10 Top Tips For Hosting A Webinar
1. Don’t just do it for the sake of it.
It can be tempting to try and do everything, to create content on every channel and platform. However, it’s important you aren't just doing things for the sake of it. Before you set up your webinar, ask yourself, do I have something valuable to say? Do we have a unique POV or new insight that can really benefit others? If you aren't adding value, don’t waste your (or your attendees) time.
2. Give yourself 4 weeks to build your audience.
Schedule around four weeks into your marketing plan to push your webinar to your audience. Any less is not enough time to build a quality attendee list, while any longer, can seem too far away.
Create a social media content calendar and think about how you are going to attract the right audience. Create different types of content and think about guest speaker alerts and countdown assets.
Email is another great way of attracting registrants. If you have a GDPR compliant database, send invites using this, and don't forget to reach out to contacts personally too!
3. Webinars are great for summarising other forms of content.
Have you recently presented a talk at an industry conference? Or maybe you have recently launched a topical whitepaper. Webinars are a great way of summarising and repurposing other forms content.
Make it easier for yourself by recycling content you already have and use the webinar as a chance to provide extra context or a deeper insight.
4. Don’t be a waffler.
Keep your webinar around 30 minutes long, any longer will see your attendees slowly drop off. People are busy and are normally tuning in during their working day. Ensure your script or presentation is concise and well rehearsed. Known the key messages you want to convey and and cut out the waffle.
5. Pick the right time.
Think about when your audience is most likely to have a free 30 minutes. Avoid Mondays as people are often playing catch up. Rule out Fridays too - people are often winding down. A mid week, mid morning webinar often works well - give people enough time to open emails and get them self settled before needing to tune in.
6. Do your research on platforms.
Take into consideration cost and functionality. Find a platform that allows people to access your webinar on demand once it’s over. Having the ability to download the webinar recording means you can distribute it elsewhere and can be used as really valuable collateral in the future. Also look into whether a platform has the ability to send reminder emails to your registrants - this can act as an important nudge to ensuring those who have registered turn up on the day.
7. Don’t skip the technical test.
In fact, it’s best you schedule in at least two technical tests. Ensure you test in the same environment you will be hosting your live webinar. Think about echoey rooms, nearby building work and background noise. If you are dialling a contributor in, ensure they are doing the same, and that they also attend the technical test.
Technical tests allow you to iron out any issues before your live webinar. Make sure you give yourself enough time to fix any issues you experience - don't run the test the morning before going live!
8. Turn off notifications.
Most webinar platforms will have an inbuilt functionality which will silence all laptop notifications, but make sure you turn your phone on silent too!
9. Realise the value in ‘no-shows’.
Don’t be disheartened if not all those who register turn up to your webinar. In fact, you should expect about a 50% turn up rate. Remember it's about the quality of your attendees and not the quantity - ask yourself who is the most valuable type of person you want to tune in.
However, it is also important to realise the value in those who did not turn up to your webinar. This gives you a great opportunity to follow up with them on a one to one basis afterwards. Offer to talk them through the on demand webinar over coffee or on the phone. No-shows are a great way of starting a dialogue and conversation on a more personal level.
10. Learn from your mistakes.
Webinars can be daunting, they are live and you may have key prospects tuning in. However, mistakes and technical faults can happen. Stay calm, it will always seem worse to you as the host than anybody else.
The worst that can happen is you have to stop the streaming, but again, this gives you a reason to reach out to the registrants afterwards to apologise and run through it with them separately. Don’t let mishaps put you off, practice makes perfect and the more you do, the better they will get.