Category Archives: Ways to Use ReadyTalk

Tips for holding more effective all-company meetings

Maybe you need to give an update on quarterly performance or introduce a new PTO policy – but whatever the reason for holding an all-company meeting, you better make sure you put on a good show. Because while in theory these gatherings are the most effective way to share important information with a large group, in reality, they're far more often a real drag for employees to sit through and a big missed opportunity to unite your organization. 

However, you're not doomed to holding uninspiring all-company meetings forever – just follow these tips:

Be a transformer, not a transaction-er

Make like Optimus Prime in your all-company meetings – not physically per se, but in the sense that you're a leader who inspires others to do their best. Before this analogy goes off the rails, we're actually talking about being a "transformational leader" and not a "transactional leader" in your company-wide meetings. Transformational leaders are open to feedback, excited about change and transparent – and they create trust between company and employee, as the Society for Human Resource Management explained. Transactional leaders, on the other hand, see things in black and white: an "I boss, you employees" mentality, so to speak.  

Think about the agenda and content of your meeting in a transformational way, as opposed to a transactional one. Establish ample time for people to share their thoughts and ask questions, and explain how the information that's being presented is beneficial to employees' well-being, not just the company's bottom line. 

Connect remote workers with a webinar 

The internet is supposed to connect us – not leave sales guy Joe in Timbuktu with no idea what's going on with his company. The age of the remote worker is upon us, and that means that businesses need to be leveraging technologies that keep everyone on the same page. By hosting your all-company meeting as a webinar, you can ensure that all employees can join in, no matter how far flung they are around the world. Go one step further and record the meeting, too, so both in-office and remote workers can watch the meeting later if the proposed time isn't possible for them. 

Show them the money, but in helpful ways 

"This went up, that went down, here's some numbers, now meeting dismissed" is unfortunately the gist of far too many all-company meetings. Everyone knows how tempting pie charts can be – hey, we think it's fun to play around with the colors, too – but pointing to a bunch of graphs during a company meeting isn't doing anyone any favors. Make sure you present sales figures, revenue and other data in easy-to-understand ways and that you also provide context for such numbers. 

Follow these tips to avoid snores at your next meeting – and make it a productive use of both company and employee time. 

How Webinars Find Higher Quality Leads for Less

Take off your business hat for a moment and put on your consumer hat. Now imagine what your ideal marketing campaign would look like – one that wouldn’t annoy you or bore you to tears. Our list would look a little something like this:

Top 5 desired traits of a marketing campaign:

  1. Contains fascinating content.
  2. Provides actually useful information.
  3. Reads concise and to the point.
  4. Seems made by a human and not a robot.
  5. Leads us to a service or product that will improve our lives.

Webinars are a powerful marketing tool because they check every item off the above list, satisfying consumers’ needs for engaging and informative content.

They also hugely benefit the businesses that host them because they produce more qualified leads in a shorter amount of time. In fact, our research shows that between 20 percent and 40 percent of webinar attendees turn into qualified leads.

Here’s how webinars can crush it when it comes to lead generation:

Webinars are built on permission-based marketing

No one likes it when telemarketers come calling or companies send unsolicited emails. Contacting consumers without their consent can lead to negative brand associations and a whole lot of bad feelings – not to mention law-breaking in some places.

However, when people give you their permission to contact them, they’re much more invested in what you have to say. That’s the basic tenet of permission-based marketing, and that’s one big reason why webinars are so successful at generating leads.

When someone registers for your webinar, they’re showing their genuine interest in your company. This increases the chance that the consumers who attend can be sent further along the sales pipeline.

Webinars provide more trustworthy data

When people genuinely want something from you (like your permission to attend a webinar) they’re much more likely to provide accurate contact information – no more JohnFake@gmail.com in your email subscriber lists. Webinars minimize the amount of bad data you receive, helping you have access to more promising leads.

Webinars provide longer-term gains 

A specific webinar may take place only once, but you can create so many other pieces of collateral to support it, such as emails, social media posts, e-books and whitepapers. Our research showed that if you send marketing materials within one hour of a live webinar, prospects are 60 percent more likely to convert. With these tools, you can build a longer-term relationship with consumers that extend beyond a one-time event.

When there are so many ways to fight for people’s attention, you’ve got to make sure you’re using the most cost-effective and efficient methods possible. Webinars generate higher quality leads in a shorter amount of time, giving you a higher ROI.

Worry-Free Webinars and Third-Party Moderation

Why do I think full webinar moderation is such a great service?

As an online event manager at ReadyTalk, I must first let you know that I really love my job.  On a daily basis, I get to help customers reduce the anxiety and stress that comes with hosting a webinar series — whether that’s by training content experts on the ReadyTalk webinar platform, handling technical issues during a live webinar, or even moderating their entire live event. My job is the epitome of what ReadyTalk calls the ‘people side’ of our product, and while there are plenty of other webinar technologies out there, I am proud to work for a company that prides itself on offering an exceptional customer experience.

But I digress.

Readytalk,and other 3rd party vendors, have started offering services that take all the worry out of your webinars. The service is called Full Event Moderation (FEM), which puts all of the duties of a webinar host  onto a third party like myself at ReadyTalk. As a former theatre actor, I enjoy being on stage, and I love that my customers get to breathe easy since Keith the technical expert and MC is in the house!

