5 Parts of a Successful Webinar

January 11, 2017       THE NONPROFIT TIMES      

It doesn’t matter how good your content is if the logistics are a mess. A successful webinar requires both useful information and thoughtful planning. Here are the five main parts of any successful webinar.

Registration Set Up: Your attendees need a landing page where they can register and get additional information about the webinar. When you set up your registration page, make sure to include a description of the session and the date and time when the event will take place. Before your registration page goes live you’ll also have to decide whether you want to charge attendees a fee and what information about attendees you want to collect.

Remember that every additional question you ask someone to answer is a point where they might leave your page, so make sure you’re only collecting the information that you really need.

Promotion: Think through how you’ll get the word out about your webinar. If you have a useful list, a broadcast email can get the attention you need. Social media is another good promotion channel, especially if your event is free, because it’s likely your followers will share the link. You might also find that listservs or other communities are full of the kind of people you’re hoping will attend your webinar.

Reminders: It’s common for people to register for your webinar, immediately forget about it and lose track of all the details. Make sure to send an auto-response email with access information and a receipt (for paid webinars). Then send at least one reminder email in the week before the webinar. Some organizations send an additional reminder an hour or two before the webinar begins.

Facilitation: Every platform enables some kind of interactivity. Many allow you to create polls that will show you real-time results. Most have a chat feature. Some even allow attendees to speak. Make sure you’re familiar with your platform’s features and are taking full advantage of them. This might mean muting noisy participants, sharing poll data, and keeping up with the chat to address questions or additional information.

Follow Up: Before you log off the webinar platform, make sure you capture chat or whiteboard activity. Also, it’s a good idea to get feedback via a post-webinar survey. Later in the day, send attendees useful links or resources. These can include a recording of the webinar, articles or links discussed during the session, the survey link, and information about of related webinars or resources.

There are a lot of details to keep track of when presenting a webinar, but if you map them out and check off the steps one by one, you’ll ensure that the session runs smoothly.