GlobalMeet by PGi

Here are some helpful webinar tips for hosting an online event that is successful, engaging and fun. Tips for how to host a webinar:

1. Determine a suitable time. Scheduling your webinar for the the right time is essential to ensuring maximum attendance. Consider the time zones your participants will be calling from to ensure you don’t clash with after office hours and the lunch break.

2. Remove obstacles for attending. Ensure attendance is simplified. Ensure your webinar is delivered in a format that allows this to auto-populate in their online diary. Give enough notice depending on your topic and audience – this can be anything from 6 to 1 week out from your webinar. Provide local access or toll free numbers, based on their location and time zone (home or international). Remind attendees a few hours or the day before your webinar.

3. Compelling subject matter. Present a topic that’s of real interest to your audience and make sure you tell them about it. Speaker bios, topic and ‘who should attend’ profiles, denoting start times for different time zones help create relevance for the reader and they are more likely to accept your invitation to attend.

4. Stick to time. Start on time and finish on time. This is critical when running a webinar. Not having the audience face to face. We also recommend that no webinar run for any longer than 45 mins (30-35 mins for presentation, 10 mins for Q&A).

5. Remind your attendees. Choose a medium most appropriate for your attendees. Premiere can assist you with sending email, SMS or voice reminders to ensure maximum attendance at your webinar. For email, 1 day prior to your webinar is recommended. SMS or voice reminders can be sent on the day of the webinar.

6. Rehearse. Schedule a rehearsal 2-5 days before the event and include all of your speakers. For many this is a new medium through which to present. Sometimes what works for your presenters in a face to face environment, does not translate in a webinar. This is easily overcome and only small adjustments need to be made but it is important that your speakers understand this and are comfortable with the flow of the presentation, the tools available, the technology and how to utilise operator support when required.

7. Encourage ongoing participant engagement. By utilising the online polling and Q&A functions. The right polling questions not only get your audience involved in a fun and innovative way but they can be used to clarify a point, capture information about your attendees or determine where your audience is in the buying cycle.

8. Request a participant list. Comparing who joined your webinar vs your invitation and RSVP list gives you the ability to tailor your follow-up and message to your audience. It can also serve as a roll call where attendance is compulsory or as a qualified lead report.

9. Record your webinar. Recordings can be integrated for quick and easy access by those unable to attend your webinar or for remarketing efforts. Keep it has a handy archive for reference or learning purposes or utilise it as a marketing tool to encourage a response from non-attendees, non-respondants or as a thank you to your attendees.

Image courtesy of Reality Burst.