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We didn’t predict we would be delivering the FME World Tour events virtually this year, but there’s rather a lot of things we didn’t expect of 2020.

Running a webinar is a little like selling something in an eBay auction… stay with me on this one 

You have a ‘product’ to sell, in the case of a webinar you want to offer some advice, some knowledge, share an experience or deliver some training. So, you spend a few weeks making your ‘thing’ presentable and you make sure that it will suit your audience. Of course, you want to ensure it’ll be as popular as it can be. 

Then in the case of a webinar it comes to the day when you’re going to deliver it and you get a few butterflies at the prospect of the event. What might happen, all the things that might go wrong; the worst being that no one turns up. You really don’t want to wrap your webinar up again at the end and put it back up in the loft! 

It’s 30 minutes before and you login to test the software and have a chat with your colleagues, someone starts summarising some office gossip and you furtively check that you haven’t already accidentally started the broadcast. Ok, the microphone isn’t open, or at least you don’t think it is. You start the broadcast and you’re surprised that there’s already someone logged in and waiting, but the software tells you they are ‘not attentive’ and they’ve got an odd name, “happyD”. Great, something else to worry about. Hmm, maybe it’s just one of those eBay ‘watchers’ who never bid on the auction? 

At 10 minutes to the hour there’s a flurry of sign ins and a few chat messages to ask how to swap the microphone over. Now there are 10 people online, 20, 25… it jumps to 46 and then stalls for a very long minutesYou start to get excited and a little nervous; honestly, it’s just like an eBay auction! Although instead of people furiously bidding on your goods at the last minute, they are voting with their mice by signing into your webinar. Right, now it’s right up to the wire, 1 minute before and suddenly there’s a flood of activity. 47 people signed in, 62, 98, 180, 250… and it just keeps going 

You relax, it’s all been worth it, there are people out there who are interested to listen and take part. Now all you must do is remember what you were going to say… oh and keep the kids off Netflix whilst you’re broadcasting!

We didn’t predict we would be delivering the FME World Tour events virtually this year, but there’s rather a lot of things we didn’t expect of 2020. Not least months of lockdown. So, we went virtual and boy was it an experience! We met FME users we don’t normally get to speak to and had contact from people who don’t normally have the option to travel to a physical event. We even had customers join us to speak ‘virtually’ at the two events we ran. This was a whole technical challenge in itself, but it worked brilliantly and everyone turned up in their allocated slot and provided wonderful presentations that provided great examples and user experiences to all our attendees. We had speakers from the NHS, Local Government, Construction and Engineering, Land Management, Oil and Gas and the Environmental sectors and we wrapped our own messages about the latest release of the FME Platform around them to complement their experiences. A huge thank you to all our speakers for their time and energy into each session they delivered.

So if you missed it, we’re sorry you couldn’t make it, but we’re still able to give you the opportunity to dip into the material at our on-demand portal of recorded webinar content here. Later in the year we’ve also got plenty more opportunities for you to join us at one of our FME webinar series and you can register for those sessions here. In the meantime, if you need any help with anything to do with the FME Platform, just drop us a line at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. All being well we’ll see you on the FME World Tour next year…

Written by David Eagle, FME Division Manager, 1Spatial, UK

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