How to Conduct a Sucessful Webinar

Updated: February 10, 2010

Setup

As part of your webinar planning, you determine your target audience and message, the date and time of the session(s), your speakers, and the basic marketing plan to invite your guests. You may also decide to limit the size of the session, charge a fee, or screen the registrants before they are allowed to join.

The online tools simplify setting up, they help you

  • Customize a 'Landing Page' to promote your webinar.
  • Specify the information to be gathered from individuals who register for your session.
  • Keep track of who has registered for your event.
  • Send a confirmation email to your registrants giving them clear instructions for attending your event.

Inviting Your Audience

Now that your webinar is set up, you need to gather your audience. An email is the most effective method to invite your guests to your webinar. You can use in-house lists of customers, prospects, colleagues or members. You can also purchase a targeted list of likely parties interested in your webinar topic. Most online tools have email templates. The key features of a successful webinar invitation include:

  • A personalized salutation
  • A summary of the webinar content and reasons to attend
  • Links to the Registration and Landing pages
  • Speaker information
  • A personalized closing
  • Opt out links
  • The ability to forward the webinar invitation to a friend or colleague

You can send the email from your server or use a service to send your emails for you. Most tools track bounces, opens, click throughs, forwards and opt outs.

Be sure to include a link on your web site to the webinar Landing Page.

Registration - Who is Coming

As people register for your event, their information will be automatically added to your webinar database. You can review the status of the registrants by reviewing online reports. You also have an option to receive an e-mail every time someone registers. Based on the initial results, you can adjust your marketing campaign as needed.

If you wish to pre-screen participants, you may select to manually approve each registrant before they receive the webinar joining instructions.

Reminder emails are automatically sent to registrants the day before the event. Registrants add the webinar appointment to their calendar by clicking on a link in the confirmation.

Conducting the Event

In preparing for your webinar, you decide how you want to interact with your audience. You have audio, text messaging and polling options at your disposal. For the audio options, you can have your attendee raise their hand with a question and call on them. You also have an option to allow our operators to manage the Q&A session.

Many webinar providers supply training to help your speakers become familiar with the webinar conferencing tools. Since webinar tools are easy to use, speaker training is often combined with a dress rehearsal a day or two before the webinar. Some vendors provide an event specialist to help you with your preparations, training and webinar execution.

On the day of the webinar, the event specialist joins you in a private sub conference about 20 minutes before the start time to answer any last-minute questions and complete the final preparations for the webinar. You watch the roster grow as people sign in. Your audience is listening to music until the start time. When ready, the operator introduces your first speaker and you're live. The event specialist remains available to monitor the call in case you need any additional assistance.

Follow-up and Closure

The registration tools list who attended the event, so you can follow up as you see fit.

If you recorded the session, you may want to send the attendees a link to the playback so they can review points they may have missed during the live webinar. You may want to send them a link to a survey or other information regarding the webinar.

You may also want to send the link to the recording to those who did not attend.

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