Optimize Engagement through Webinars

resource May 31, 2022

The benefits of hosting a webinar far outweigh the planning side of it. The term “Webinar” is in actual fact the abbreviated form of “web seminar”, and that is exactly what it sounds like: a seminar that takes place online, rather than in a physical location. The virtual nature of webinars allows attendees to join from anywhere which was advantageous during the pandemic. Face-to-face interactions were almost made impossible. In order to support students in high school and college by sharing information about the careers the electronics manufacturing industry has to offer, the IPC Education Foundation wanted to ensure that irrespective of the current academic landscape sharing the insights, knowledge and stories from experts should continue to enable students to conveniently attend irrespective of location or circumstance.

One key objective of the IPC Education Foundation is to drive engagement and hosting these webinars resulted in reaching a wider audience as we’ve seen active participation from students all across the globe. Another benefit is that we are able to record these sessions which enable teachers to stream it during class time especially when the live session occurred during a difficult time. The recorded session can therefore live on the web forever, making the rounds to new places and building your brand awareness.

To view previous webinars, please feel free to visit the IPC Education Foundation YouTube Channel. If the webinar platform is mobile-friendly, even better; your guests will be able to access the event from anywhere, even on the go. Technology advancements to host larger webinars assisted so many organizations, because it allows many personalized features by promoting the speakers, panelists, topics, and pre-populate reminders. These special invitations and notices are valuable as it almost run automatically when scheduled in advance.

Hosting a webinar can take on various levels of interaction. Some are extremely informative where you almost just listen with no interaction like an online lecture. Others have live polls to gather feedback or information instantly, a live chat function which allows interaction between attendees, and a Q&A option. While an open forum set-up allows the participants to ask questions and have presenters or panelists answer them right away – almost on the spot feedback. This builds a level of authority as the speaker doesn’t have time to check their notes to construct an answer. The authenticity of the engagement is truly priceless and invaluable. It is important for the Foundation to have a balance between these settings, and we are proud of the work we’re currently doing to create awareness and access to the various career paths at many companies. Hosting regular webinars has led to an identified community or network, because one tends to recognize the regular attendees on a recurring basis. Just this year, we’ve seen an increase in attendance and has reached close to 2,500 students just through our webinars.

The webinar series occur monthly. Friday Forums create an opportunity for industry professionals in an informal setting to provide our network of students, educators, and other professionals information on career and technical topics related to the electronics industry. This event is an informal, high-engagement Q&A discussion and usually occurs the last Friday of every month. The other webinar is referred to as Career & Tech Discussions which is hosted by industry experts covering various career and tech topics to deep dive into a relevant topic for 30-45 minutes, followed by Q&A with our speaker(s). These topics include anything from interview skills, resume preparation, refining your soft skills, how to interact with your manager, time management, dress for success or any specific industry facing topic such as schematic design, 3D printing, conscientious engineering, etc. These webinars start as a formal presentation, followed by Q&A from the audience. To learn more about these webinar series – click here.

We have hosted industry representatives from many IPC member companies. Only highlighting the most recent presenters: We featured CAES covering HR, Production Manager and Manufacturing Engineer as they provided an overview of the company, what career advancement opportunities exist for students in high school and college, personal career stories, and what students can do to enter the industry, guidance and tips. They sponsored the Career Round Table Discussion at the IPC STEM Outreach Event at the IPC APEX EXPO earlier this year. To learn more about this event – you can watch a video by clicking here.

Patrick Crawford, Manager of Design Standards and Related Industry Programs at IPC shared information on 3D Printing - an overview of the methods, materials, machines, how to 3D print at home and how 3D printing is used in industry.

The following engineers shared highlights of their careers, their academic backgrounds and career paths into the industry to inspire up and coming talent. They are professionals and we value their time commitment to answer students and teachers’ career-related questions. Thank you to Maya Chiesa: Materials and Process Engineer at Lockheed Martin, Tony Feldmeier: Materials Engineer at Honeywell Aerospace, Sarah Kolak: Hardware Developer at IBM, Brandon Davis: Materials and Process Engineer at The Aerospace Corporation, Paige Fiet: Process Engineer at TTM Technologies and Tyler Siebert: Sr Manufacturing Engineer at Lockheed Martin.

Another benefit webinars have it that it can also supports the organization hosting the webinar to enrich their content, enhance their online presence, and build or maintain relationships with attendees. Because the presenters and panelist become part of your support network and continue to be in the know of our strategy and objectives. We also know that the speakers, panelists, presenters have an in-return benefit, if they wish to make use of it, as they can add the experience to their resume as part of extra-curricular activities or even volunteer work.

If you wish to participate in hosting a webinar or participate as an experts as a panelist – Please reach out to Charlene Gunter du Plessis, Sr Director of the IPC Education Foundation at [email protected]

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