The prolonged lockdown has affected many traditional ways for businesses to connect with their customers, institutions with students and staff, associations with members. Webinars have been around for years and their revival has certainly been the subject of discussion amongst event professionals. What could a #webinar bring to the table for your organisation?
Webinars as educational tools can be much more
#Webinar technology has evolved greatly and, when it is done right it can have a considerable impact, enhancing interactions with the community, clients, or members, building brand awareness, and establishing a thought leadership profile to your target audience while others stay dormant and are 'laying low' waiting to go back to normality. We all know by now this may not be the case at all.
A webinar can bring added value amidst the COVID-19 lockdown to any business, association, society, charity, or institution by expanding their reach and opening up to international audiences as well as invite insightful speakers not available before due to location and time zone restrictions. You can offer knowledge and audience engagement while creating an experience with a premium feel, and most importantly, deliver value even post-event.
Hosting a good webinar is so much more than knowing how to make the tech work; it takes meticulous planning and coordination from the right stakeholders.
Here are a few points to consider:
Message & identity
Plan well the email & social media strategy and campaign and make sure you know your audience well, so the message resonates with them and attendance is high. Ensure the launch date and comms plan match your audience schedules and give enough time to your team to properly deploy it. You might create your own registration page based on the technology you already have or use one of the many tools in the market and make sure the registration will capture all the necessary data you need.
The identity and messaging of the webinar can significantly be enhanced by engaging advocates who have direct contact with your audience. Prepare a social media kit that for them which will facilitate them to share and promote the webinar to your audience.
Find a knowledgeable host
A good host is definitely one who knows the subject well and is good on-screen and can be a real asset to the webinar. They can give engaging opening remarks, skillfully introduce expert speakers, ask them the right questions, moderate audience questions effectively, and help with the flow of the webinar.
In a series of webinars with different speakers each time, having the same host can bring consistency for the audience, although not necessary. Different hosts for different topics will work as well.
Overall, a knowledgeable and respected host will only but enhance your thought leadership position in your industry or subject matter.
The story you tell
Think about the content of your webinar as if you are narrating a story; especially if it is a series of webinars. Start with the basics and build toward a structured event.
The host is there to take the story forward by engaging with the audience and speakers in the right moments, give the summary and connect the sessions in a meaningful way. Facilitators and speakers who work well together are essential as well as trending topics to instigate thought-provoking panel discussions and presentations that ultimately create a strong agenda for the participants.
Focused discussions between experts and the audience that nurture the community and enhance interactivity by having polls, Q&A, and other tools throughout the sessions. By curating such activities carefully, you create a completely new experience for your audience helping them to connect rather than passively watch, exchange stories and experiences, and at the same time empower your role in this process as a thought leader.
If running a series of webinars you can always answer questions from the previous sessions if the audience is the same. You can now very easily connect the different seminars and create a commonplace for the audience to gather and keep learning.
Extend the #lifecycle of the webinar
Edit and share the sessions soon after the webinar is finished. You can always plan it in a way that the flow of the webinar needs minimal editing and can be shared on social media right away.
This will help to stay connected to your audience and allow them to share with their networks and raise awareness and also increase registrations for the next webinar. Use the 'force' of your most loyal attendees to strengthen your profile.
If you are thinking about creating your own webinar or series of webinars, we can help you maximise their impact and value, to you and your audience. The DXM team will guide you to ensure all best practices are followed for optimum results.
Webinars have been very popular in the last few months and have proven to be very successful for our clients. If you are interested to know more drop us a line and let’s chat. #Virtual #Hybrid #Webinars #onlineevents