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Stage I: Planning Your Web Conference

Posted by Mike McKinnon on
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istock_000003956659xsmall.jpgThe other day, I gave an outline of the steps necessary for conducting a successful web conference. The first stage is planning the web conference. This is perhaps the most important step because without a purpose and goal for your web conference, you will most likely not achieve your desired outcome.

Within the planning stage, there are several things to consider. Below is a list of eight things that need to be addressed before any web conference is undertaken:

 

 


  • Objectives

  • Audience

  • Content

  • Budget

  • Technology

  • Speakers

  • Timeframe

  • Incentives

 

Let's look at each one of these steps briefly

Objective: Outlining your objectives will help you achieve a big-picture perspective of your event. It will also help you with the event details and allow you to measure the success of the conference. Some objectives of web conferences might be:

 

 

 

 


  • Increase sales leads
  • Train employees
  • Knowledge dissemination or thought leadership

 


Audience: Specify not only who you want to attend your web conference, but also who could benefit the most from the information you are going to be presenting.
Subject: Careful subject consideration is of the utmost importance. While the topic must benefit the company by achieving your objectives, it must also be tailored for your audience and provide them value as well.
BudgetChoose a realistic budget given your objectives. If you have small budget try to tailor your objectives and expectations to that budget. Some things to consider when calculating your budget:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


  • The web event itself (audio and web portions)
  • Participant registration and data collection
  • Personnel to help set up and manage the event
  • Speaker fees
  • Technology such as hardware and headset

  • Post web conference material preparation and distribution
  • Thank you gifts for speakers

 

Vendor:Vendor choice is critical because you will need to reserve enough lines as well as train the speakers on the technology. The technology should be easy to use for the speakers and easily accessible for your participants. Support of multiple operating systems is also a bonus.

Speakers & Moderators: If your event is small, the same person can probably handle these duties. With a large event it is helpful to have a different person handle Q&A, registration and the recording.


Timeframe: To maximize attendance, the timing of your event is critical. Mondays are too busy and Fridays are too slow. Make sure you eliminate holidays and days around holidays. Ideally, your event will happen around lunch when most people are free.

Incentives: Giveaways and drawings are great incentive to help improve attendance. You might also want to consider giving your participants a gift at the end of the event.

This is a general outline of what you need to prepare before considering a web conference event. Obviously, this is not an all inclusive list but it will be helpful in getting you started organizing and thinking about it.

I would love to hear what other factors might be considered when organizing a web event.

[tags]web conference. web seminar [/tags]


Name: ReadyTalk Blog » Blog Archive » Stage
Time: Tuesday, September 4, 2007

[...] Stage I: Planning Your Web Conference | Blog [...]

Name: Renzo
Time: Monday, January 7, 2008

Mike; I think a step you should consider is to test that the audience members you want can actually download the required software to join the meeting. Many times I have had issues getting key attendees into a meeting. The industry needs more of the Web 2.0 kind of technology like the RHUB Universal Attendance technology (http://www.rhubcom.com). With this, the attendee does not need to download anything - not even Java. If they have a browser that can get to Yahoo/Google maps, they can get it - regardless of platform or browser. I even joined a meeting once on an iPhone -- worked pretty well.

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