Are you Webinar Fit?
Within weeks of the COVID-19 lock-down measures coming into force, webinars have become one of the most popular options for companies replacing in-person meetings with their customers and interested audience.
Businesses and individuals alike have rapidly integrated videoconferencing software into their daily lives. Remote-working, once the preserve of freelancers and a small percentage of flexible workers, has become the norm – and looks set to stay that way for the time being.
How can you capture and maintain people´s attention?
It’s a talk show, not a lecture! Ditch the lengthy slide decks and use slides sparingly, as a prompt. Your audience will lose focus otherwise. Focus on the conversation and get to the point.
Keep it small In addition to the host, don’t have more than two guests in a conversation at any one time. Webinars eat up time more quickly than physical events and your audience will get lost trying to pay attention to too many speakers.
Tech matters There’s no right or wrong platform, but make sure it’s one that you trust and is user-friendly, and corresponds to your business objectives. For example, different platforms allow different levels of customisation and branding (Zoom is quite poor at this). Also think about how the platform communicates with delegates before and after an event. We get around 10 per cent of our attendees on each webinar through links provided in post-event emails for the previous webinar. And if you want to share your webinars after they’re over, be sure they are being automatically recorded.
Use the chat function One of the best things about webinars as opposed to in-person events is the ease with which people will ask questions. Make sure you keep your eye on incoming queries and integrate Q&As into your presentation as a way of getting the conversation flowing.
Use analytics to learn about your audience
If you have a strong marketing / CRM focus, then you’ll want to look at the extent to which your chosen platform supports custom URLs to allow source tracking and integrates with your CRM platform. In post-event analytics, look out for data such as the number of registered delegates versus those actually attending; how long they stayed on; how much attention they were paying; and transcripts of questions asked and chat. Post-event, consider splitting webinar recordings into shareable clips that you can then use on social media to drive more traffic and awareness.
Prepare, prepare, prepare This is essential. Once the event is underway, it’s too late to fix glitches. So have a script and practice it. Hold a call with your guests beforehand and talk through how the event will unfold. Test that slide-sharing works. Agree how questions will be fielded – and what to do if something goes wrong.
Have good sound and lighting Will need a sound-proofed room or additional lighting? Generally, extra lighting works wonders and looks more professional. Are your webcam and microphone good enough? A lapel mic is a good investment. One good tip (from TV people) is to try to put everything in the same place each time so that it always looks the same – Simply put some pieces of tape on the floor to indicate where it all goes.
Backdrop and visual elements Get a vinyl backdrop made. These are not expensive (about 100 Euro) and look professional.