The COVID-19 pandemic brought up webinars as a means for professionals to stay in touch. As with everything else that is done to excess, we abused this technological ability to our very best. I was invited to talk and participate in more webinars than I can remember, and I watched even more, some just out of boredom from being locked up in my pigeonhole.
Although everyone is now happily talking about the post-pandemic era and the importance of face-to-face meetings, we should not forget the benefits of webinars, regardless of “webinar fatigue.” I used to talk about “additives marketing fatigue” back when every piece of information was about the next miraculous additive that would improve things by 4%, but luckily, we were saved from that fatigue too.
Webinars, however, retain some of their original beneficial aspects, and here I want to emphasize the important role they can play in educating the next generation of animal scientists. Today, with the help of technology, someone like me living at the center of the world (at least the ancient Greeks believed so and who am I to dispute it) can obtain a master’s degree in beef production from a prestigious university in the United States (last I checked, and I know there are even more programs offered as long-distance learning). Nothing can substitute the on-campus experience, but lacking sufficient funds, one can obtain important knowledge from afar.
Apart from that, however, I see little to no effort from other entities to benefit from this beneficial aspect of webinars. Companies that have a lot to teach us about their science and technology still employ webinars as another direct marketing tool – with disastrous results, as most professionals are no longer homebound hostages. But, young people who want to learn exist in every corner of the world, and these very young people will be the animal science professionals of tomorrow – with very little time for education then.
So, if you are looking for a way to take advantage of webinars today, consider their educational potential.