Today I heard from a client with an interesting proposition. They had wanted me to do my day-long “Contract Drafting—Language and Layout” seminar as part of a week-long program for their global contracts personnel, but due to the economic downturn they’ve had to postpone the program. Would I be willing instead to do my presentation in the form of a webinar?, they asked. A lightbulb went on in my head. Yes, I certainly would be willing to do a webinar.
And that prompted this more general thought: Doing customized presentations as webinars would eliminate the need for me to travel and stay in a hotel. That could well be enough to make it cost-effective for me to conduct seminars for organizations located outside of North America. I could reach a constituency I’ve long wanted to reach—non-native English speakers who work with English-language contracts.
And in these tough times, even modest savings can be significant. When an organization has a small number of contracts personnel in each of a number of different offices, there might be little point in incurring the cost of having me travel to one of those U.S. offices in order to do a seminar that’s live with some participants but by videoconference with most.
I’d use GoToMeeting or WebEx, so participants would view my computer screen. That would allow participants to see the annotations I make on my PowerPoint slides—they’re an important part of my presentations. Audio would be handled by VoIP or by phone conferencing. Participants could at any point ask questions or make comments. I might even do the introduction and conclusion by webcam, to give participants the dubious pleasure of seeing my ugly mug.
As with all my in-house seminars, I’d encourage the client to provide me with sample contracts, so I could include in the presentation examples drawn from them.
I could imagine doing 3-hour, 4.5-hour, or 6-hour seminars. It might make sense to do the 6-hour seminar in two installments on consecutive days.
As regards price, that would be open to discussion. It would depend on the duration of the seminar and how many people are participating. But it would be cheaper—potentially much cheaper—than having me come to you. And I’d ask you to purchase from the ABA at a special price copies of my book A Manual of Style for Contract Drafting.
So are you a longtime reader of this blog with an organization located in Tokyo? Moscow? Dubai? Or is your organization decentralized? If so, you might want to consider having me give a “Contract Drafting—Language and Layout” webinar to your law firm or company. If you’d like to discuss the possibilities, send me an email.
By the way, these webinars would be different from public webinars. More about those in the coming weeks.