We know the feeling – you’ve been tasked with running your first webinar and you have no idea where to begin!
The good news is, we have been there and done that. While it takes a lot of hard work (and patience) to get your webinars off the ground, here’s 10 fail-proof steps that will get you on your way!
1. Initial Planning
Establish your objectives to ensure everyone knows what you are trying to achieve. Attach some numbers to your goals where possible.
Decide if your event will be broadcast live, pre-recorded and shown as-live, or prerecorded and offered on-demand — or a combination of the above.
Determine the format, location and style of your virtual event. How many presenters will you have, will they present from a studio, external location or remotely, and is the tone of your event serious, formal or casual?
2. Decide on your content
Know the communications problem you need to solve. Ensure your chosen format and content match your strategic objectives.
Once you have your topic, create a catchy title, a summary which provides an overview of your event, and brief talking points which will provide your audience with an idea of what to expect.
Discover more tips on creating content by downloading our guide – Creating Compelling Content
3. Select a Technology Provider
To minimise risk and achieve professional delivery standards, contact a managed virtual events provider.
Consider if you want to broadcast or pre-record your event from a studio. For remote and rural events, consider a provider that offers combined teleconferencing and videoconferencing or webinar technology as phone lines are often more stable than broadband in remote areas.
Talk to your provider about the interactive features, security, streaming, training and technical support services their platform offers.
Redback Connect are an Australian based platform provider that delivers completely managed webinars – both online and from broadcast studios
4. Brief your presenters
There are several areas in which all presenters need to be prepared including: techniques to engage a virtual audience; operating the webinar or video conferencing platform you’ll be using; and broadband connectivity testing and on-camera staging for remote presenters.
If first-time presenters will be presenting from a studio, organise to tour the studio in advance, conduct a rehearsal or arrive early to ensure they’re comfortable on set.
A pre-event call with all the presenters will help to coordinate who will be speaking on which topics during the event.
Download a copy of your Remote Presenter Run Sheet here
5. Schedule your event
Choose a day of the week, time of day and length to suit your event and your audience. For example, if people will be
attending from multiple time zones, hold it in the middle of the day and ensure it is available on demand.
For lengthy conferences, consider splitting the content over two or more days. For more tips on selecting times and dates, download a copy of the 2021 Redback Report
6. Marketing assets and registrations
All virtual events require a landing page, containing all the basic details about the event and a form if you require attendees to register.
Send at least two emails inviting people to attend, as well as a confirmation email when they have registered and a reminder the night or morning before the event. All emails
from the confirmation email onwards should include login information and the link to view the event.
7. Promote your event
Market your event via digital, social and media channels as required. Include a pre-event teaser to build anticipation.
Work with your internal marketing team to maximise your reach, send timely promotions, and use channels which have a high success rate.
8. Before your event
Be clear on the roles and responsibilities support staff and presenters will have, including moderating comments and questions, reading these out during the event and assisting with registration issues.
A dry run-through and detailed run sheet always helps. Ask your provider about contingency plans in case of local lockdowns, connectivity problems and other technical issues.
9. During your event
Include opportunities to encourage interactivity by calling for questions, launching polls and surveying the audience.
If you have chosen to involve a facilitator or moderator, ensure they are across how the platform works and when interactive Q&A Sessions will take place.
10. After your event
Email the recording of your event to your attendees and make it available on-demand Online.
Examine your event technology platform engagement analytics and audience surveys. Use them to start planning your next virtual event.
Read our blog on our 3,3,3 rule for maximising your on demand content.