Here are some of the things that I’ve noticed, and I’ve attended IDEA World 5 times, PTI-West once, and am registered for PTI-West again this year. I also have licenses to several of the online libraries.
PROs: 1) Can play over and over again, so if you missed something important, you can see it again
2) Access is for 3 years if you get it online so you have plenty of time to access your content. Forever if you buy it on DVD (I have about 20 DVDs as well).
3) The audio and video quality are generally very good. Of all the DVDs I’ve purchased, only one was un-playable. I’ve never had a problem with the online licenses.
CONs: 1) The people video-ing the workshop don’t always pay attention to what’s being taught. For example, I have one video featuring Justin Price about developing a self myofascial release program. The audio is wonderful. BUT, the video sucks. Justin spent about 10 minutes using an attendee to model some postural topics he was educating about. “Can you see how her hip wants to move this way?” sort of things as he’s talking about the science. BUT, the video-taper focused on Justin without pulling back so the television audience could also see the postural deviation he was discussing. I found it to be very frustrating on this video because it’s an important video to me.
So, what I used to do is attend IDEA, first by registering for the classes I most wanted to take, and then once I found out what things were being filmed, I might switch out of a class that’s being filmed and buy the DVD (or online) so I could have access to a different class AND the DVD. Now, I don’t trust the eyes of the video camera to film what my own eyes might want to see, so I make sure to attend the stuff that’s most important to me, even if it’s being filmed, and then sometimes also purchase the content to support my memory.
2) Once an online resource has run its course, i.e. 3 years, then it’s gone. I don’t tend to watch things more than twice, but if there were a video I’d licensed online and then really treasured, I’d in effect have to buy it twice (order it on DVD so I could keep it)
3) You can ask questions at live events. If you have a burning question from a DVD, you’re out of luck in most cases.
As an aside, there are a ton of benefits to attending a live event besides watching the videos. I’ve met extraordinary people, several of whom have turned into long term friends, a few business contacts, and I got two master trainer positions by visiting booths to thank small companies for what their product has done to help me expand my business. I wasn’t marketing myself or actively seeking any positions, just an earnest thanks which led to some great opportunities. So, you never know what good can come out of friendly chatting. I also saw a format I liked, was the first person to host it in my state, and now 2 years later, there are over 75 instructors of that format in my state.