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Reaching several people at one go with a compelling theme has never been so easy, and thanks to the presence of webinars – it’s all possible today! Sharing an audio-visual presentation in a seminar-style format is what webinars are typically used for.
Mainly speaking, a webinar is used to present a topic that is engaging, relevant, and informative. In other instances, it could be used to network or promote a product which is then followed up with surveys, polls, or e-mailers that further facilitate collaboration. It’s interesting to discuss below the procedure to create and host a webinar.
Tools Required for a Webinar: One needs to have all the basic requirements in place before proceeding to host a webinar. Mentioned below are those tools that are a must to have for conducting a webinar:
– Computer – This could be in the form of either a laptop or a desktop.
– Webcam – This is usually built-in on a laptop or desktop monitor. If one doesn’t have one, they can connect an external webcam.
– Webinar software – There are a lot of webinar software tools that are available to serve millions of customers. Some of them include Livestorm, GoToWebinar, Adobe Connect, ReadyTalk, Crowdcast, etc.
– USB Microphone – It’s highly recommended to use an external microphone as high-quality audio is mandatory for a great webinar. It’s always better than using the built-in microphone on a computer or laptop.
– Headphone – Though headphones are not super critical yet are suggested as it helps to concentrate better by keeping all sorts of external voices away.
– Visuals – PowerPoint, Keynote or Google Slides – If one is not planning to be on-camera during the webinar session, it is required for presentation. They are great to help to induce visual cues and break down concepts visually.
Along with the above tools, one needs to take care to have a quiet place to conduct their webinar. Considering a conference room or any other place free from background noise and interruptions will help.
Putting a Team in Place: The success of any webinar session depends on three prime players, and it’s very important to select them carefully.
– The organizer or the facilitator develops content for the webinar and is responsible for finding a suitable speaker and promoting the event.
– The presenter focuses on developing and delivering the webinar presentation and is responsible for looking after webinar programming and troubleshooting, event registration, and other details to help deliver an engaging presentation.
– Assistants chip in to answer queries to relieve the presenter to focus on the subject. Assistants help by responding to technical queries.
Deciding on Webinar Format. This is an important step, and one needs to choose a format that will best relay their message in order to engage an audience. One may consider one from the below webinar formats:
– Question and Answer – This is like an interview. It allows the speaker to answer questions directly asked by the audience. It’s recommended that the questions are collected beforehand to ensure one stays on schedule.
– Interview – This format of the webinar can be very engaging, the speaker acts as an interviewer and asks a set of predetermined questions to the presenter. The attendees listen to the questions being answered and are encouraged to participate in the session actively. This makes it all interesting.
– Single Speaker – Here, a single speaker communicates with the attendees. The speaker demonstrates the contents of the webinar followed by answering all queries raised by the attendees. This type of format is suitable for a small audience.
– Moderated Panel – This format has several speakers. They talk over a predetermined topic, and a moderator facilitates the discussion.
Choosing a Topic of Interest, Appropriate Date and Time: In order to lure the audience to attend the webinar, the topic should be of interest to them. One needs to get very specific when selecting a topic for their webinar. For example, instead of talking about digital marketing in general, it is better to speak about digital marketing trends, or digital marketing budgeting, etc.
It should be borne in mind that not ever an audience member belongs to the same location. Thus, it becomes necessary to host a webinar on a specific date and time that ensures the maximum number of attendees. Google Analytics could be used to locate the regions of the world where most of the online traffic can be tracked. One can also send surveys to potential attendees asking them for the convenient date and time for the webinar.
Rehearsing for a Webinar: One needs to practice for a webinar several days before they go live to ensure everything goes smoothly. Dry runs can enable those involved with the webinar to get a picture in its entirety. A final dry run two to three days prior to the live webinar can help to ensure:
– All are well-versed with the webinar software technology and contents.
– Gadgets used are operative and well connected to the system.
– Presentation slides are finalized to prevent last-minute changes.
– Communication methods are chosen to best suit the team.
– Individuals’ activities are well assigned to monitor polls, Q& As, and group chats.
– The final registration is reviewed based on details.
Follow-up with Attendees Post-webinar: Failing to follow-up with attendees can be a grave mistake, as one misses the opportunity to continue engaging with their audience. Sending a thank you email along with a survey asking them to share their feedback and rate their experience is the right strategy. Make sure to send a follow-up email along with a recording of the webinar to the people who signed up for the webinar but were unable to attend it. The follow-up goes a long way in building the relationship and encouraging the audience to attend future webinar events and even be involved with your company. Sending a thank you email along with a survey that asks them to share their feedback and rate their experience will definitely help. A call to action for future webinars plus making sure to send a recording of the webinar to the ones who signed up but were unable to attend improves the credibility and visibility.
Leveraging the usefulness of webinars is the way going forward: Every entrepreneur has the same job – to solve a problem. So, it’s all the more necessary that their product, their marketing, in fact, everything that they do be shaped accordingly. Therefore, the first step for any business is to find out more about the problems of audience, then choose an appropriate topic for the webinar. Post-webinar, businesses must measure the efforts invested and evaluate the results stringently. Taking that into account, they can make necessary changes to ensure that their future webinars are even more successful. Great webinars are always well planned, organized and executed. One should spend sufficient time in planning and testing their webinar program in order to make it flawless. In case one is not confident of hosting a webinar, they should take expert advice or hire professional services.