One of the best ways to ensure a great webinar is to do the proper preparation, but in regards to content and getting an audience there to listen to what you have to share with them. Here are a few things you need to get done before the big day arrives and a little bit of what you should do after:
Test the waters: You should be letting your customers know that you’ll be hosting a webinar well in advance, at least a week. It’s always a good idea to test the interest of the topic you plan to discuss to see how many people are interested in what you have to talk about. Be sure to offer slight variations on your topic to see which idea draws more discussion and interest. This will help ensure that your customers come and that they participate.
Pre-webinar interview: Instead of doing an article featuring the guest speaker prior to the Webinar consider a short video or podcast (vocal interview shared online). This will let your customers get an idea of what to expect and a general feel of the person speaking. This simple publicity act alone can increase your attendance by 10 percent or more.
Record the webinar: Make sure to record the webinar so that customers who schedules conflicted with the event will be able to access the webinar later. You can even begin a library of such recordings that your customers can come back to at any time and re-listen to.
Consider a transcription: This is particularly helpful for customers who cannot access streaming on their internet, are hearing impaired or who simply prefer reading rather than listening to the webinar. You can hire someone to do this for you or you can make an attempt at it yourself. It’s quite a lot of work to transcribe, so despite the extra fee, hiring out is often more cost effective.
Post these in a similar fashion in an archive so that your customers can access them later on.
Follow up: Follow up with your customers after your webinar. Ask them to leave comments and reactions to what they heard. Get questions and feedback. Post an article summarizing the event and informing your customers where they can find the material (recording and transcription) for future reference.
Writing more blogs or articles about the topic you featured in the webinar and including links back to it will keep traffic moving to it for a long time.
Disaster planning: Anticipate that something very bad will happen and have a contingency plan. Prepare an extra article or podcast in the event that the server goes down or there are problems with accessing the webinar. Have a backup speaker in case yours gets sick. Have backups of slides or other necessary items in case the originals suddenly stop working.
Remember to check and make sure everything is functioning well before you need it to work to avoid any surprises when you try to log on five seconds before the webinar is supposed to start.
photo by: sridgway