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Capacity development activities in information standards, tools and methodologies through delivering Webinars@AIMS

Karna Wegner from FAO in Germany

Karna Wegner is an Information Management Specialist within the AIMS team and has been responsible for coordinating the Webinars@AIMS. In this brief interview we interviewed her to get more into the happenings behind the scenes and subsequent delivery of the Webinars@AIMS.

1. Could you briefly explain what the work of coordinating Webinars@AIMS involves? 
 
My work involves everything that is needed to provide a good and useful Webinars@AIMS service to the community.
That includes the maintenance of the webinar page; the correspondence with the speakers and participants in English, Spanish and French; the scheduling of the events;the preparation of dissemination material and the dissemination itself; platform tests; the moderation of the events and the following up of the webinars. It is very important to keep an overview about many tiny organisational steps and to be reliable on providing the right input at the right time.
 
2. What has been the most interesting and challenging part of facilitating online webinars@AIMS?
 
Most interesting for me is to get in contact with so many different people (speakers and participants) from all over the world and to communicate with them in different languages. One challenge was the French opening of the French webinar about the AIMS platform. But probably most challenging was to handle the writing of the Arabic language during the preparation of the Arabic webinar about the AIMS platform. Nevertheless that was one of my favourite seminars. 
 
3. Most organisations are intending to use online events as a capacity building exercise, from your experience could you share a few tips for success?
 
I think that one of the most important things is cooperate with experts of the fields in order to provide high quality presentations that can really be of support for the audience.
Another essential aspect and certainly one of the most difficult ones is to reach the audience with appropriate dissemination channels. It is very important to raise awareness for the given possibility to directly get in touch with experts of the field, to ask them questions and to discuss problems. I think that the possibility of networking in online seminars is still underestimated by many people.
The last important issue is an appropriate testing once the speaker is booked and the topic is set. Nothing could be worse than a bad sound quality or connectivity problems during a webinar. That is why I always meet the speakers a few days before the webinar will take place for an introduction to the platform and to check if the sound quality is fine. For such events we always recommend to use headphones with a microphone.