Webinars are a cost-effective alternative to in-person meetings, and they allow companies to expand their reach, target more people more often, and deliver a compelling, fully branded experience. In order for webinars to be successful, they need to be engaging, provide value to the audience and offer actionable- takeaways.
Top three best practices for conducting a webinar:
Keep the event exciting and relevant—and deliver what you promised.
- Engage your audience the moment they join the event with an opening slide containing a relevant and interesting fact or anecdote.
- After welcoming people to the webinar, explain how the technology works—including how (and when) to ask a question or participate in a poll.
- Outline what you will be discussing during the event, and in what order. Make it clear that people will leave with actionable advice and recommendations.
Make sure the event is interactive.
- PowerPoint is a fine way to share information, but sharing applications or your desktop is a good way to engage attendees. Rather than show a screen shot of a website, go to the website and navigate through the content you are discussing.
- A single speaker is great but live, ad-hoc discussions and moderated panels are more interactive, and will often enliven and engage your audience more than a stagnant presentation.
- Use slides to illustrate your points, not as a visual crutch—and don’t simply read content from the deck.
- Consider allowing participants to ask questions during the event itself, rather than during a specific time period at the end. This will likely lead to off-the-cuff discussion that will feel real and relevant.
- Use mark-up capabilities as they make sense. Drawing a circle around a key point or a line to connect related issues.
Leave your audience wanting more (contact)—and knowing what to do.
- Wrap up your presentation with best practices or actionable advice. Leave your audience knowing what to do next.
- Provide contact information for all the speakers, as well as key contacts within your organization.
- Conduct a post-event meeting for all the presenters, to get feedback on their experience of the technology, the content and the audience reaction. Keep track of what worked—and what didn’t.
- Within 24 hours, provide attendees with any materials you offered, such as whitepapers, the event recording or a copy of the presentation.
Looking for additional webinar best practices?
- Check out Promote and Deliver Engaging Webinar: A Best Practices Guide from the 180 Group for additional insight and tips for hosting an engaging webinar.
To improve your webinar ROI, be sure to check out Best Practices After Your Webinar.