10 Tips to Create a Hugely Successful Webinar
The webinar—a linguistically controversial combination of the words web and seminar—has been with us longer than any other online event. Although it is difficult to say precisely when the first webinar occurred, people have been sharing text-based knowledge as far back as the 1980s.
In those days, people shared knowledge via the Internet Relay Chat (IRC) system, which was basically a global, pre-world-wide-web chat room. That isn’t quite what we consider a webinar today. These days, people generally understand a webinar to be a presentation of some sort with a screen-share or a slide-show, and a person talking and providing information to a number of attendees who have logged in via video streaming.
Indeed, even that definition is now becoming outdated since the introduction of full-fledged webinar events where attendees can take a more active role and actively participate in the sessions and presentations.
So, not only is the webinar the oldest form of online event, it is also the most mutable.
Let’s take a look at 10 webinar best practices and tips to help you put together a successful webinar.
10 tips for a successful webinar
1. Use a proper webinar hosting platform
Although IRC chat might've been good enough for the 1980s, the world has progressed. Even webinars held 10 years ago, with a shared screen in the form of a video conference, don’t quite match up to what can be done with webinars now.
The best webinars are now held more in the style of a full-blown event. This doesn’t mean more organizing time, provided you’ve chosen the right platform. But it does mean more attendee satisfaction. Some webinar platforms such as EventsX also let you easily create an on-demand webinar from the live webinar so that people can continue to access the content even after the live webinar is finished.
Choosing the right webinar platform will go a long way to ensuring you run a successful webinar.
2. Do proper webinar marketing
The one thing a webinar needs is attendees.
There are many ways to get attendees, from telling friends through Facebook to full-blown marketing campaigns via newsletter software such as Mailchimp.
Ideally, all the tools you would need to successfully market your event would be included in the events platform you chose to host your webinar on.
3. Publish a downloadable webinar agenda
This wasn’t so important for webinars held 10 years ago. But event-style webinars can have multiple presentations and seminars—webinars within webinars.
Make it easy for users to download an agenda that integrates easily with their calendars.
4. Send webinar invites
Create an email campaign of webinar invites with a webinar registration link inside it. People can simply click the link to be taken to a registration page where they can sign up for the webinar and secure their seat.
Whoever will be delivering the presentation(s) needs to practice, practice, practice before the live webinar!
This would include testing the audio and video for the event. If there are multiple presenters streaming from different locations, they should test going through the webinar together at least once before the day of the live webinar.
6. Use gamification and engagement techniques
This is where modern-day webinars really shine. The problem with webinars 10 years ago (and many webinars today) is that they were somewhat one-sided. A presenter streams content at a bunch of attendees who must sit there and listen to it like schoolchildren. Boredom rises quickly.
EventsX webinars allow you to integrate gamification and engagement features directly into the webinar, as well as polls, surveys, and Q&A sessions to keep attendees interested from beginning to end.
7. Make it mobile-friendly
Mobile access to the internet is so prevalent that Google has prioritized mobile-first indexing of its search index for some years now.
Many of your webinar attendees will try to access the webinar through their mobile phones. You need to be prepared for this in two ways:
- Ensuring the webinar hosting platform you’re using is optimized for mobile phones.
- Making sure your slide shows are large enough that people on a mobile phone can get the gist of the content without having to strain their eyes too much.
8. Offer tiers of tickets
High-quality webinars take a lot of work to put together. And yet a paywall might reduce the number of attendees you get.
An excellent solution to this is to offer tiers of free tickets and paid tickets. At the webinar, those with paid tickets can gain access to certain sections of the webinar that free ticket holders can’t. Then, at the webinar, you could offer attendees an option to upgrade any time they wish to.
This functionality is baked into the EventsX webinar platform.
9. Offer multiple sessions
To maximize attendance, offer multiple sessions of presentations, either covering different aspects of one particular topic, or entirely different topics each. If the presentations are all excellent and well-practiced, attendees are likely to stay for more even if they hadn’t initially intended to.
10. Schedule it for maximum attendance across time zones
If your webinar has international interest, schedule it so that the maximum number of people across time zones can attend. (If you’re wondering when that is, it’s 9:00 AM EST, by the way. You’re welcome.)
By providing an on-demand version of the webinar after the live one, you can also maximize attendance for those who could not make it at the earlier time.