In the past 12 months, webinars have become something of a business ‘buzz word’. How many invites to them have you received in your inbox lately?
In case you’re not sure exactly what they are, a webinar is essentially a seminar conducted online – take ‘web’ + ‘seminar’ and you’ve got webinar!
To participate in one, all you need is a PC with an internet connection (preferably not dial up), and either a headset with mic or an inbuilt mic and speaker facilities. To run one, all you will need is the same list, plus suitable webinar software. Talk to us about what software might suit your needs.
I predict that in 2011, webinars will continue to grow massively in popularity because they allow the presenter to reach a wider audience at a lower cost not to mention the considerable advantages over traditional on site seminars such as interactive Q&A, real-time collaboration, and the ability to digitally archive for playback from a company website.
Web-based technology also can help streamline the administration involved with running an event. Choose the right software and set it up well and it will automatically facilitate registration, attendance management and post event reporting – just what we want as busy business owners!
There are two main ways to run a webinar – either with sound and images in the form of a presentation, or, with sound, images in the form of a presentation AND a streaming video of the presenter. The presenter may choose to deliver a PowerPoint presentation or similar, to talk as they navigate through a website or piece of software to give a live demonstration or simply talk straight into the web cam.
Like any new business activity, it’s important you first determine the reason for your webinar before you run one.
Possible objectives include educating clients and prospects, generating sales leads, promoting a product/service/software and more.
You’ll then have to put together some good marketing material with a compelling topic that will make the right people want to attend and get the message out there.
In future articles, I’ll give you some ideas on how you can promote your events in innovative ways using social networks. Stay tuned!
Want to run a webinar? Let us help you? Inquire now about our new webinar services which include everything from helping you choose the right webinar software, setting up your first webinar, providing you with training or technical service during a webinar session.
10 Top Webinar Hosting Tips
1. Leading up to the webinar, send a reminder to confirm registration, and 2 reminder emails – 1 a week before, once 1 day before the webinar and once 1 hour before the webinar.
2. Turn off any un-necessary applications, particularly Outlook, instant messaging/chat/skype systems so no embarrassing message pop up while you’re in lecture mode.
3. Similarly turn all mobiles to silent, or even better off. It is advisable however to keep one line open and have a technical support person ready to answer calls of people who may be experiencing issues getting on the session.
4. Set expectations at the start – provide the audience with an agenda so they know what the proceedings for the event will be, and when you will be dealing with questions (whether you’ll respond to select questions at the end, try to take them during the session, etc.).
5. Try not to move too quickly whilst showing screens as sometimes there is a lag between when you demonstrate something and when it displays at the users end, depending on their bandwidth. Plan on it taking about 5 seconds every time you change your screen for everyone to see the change.
6. Call into the meeting at least 15 minutes early and as people log in leading up until start time, un-mute yourself at intermittent periods to welcome them and to let people know it will start soon and their audio is working.
7. Use pre-webinar slides & announcements. Put up a slide that says something like “the webinar will begin in 10 minutes” so when people log in they know it is working OK, and then update it to show the actual time until the webinar. You should also make an announcement on the call every few minutes
8. Send out a recording and the slides to people within 24-48 hours, and tell them during the webinar you will do this. About 10-20% of your attendees will email you looking for the info anyway, so just send it out. Fast follow-up helps you motivate people to take a next step while the webinar is still on their mind.