‘Webinar fatigue’ is a new ailment that has emerged around the world since the pandemic broke and lockdowns were implemented, forcing people to stay home and connect with the outside world through their screens. Free webinars quickly became hugely popular.
As the pandemic has worn on and the flood of webinars has continued unabated, many people are finding it harder and harder to tune into them. They evoke feelings of tiredness and irritability.
However, as the pandemic has worn on and the flood of webinars has continued unabated, many people are finding it harder and harder to tune into them. They evoke feelings of tiredness and irritability. This is what ‘webinar fatigue’ essentially is.
Cayley Jorgensen, a Registered Counsellor, Founder of Ingage and Co-founder of FaceUp South Africa, recently spoke on this topic at the Event Greening Forum’s webinar on ‘Mental health and wellbeing in virtual events’. She pointed out a few factors that contribute to webinar fatigue:
- It takes more energy to decipher non-verbal cues and process interactions through a screen, as compared to in-person. This is why online interactions can be far more exhausting than an in person one for the same amount of time.
- Sitting for long periods in front of a screen makes us tense and uncomfortable. While we readily take breaks during in-person events and meetings, its far harder to do this online.
- The pandemic has been incredibly stressful for all of us. We are all trying to adapt and adjust to this ‘new normal’.
If you’re hosting webinars or other types of virtual events, naturally you don’t want to cause webinar fatigue in your audience. Jorgensen’s tips to help you prevent this are:
- Include regular breaks in your programme, for people to go to the loo or grab a drink or snack. These little breaks help keep people awake and focused.
- Movement is helpful, so you could build some short guided exercises into your programme to get your audience out of their seats and their blood pumping. Keep the exercises gentle and easy – such as simple stretches.
- Offer engaging and interesting content. If people want to watch your webinar or event, and are enjoying it, they will experience a positive reaction rather than the negative emotions associated with webinar fatigue.
You can access the recording of this webinar here.