FEM takes the stress of a live event out of your hands by having me:

  • Train your subject matter experts on the webinar platform
  • Read the introduction script and and introduce your subject matter expert(s)
  • Moderate the webinar Q & A session, and
  • Export the attendee data and send it to you after the event

Since launching this offering last year, I have received feedback from multiple  webinar customers that this is one of the most helpful services that we provide them.  

And we even see this in-house.

Our webinar and marketing events manager, Brittany Jones, hosts multiple webinars a month and we know how stressful that can be.   The constant requirement to attend a live event can be taxing and even overbearing, especially for those who have too many events to put on or those who want to start a webinar program from the ground up.

When I think of FEM, a couple of customer profiles stick out in my mind that seem to have found the service especially helpful. There are definitely more, but we’ll start here:

1.The overloaded webinar organizer/marketer

Too many meetings, priorities, and deadlines to meet.  

And yet, you have to put on webinar after webinar.  These busy marketers work with me so that they don’t even show up for their live events.

Instead, I work directly with their subject matter experts to execute the material live on webinar day —  I take on any technical issues that come in during the live event and will moderate the webinar from beginning to end. And then when things have wrapped up, I send the organizer an email with their recording as well as the attendance statistics and chat log, giving them a head start on follow-up.  

2. The anxious webinar organizer and host

Is it paramount that your presentations come off as polished and professional?  

Are your webinars high profile and strategically important to your organization?  

If so, this is where I have seen FEM be truly helpful, and coincidentally these are the webinars that I enjoy supporting the most.  The sense that the “stakes are high” really bring out the best in me as an online webinar event manager.  

It may be getting back to that live theater aspect that I so enjoyed in college, or the fact that I truly empathize with webinar organizers who are stressed out and nervous, but pulling off a good webinar “show” in these circumstances is rewarding for the event manager, too! I sleep easy knowing that  I made an organizer look good, all while helping their organization achieve their webinar goals. You can’t beat that, right?!  

Now that I am done bragging about my role at ReadyTalk, I would love for you to see what FEM can do for your organization. Check out this ReadyTalk webinar I moderated titled, ‘Take your webinar program to the next level… with minimal stress’.

Have any questions or comments?  Feel free to shoot us an email at sales@readytalk.com.   

We would love to hear from you!

Talkin’ to ReadyTalk at Marketo’s The Marketing Nation Summit, Booth #127

We love automation — where people can be more productive with just a few tools, like ReadyTalk’s products. So it’s no surprise we’ll be at Marketo’s The Marketing Nation Summit from May 9 – 12.

Win big by viewing great products and getting cash prizes

Join us at Marketo at Booth #127 from May 9 – 12 in the Expo Hall, and discover how you can host flawless events with the power of ReadyTalk and Marketo combined. And over the course of four days, you could win up to $9000 CASH at the booth. What else would you want to do in Vegas?

We’ll also have our experts there, too.

On Tuesday, May 10 at 2:30 p.m. in the Expo Hall, Beth Toeniskoetter, ReadyTalk Webinar Product Manager, leads a session on improving your webinars.

On Wednesday, May 11 at 2 p.m. in room 314/315 hear Bo Bandy, ReadyTalk Marketing Director, leads a session on marketing to the prospect you’ve forgotten. (Spoiler: It’s the customer.)

Who else are we excited to see? Our customers!

Rick Siegfried is speaking on Tuesday, May 10 at 2 p.m. in room 310, diving into the complex curiosities of email marketing. This session will be jam packed with Marketo specific tips and tricks for driving engagement. Way to go, Rick!

See you in Las Vegas!

Put the Me in Meetings to Save Time and Money

When each of us go to meetings these days, we rarely discuss what we’re looking for or what objective we’re trying to meet. But take any training and the first thing they’ll address after where the bathrooms are — your objectives.

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According to Industry Week 30% of managers said their meetings were unproductive. That’s a high number of dissatisfied people. Especially when you consider that — on average — we spend 26 business days meeting.

Don’t waste your time or others

Your time costs the company money. It’s okay to treat it as important as well as the time of other employees. If you don’t need to be there or have questions, you should ask.

How to Fix Your Scrum MeetingsSo how do you bow out of a meeting without being a jerk? It depends. For open cultures who value honesty and integrity, you can tell someone what you’re looking for. You know they’ll answer honestly and at that point you can ditch the meeting if it’s not helpful. For less open cultures, respond to the organizer and verify you’ll get what you need. Maybe a question like, “I’m hoping we’ll cover ____. Do you think you’ll have time?”

Can it be solved by an email or quick phone call?

We love meetings, but sometimes another communication tool is better. A quick phone call, email or even chat — otherwise known as Instant Message (IM) — may get you the information you need without disrupting the meeting’s agenda.

Monologue or dialogue

Do you need to ask questions? Share information yourself? Or do you need just a status update? That determines whether the meeting host can provide an update or whether you need a two-way conversation — dialogue.

Most meetings are a dialog — two-way or more engagement among attendees and host. Consider whether you need to fully collaborate and whether you have the right tools. Do you need to share your document real-time? Do you need to share your screen?

Stop multitasking

If you need to be at the meeting, give the presenter your undivided attention. If you can’t because of other deadlines or tasks, rethink whether you’re needed.

The data is in — multitasking doesn’t work; it reduces attention to the tasks being performed. CNN indicates that research shows driving while talking or listening can reduce your driving skill by 37%. In fact, the report that only 2% of the population are super multitaskers — people who are effective of doing more than one thing at once.

Need other ideas for improving meetings?

You may hate meetings, but at ReadyTalk we have a passion in making sure your meeting goes off without a hitch.

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