize some of your events or seminars -- you definitely should ask your conferencing vendor about PayPal integration.