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Top Features to Look for in Webinar Solutions

The uses for webinars span across departments and industries, but at the heart of all of these functions, webinars are used to drive attendance, participation and engagement. To accomplish these core goals, you need not only the right content strategy but also the right features.

Basic Webinar Features You Need
Most webinar solutions offer key functions for web events, including:

• Scheduling for event pre-planning, tools to promote your web event and custom branding everywhere you make contact with potential registrants and new leads.

• A webinar room that supports one or a few presenters, a capacity of at least 50-100 attendees, content and screen sharing, polls and surveys, live chat and interactive Q&A.

• Analytics and reports on email, registration, attendance and engagement.

• Recording, playback and archiving.

Webinar Features That Enhance the Experience
The best webinar solutions also offer features that improve not only the user experience but also the hosting experience. The most important element of a great user experience is the content itself, and with webinar features that make hosting easy, you can focus less on the next steps in your webinar’s lifecycle and more on creating compelling content.

Before you commit to a webinar solution, look for these five features that enhance the web event experience:

1. Easy-to-Use Webinar Portal: Imagine having a single place to manage the entire lifecycle of your online event. From here, you can schedule events, create and reuse contact lists, monitor registration, manage attendees, send automated follow-up emails and distribute recordings, making your event easily accessible on demand. Everything’s fast and simple, so all you have to do is focus on boosting attendance.

2. Pre-Event Hosting Capabilities: So everything goes off without a hitch, look for webinar features like rehearsals and early entry to your webinar room to upload files, prepare polls and surveys and preview content in advance. This private preparation room will help you avoid delays so users experience a well-paced event that starts on time and ends on time.

3. Flexibility and Accessibility: Features like automatic email reminders and the ability to send invites and registration forms weeks in advance cater to attendees’ busy schedules, and the flexibility to access your event from different devices and browsers makes it easy to join. With user mobility, and no plug-ins required, you can sit back and watch attendance and participation go up. And when they do join, you’re going to want to make sure you’ve got an attractive user interface there, too.

4. Large-Capacity Webinar Room: Best-in-class webinar solutions provide audience capacity for hundreds, not just tens, of attendees to expand your reach in a single web event. To manage these larger audiences, look for in-webinar notifications that alert you when someone joins or asks a question, as well as the ability to mute guests, disable webcams, turn on recording, lock webinars, manage mic volume and privately chat.

5. Presenter Tools for Engagement: Beyond slide and file sharing, you may also want to share a streaming video for engagement, so make sure your webinar solution covers the types of video files you use. Look for post-event reports that don’t just give you numbers but also archive user engagement so you can find out exactly which attendee asked you that stumper and directly follow up with them. And ensure recordings capture everything—those shared videos, public chats, even your participants panel—so that users who watch your on-demand webinar enjoy the same rich, interactive experience as your live event.

Looking for a DIY solution for even larger web events? Here are 10 self-service webcasting features to look for before you buy.

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