According to the 2018 Webinar Benchmarks Report, 22% of all webinars now feature video, a growth of 4% over 2017. Interestingly, EMEA data shows video use at 31%, meaning that if webinar creators can use video, they will.
Webinars are also no longer just a once a month thing. More and more, brands are creating an increased number of webinars that are very subject specific. Tailored webinars like product demonstrations are helping drive prospective customers further along the buying journey.
If you have never hosted a live webinar before, the prospect might feel a little daunting—especially when you consider that potentially hundreds, if not more, attendees might be tuning in live to hear what you have to say.
Almost every potential webinar disaster can be avoided with the right knowledge ahead of time. Regardless of whether this is your first webinar or not, there are many things you can do to ensure the best possible outcome:
Don’t skip the dry run
While conducting a dry run may feel like an obvious step, it is still the one critical step that most people tend to ignore. There are so many reasons for a dry run. It helps everyone collectively understand the content being presented. It helps ensure audio and video glitches are caught ahead of time, and it helps you understand how long your presentation is and whether or not you need to cut some of your content or expand it. Ideally you will want to conduct a dry run 4-7 days prior to your live event.
The most effective webinars are by the far the most interactive ones. Make sure your webinar offers plenty of opportunities to for attendees to ask questions, respond to surveys and polls, and access any help they may require. Don’t be afraid to begin launching polls right from the start of the webinar.
Keep it moving
I once sat in on a webinar where the speaker completely lost his cool due to a minor technical glitch. It truly was a webinar disaster! The reality is that small little mistakes and mishaps can occur at any time. Your audience is just as human as you are. So don’t sweat the small stuff like minor errors and glitches. If you do make a mistake, let you audience know you are aware of this mistake, and then keep going. And if the webinar is a complete disaster, inform your audience that you will follow up with a clean recording after.
Don’t be too stiff
Without a doubt the absolute weakest webinars are the ones where the speaker is stiff and cold. Your audience is human, and expect to be spoken to like real people. You might even want to take a cue from famous YouTubers. They might get mocked for their outlandish presentation styles, but if we can learn anything from them it’s to be as human as possible.
Leverage your data
With all the data and analytics available in modern enterprise video technology, there is simply no excuse not to leverage it. This data answers questions such as “how long did attendees remain on the webinar?”, “Did they ask questions?”, “What questions did they ask?”. Savvy webinar gurus will take it even one step further and collect data even before the webinar has started. This helps them tailor content on the fly and maximize the effectiveness of their presentation
Send out a recording
While many of us prefer that our webinars are attended live, it is not always possible due to busy schedules and commitments. By sending out a recording after the webinar, you are inviting participants to enjoy the content at their own preferred time. The 2018 Webinar Benchmarks Report found that no less than 35% of webinar attendees consume the content after the live webinar has taken place
Consider getting some help
Lastly, if you really want to avoid a webinar disaster, consider getting some professional help. Some enterprise video vendors offer professional services that can assist with some of the heavy lifting of a webinar so you can relax and deliver your presentation without any fear. This can include assistance with branding, invitations, interactive components (Polling, Q&A, survey, chat), closed captioning, and even issuing certificates.
As webinars continue to grow in the workplace and become a common occurence, organizations must find new and innovative ways to gain the attention and respect from their audience. By investing in a robust enterprise video platform, users have all the tools they need to elevate their video content.