Remote working is becoming a popular trend and a technology boom. Many small and large businesses seek online webinar platforms to help them reach more people in the most resourceful manner.
These platforms compete to provide tools and support to individuals and organizations in planning and hosting a webinar. The good news is that even those with limited technical expertise can host an effective webinar. Here are a few things to consider in webinar planning to make your webinars a success.
- Defining A Clear Purpose for Your Webinar
As simple as it sounds, we often miss the point of webinars. After all, these aren’t like other online meetings or interactions that one sits through.
If used right, a webinar can be a powerful training tool, so be sure of your audience. You also need to consider the topic and the time. Some topics are better suited for webinars than others. Sometimes, time can be a major constraint because most online audiences lose focus after about an hour and a half.
- Identifying Your Support Team
A webinar isn’t a one-man show. The clearer you define the roles, the smoother your experience gets. Typically, you’ll need support on three levels:
- Facilitator or organizer: The “go-to person” handles various aspects of setting up the event. He or she also develops the topic, identifies a speaker/s, considers the managing participants, and troubleshoots problems.
- Presenter: This is the main speaker who focuses on the topic and keeps the audience engaged throughout the session.
- Assistant: The assistant handles the smaller glitches or questions and assists people unfamiliar with using webinar tools.
- Determine A Proper Format
Clear roles of the presenter, organizer, and support teams result in a hassle-free session. Depending on your topic, you can either select a one-to-many mode, an interview style, or a moderated panel discussion. Each format has its uses and limitations, and picking one is very specific to the goal of your session.
- Planning the Visuals
With an online experience, the human element is missing. Therefore, speakers need to make up for that in other ways. For a webinar to be engaging, you will need to mix audio and visual stimuli to get your message across.
Using interactive slides and/or videos and giving a brief overview of your topic are ways to make the webinar more interesting.
- Pick the Right Webinar Tool
While picking an online conferencing tool that suits your needs best, consider the following:
- How many people can the platform accommodate?
- Is the platform free, or is there a subscription?
- How do the features in the platform add value to your webinar?
- Is there an option to record and store videos?
- Create An Agenda
An agenda would include a working flow of the event clearly outlining the order of speakers presenting. This means you should have the slides ready at least two days before the event. You should also determine the amount of time each speaker is likely to take. You also need to determine what else a speaker might need.
- Schedule A Practice Session
No matter how well you think you’ve prepared, schedule a run-through to identify any glitches or unresolved questions. A standard practice session spans around 30 to 60 minutes. During this time, you can address the tools and features of the platform and do an equipment check, among other things.
- Setting Up in the Right Space
Reserve your webinars for a quiet space without any background noises or interruptions. You’ll need headsets, a charging cable for your laptop, and a network cable if you’re not using wireless.
- Registration Planning
Having an idea of the number of participants is always good for planning. Registering attendees are a part of marketing your webinar, so fix a price that you feel is best. With free webinars, usually half the people who sign up don’t attend. This means charging attendees will motivate them to show up.
- Advertising The Event
You should reach out and make your event known at least two or three weeks in advance to expect any kind of response. You can compose a crisp and attractive description of your event clearly stating which category of the population it’ll benefit. Then you can begin advertising on your website or through newsletters and online event calendars.
With the right webinar planning, you are left with ample time to organize a seamless experience for everyone involved. Remember that, no matter how much you plan, there will still be a roadblock or two. Therefore, you should be ready to take that in stride!