Monthly Archives

September 2017

Checklist: How to Plan a Webinar People Will Want to Attend

By | Webcasts & Webinars | No Comments

Of all the event planning tools available to businesses today, the internet is one of the most valuable. From virtual trade shows to online webinars, there’s no end to the possibilities. But when planning an online webinar, how can you make sure your webinar is one that an audience will want to attend?

If you’re having trouble with attendance at your virtual events, it’s possible you’re missing a key ingredient in the mix. In this post, we’ll go through a short checklist of details your webinar needs to ensure good attendance.

Your Challenges:
Whether you’re attempting to sell a product or educate your audience on a current industry-related issue, you will face three main challenges when gathering your audience. These challenges are…

  1. Researching your audience. What is their specific problem you’re trying to solve?
  2. Formulating solutions. How are you going to solve your audience’s problem?
  3. Communicating with attendees. Why should they come to your webinar?

Before you start gathering your audience, you need to address these three core challenges. And that begins before your webinar is even fully prepared. Let’s take a look at how you can tackle each of these challenges while planning a successful webinar.

Researching Your Audience
Before you even begin seeking an audience, you need to figure out what problems people want solved. First, answer these questions:

  • Who is my ideal audience?
  • What is my audience’s problem?

Once you’ve identified your audience and the issue they need solved, you can begin planning your webinar. Answering these questions will help you select a topic and the proper virtual event platform for your webinar.

Formulating Solutions
Once you’ve selected a topic and the best virtual event platform for your webinar, it’s time to start problem-solving. If you thought coming up with a topic was tough, get ready for a challenge! It’s time to narrow your topic to fit the scope of your audience’s issue. Can you address the specific problem your audience is facing? Better yet, can you offer a viable solution? If you can confidently answer yes to both questions, you’re ready to tackle that last challenge.

Communicating with Attendees
Last but not least, it’s important to make sure your audience is being heard. Your webinar should give every audience member multiple opportunities to ask questions, voice concerns, and add to the conversation. In addition, creating opportunities for audience members to review your webinar in the future can be huge. In fact, 94% of webinar hosts report recording their presentation and making it available on-demand. This not only creates excellent content in relation to your services, it gives your audience the chance to continue their education after your event.

The checklist is simple. Identify your audience, choose a topic and a virtual event platform, and make sure your audience is engaged and heard throughout your presentation. With all of this knowledge under your belt, you should be ready to plan the best webinar your audience has ever seen.

The Short History of Webinars: Past, Present, and Future

By | Webcasts & Webinars | No Comments

What is a Webinar?
Webinars are live, web-based video conferences. The audience is watching and listening to the webinar online and can view from anywhere in the world (so long as they have an internet connection). They started off as basic video conferences and have now evolved into a tool that can connect people anywhere, anytime. Webinars can be used to engage with customers and sell products and services. Additionally, they can be used as training tools for employees, especially those who work remotely. Unlike online conferences where all participants are allowed to present, webinars typically have one presenter and everyone watching and listening is the audience.

Webinars and other virtual events are unique in that they allow audience interaction. They are a convenient tool since people don’t have to travel to attend the event. For this reason, webinars are becoming more and more popular in a wide number of fields, from the corporate world to elite universities.

Webinars: Then and Now
Web conferencing began in the 1990s. The software allowed users to communicate with international clients and allowed all participants to interact in real-time. The first webinar software came out around the same time. It allowed users to give a presentation that could be viewed by attendees around the world. It was the first multimedia, interactive online platform. The world’s first live-streaming rock concert was given in 1993 by the band Severe Tire Damage.

From basic online conferences, webinars have evolved into high-tech events. There are many uses for an online platform including virtual trade shows, online events used for showcasing new products, and even online classes or training programs. There are different types of online webinar software to choose from, so it’s important to find one that works best for your needs.

The Future of Webinars
With the convenience of being able to use an online platform to reach anyone, anywhere, and at any time, webinars and other online events are expected to continue to gain popularity. MPI’s Meetings Outlook Summer 2017 report states that virtual event attendance is predicted to grow 2.4% in the years to come. Technology is making it easier to put together an interesting online presentation that uses graphics and photos to keep the audience intrigued and engaged.

It’s also expected that more companies will use 10-15 minute webinars rather than hour-long ones to allow the audience to get the information more quickly. Webinars are also expected to become even more interactive. Along with the usual QandA session, polls, surveys, and group chats will be used more frequently.

With today’s ever-growing technology, who knows where webinars and other virtual events will end up. But for now, they continue to be an excellent tool for customer service, training, and product launches, and so much more.

3 Tips To a Great Webinar Experience

By | Virtual Events | No Comments

If you’re looking to hold a virtual trade show or online webinar, you need to start preparing early. Generally speaking, you should start promoting three weeks prior to the virtual event to have the best turnout and promote in a variety of locations.

However, having a good turnout doesn’t necessarily mean that your online events will be successful. Unlike a live event, a virtual trade show doesn’t have a captive audience. Individuals are more capable (and likely) to wander off. Many individuals who have attended online webinars and events are guilty of checking their social media accounts rather than paying attention.

So how do you make a webinar more engaging and keep your audience attentive? There are a few things you can do:

Encourage Audience Interaction

The more active your audience is, the more engaged they’ll be. You should encourage them to share their personal experiences, ask questions, take polls, and show a sense of humor. What can your audience gain from your event? Make sure you’re keeping this in mind at all times. Anything to break the ice and keep them jumping in will make for a more successful webinar experience.

Develop Interesting Slides

Powerpoint presentations have received a bad reputation over the years, which is understandable given that a poorly made one can have listeners zoning out. With a webinar, a slideshow is typically your only option, which means it needs to be interesting. It’s usually a good idea to add creative elements to each and every slide. Your presentation should still be cohesive, but there’s nothing wrong with adding a short sound effect or an interesting visual. You should keep any images related and on topic to avoid being derailed, but don’t be uninteresting.

Call for Questions Often

Certain participants will have come to the webinar with their “One Big Question” that they want you to answer. If they’re forced to wait 90 minutes to ask it, they’ll think only on their question, and ignore your lesson. They might even spend the entire time on their phone, checking their emails, or drifting off until it’s question time. These people are more likely to pay attention if they know you’ll take questions throughout the presentation.

Keeping your audience entertained and engaged during a virtual trade show is vital to having a successful online webinar. Don’t make the mistake of showing up unprepared and reading off slides. Keep things flowing and engaging. Interact with your audience!