What even is a Webinar?
A webinar is a seminar conducted over the internet. Webinars can be a presentation, discussion, survey results or product demo that is transmitted online using web conferencing software in real-time. The main benefit of a webinar is their flexibility in terms of location and format. The presenter can be living in one part of the world while the audience members can partake in the webinar from all over the world. Also, the content of the webinar can be recorded and shared in a variety of formats. This gives the audience a chance to view the webinar anytime they want if they missed it live.
SO YOU WANT TO PLAN A WEBINAR
1. Pick the Best Time
Market research shows that the suggested best time to hold a webinar is from Tuesday to Thursday as well as Friday morning. If the association is national or international, it is important to consider the different time zones.
2. FEE vs. FREE
When thinking about whether or not to charge for your webinar, it is important to determine the goals of your webinar. It may be BEST to offer a complimentary webinar if you are disseminating information or trying to increase member engagement. If you’re offering VALUABLE information that is an extra benefit to your members or offering credits towards a certificate then it makes sense to charge a fee.
Webinar sign-up forms should be short and simple and are typically circulated 48 hours in advance of the webinar. Lengthy forms will deter members from signing up. At minimum, you should ask for their first name, last name, email address and a box for any special requests.
FAQ: Why send the webinar invitation to attendees 48 hours in advance?
Science has proven that 99% of attendees will lose the webinar invitation link in their inbox if sent out more than 3 days prior to the webinar.
FAQ: What is an example of a special request?
Closed Captioning. Most webinar platforms need about 72 hours’ notice to set-up requests such as closed-captioning.
It is important to use both long-term promotions (3-4 weeks prior to the event) and short-term promotion (2-48 hours prior to the event). Long-term promotion is important for raising awareness prior to the event, while short-term promotion creates last minute buzz that may lead to a surge in registration. Live tweeting during a webinar may increase participation throughout the presentation.
They key to a successful webinar is to ensure that content matches the expectations of attendees. Always have a moderator to support the presentation for: introductions, audience support, interactions, technical back-up and time management. Plan interaction points in advance to determine where you will ask a question or conduct a poll. Hold your Q and A period at the end and take advantage of the webinar platform chat box. Your webinar administrator will provide you with instructions how to mute and unmute all lines during the presentation.
The best time to follow up after a webinar is the day-of, as audience engagement starts decreasing immediately after the event. Follow-up materials may include: handouts, recordings and surveys.
Blog post written by Lindsay Belanger, Senior Account Coordinator, Operations Management at Managing Matters Inc.