Webinars provide an opportunity for experts to share their thoughts and experiences with a wide audience. They can also do this through face-to-face conferences, but are limited in their reach by geography. The cost of flying an expert over and then putting them up while they recover from the jet lag and do a little sightseeing is often prohibitive. The result is lots of second division experts, who live more locally, filling in to deliver similar expertise.
Online, of course, the situation is quite different. The limitations on using the first divison expert are much reduced. You’re paying for a couple of hours at most, rather than a week away and all those expenses. Even if the top expert has an extortionate hourly rate (and if you’re one of them then why not?) then they are likely to be affordable.
So, what was once a very localised business can become centralised and a star system can operate, as in films, TV, books and sports. The division one players get most of the business and attract celebrity status. Those in division two pick up the scraps.
The same can apply to live online learning events as it does to webinars, but here there is a moderating factor. Whereas you can run a webinar for practically any size audience, a learning event is likely to run for 16 people or less. And division one teachers and trainers only have so many hours in the day, leaving plenty of scope for others. So, where the star system will operate most noticeably is with presentations, whether live or recorded. The world is becoming a much smaller place, and that makes it easier for the powerful to become more so.