Blocking Registrants

Hey all,

Something that we haven't been doing as much is blocking people from webinars. I'm curious to know what your best practices on that is? Do you actively search out competitors and block them? Do you reach out to them or just let them get the default message?

I have been leading/hosting webinars now for almost 10 years and I rarely block people from coming to my webinars. When I first started hosting the webinars, I was more nervous about competitors joining, etc. I remember reaching out to one competitor and asking why they were interested in our products since it seemed like they sold similar products to ours. I will block someone if they are being very rude to me behind the scenes but that rarely, if ever, happens. So the short answer is that I won't typically block anyone from joining the webinars.

Same as Carrie 10+ years in webinar space and don't block anyone. The fact that you see potential competitors means you must be doing something right, better or more interesting than them so they are trying to get the scoop. If they have a webinar just sign up to theirs. Most people will just create a gmail or similar account and troll other webinars so you would not know anyway. As an aside I do not like the block function in on24, instead many of us have asked for an edit function instead so we could edit if details are incorrect, email bounce etc and then rather than block actually delete.

We co-host webinars with a multitude of partners and while some do agressively block attendees, we really recommend against it. At the end of the day, if someone really wants to see your webinar they will figure out a way to do it and if the contents of a presentation are so secret that they need to block people from seeing it, a webinar may not be the best platform to share that information. We will block rude people who ask rude questions, but that is rare.

Typically our webinars are open to all so that we don't usually deploy a process where we need to block registrants. We did have one instance where our guest customer did not wish to have one of their competitors on their call, so we did block up front, and manually deleted a registrant who was from the list of companies that the client wanted blocked. Generally this however is not an issue for us.

This is a great question, I haven't blocked anyone I'd consider a competitor and I'm not even sure I know how to block anyone from attending. I think as long as you know you are using the best research and best practices for your field, then the information would be available to anyone and the competitor would have to recreate the presentation materials anyway.

Our marketing automation software has been set up to block competitors from receiving the webinar registration confirmation email, along with other emails we send to our opt-in list. However, we're not actively looking through webinar registrants and blocking them.

Thanks everybody for the replys. I will move forward without blocking for now!

In cases where you don't want external users to access your webinars, you could always take advantage of ON24's domain filtering in the "Security" tab so that only users with specific domains in their email can register for the training.

I suppose this could depend on who you do webinars for. We are a magazin running for our advertisers so competitors attending happens often. I never block however, because as an unbiased host we could upset folks and lose them either as a client or reader. I suggest treading lightly on this topic, it's easy to upset someone for blocking them. Also, good to point out if you do decide to block, your competitor will just register again under a different email and name. So you might as well let them stay so you know who's on.

Same here - we don't block anybody. We do downscore competitors and other unqualified leads so they never make it further through the funnel.

I'll go against the grain here and say we actually actively block competitors from our webinars. We constantly monitor who is attending. Granted if they really wanted to attend the webinar through a different name, they could but we'll make them do that extra effort.

We have very rarely blocked people from viewing our webinars. If the competition wants to see what we're doing and why we're successful, so be it. But we do love the option of being able to block someone if need be.

So we used to block our cempetitors, and what we found is that when you do that, they come in giving you false information. Our view on this now is that we would rather know, than not know, who is participating.

Totally agree with Miles point of view.

Our marketing automation system automatically filters out competitors.

I do this often. For company-specific sessions, I utilize the "allow" list and for open client sessions, I block generic urls such as @gmail @hotmail @yahoo etc and force people to use their business email addresses. It's not full-on blocking but it's a nice way of getting cleaner data.

I don't feel there's any real benefit to spending time managing that sort of thing when they can just use a webmail account to go around it.

I can see the argument for blocking webmail domains in order to get cleaner data, but even that seems risky as smaller companies sometimes leverage webmail accounts to do their business.

Personally, I prefer a "meet people where they live" approach. Let them use whatever e-mail address they prefer so they can manage their e-mails and calendar how they like. (Rather than creating a flow with obstructions that might turn them off the idea of registering for an event or that will make the process harder for them than it needs to be.)

Don't normally blcck as I might participate in a competitors webinar mysefl.

Typically one or two days before, we'll go through our registration list and see if any competitor is listed, then we will block them, using the default message.