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If you teach using Webinars, you only have a few service providers to choose from. The most well know is GoToWebinar.

I signed up for a GTW account a few months ago to teach a class on creating website content that works. The class was a weekly live webinar which was recorded for later viewing. I’ve also used GTW for another class I’m teaching, Business Blogging School.

Let’s say I have some experience with GoToWebinar, and it isn’t all good.

After decades of using PCs in my corporate life, I made the switch to Mac about 6 years ago. Love it. Let’s keep that in mind when we talk about webinar services, ok?

Problem #1 Mac support is iffy, at best

When I first signed up, there were promises that I could record the webinars from GTW interface. Caveat: it only worked on PCs. Hmm. So, off I went to purchase Screenflow.

Since I first signed up, Citrix has added recording from Mac. Don’t shoot me if my reaction is “it’s about time.”

Problem #2 Hosting a webinar and then attempting to join a webinar = frustration

On this particular day, I wanted to join a friend’s webinar after I had hosted my own. 5 attempts to login to her webinar failed. As a bonus, I ended up with 5 different copies of the GTW software installed on my Mac.

The icing on the cake? I couldn’t find any tech support on Citrix’s website. It was only after tweeting about my frustration that someone from Citrix contacted me and had a tech support guy walk me through getting a working copy of their software on my computer.

Problem #3 You don’t want to spend too long scheduling a webinar

So Dawn and I were scheduling a free webinar we’re having Nov 29th and 30th (we’re doing it twice to accomodate 8 time zones). We spent 30 minutes crafting the text in the description, so you’d know what you’re going to learn. I clicked the button labelled “Save and Continue”.

Save and Continue

SAVE and continue

The system had timed out and required me to login again. ok, I get that it took us 30 minutes while I was actively typing in the interface and their security scheme logged me out. It happens in Aweber all the time. So I logged in again.

EVERYTHING we had spent 30 minutes crafting was gone.

They couldn’t save a draft? Crap, now we had to go back and rewrite it all again. I was copy and pasting all the text into Word in case it logged me out again.

Dawn found out just how salty my language can be when I encounter stupid software behavior. She’ll survive the aural onslaught, but she may never respect me again.

The bottom line:

The monthly cost of GoToWebinar is $99. That’s a lot of money for a service that has so many quirks and such lousy support. The problem is that there are so few options. Webex doesn’t support Mac OSX at all, so that’s out. I’ll be experimenting with a new kid in town, AnyMeeting, to see how it performs. I’ll report back when I get some experience with it.

In the meantime, Dawn and I are having this totally amazing webinar that I would like to invite you to. Your First Website – get started even if you don’t know where to start. I’ll be posting details in the next day or so. It will be awesome.

Have you hosted a webinar using GoToWebinar? Do you disagree with my little rant? I’d love to hear what your experiences have been like, especially if they’ve been good. Tell me your story in the comments section.

2 Responses to GoToWebinar – is it worth it?

  1. Thank you for sharing your experience, Kelli. I have recently considered using GTW. Looking forward to your opinions on AnyMeeting.

  2. Huh. I’ve never been on the back end of GTW, but I’ve attended a few webinars through their interface. I almost think the front end interface is too simplistic — there isn’t really a way to participate other than to ask questions.

    I hope Citrix can take your points as constructive criticism and make the product (and customer service) better. It’s when we bring up these points and companies do nothing that I get peeved.

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