How to organize a successful webinar

The pandemic brought the need to transition physical events to digital formats. Whether you work in entrepreneurship, marketing, education, communication, or any other line of business, you need tools and technologies that help you reach an audience and interact with it. If webinars were necessary before the pandemic crisis, with the current restrictions it is even more important.

Close-up of the hands of two people next to a laptop

Webinars are a good solution to communicate with your target and convey your message more effectively, as they offer a real conversation and interaction, in real-time. At a time when we are bombarded with information, gaining the attention of the target is increasingly difficult. Depending on your goal, a good webinar can be the solution. If you follow our work and our social media, you must have realized that we have done all of our events online. The online adaptation was unexpected and involuntary, but after several months we have developed a lot of experience in this domain. In fact, our next webinar is on November 5th, where we will officially present the 2020 edition of Portugal Startup Outlook Report.

Today, we will give some tips on how to have the best webinars to communicate with your customers and stakeholders.

1. What is a webinar?

A webinar is an abbreviation of "web-based seminar". It is an online conference or videoconference, usually for educational or informational purposes, which has one way (speaker-audience), but can have interaction through chat or even verbal. A webinar can be done through installed applications or through specific web platforms. It is currently considered an efficient content format, widely used for generating and qualifying Leads.

2. Why organize a webinar?

There is no right answer to this question. There are several reasons to conduct a webinar. Everything will depend on the organizer's goal. We can organize a webinar:

  • On a broader topic, to attract and generate Leads;

  • On a more advanced topic, to advance Leads in the sales funnel;

  • To present or demonstrate live a product or service (live demo);

  • To do Relationship Marketing and ensure customer retention or loyalty.

These are just some examples.

3. How to organize a webinar?

When planning an online seminar, there are always 4 phases that cannot be missed. If you saw our Instagram post yesterday, you already know the 4 P's of a successful webinar: Preparation, Promotion, Pitch and Post-Webinar. But in each of these steps there is relevant information to take into account. ON24's 2020 report is based on a series of benchmarks conducted at 6,520 webinars. In it, we can see some of the trends that will help us to make the best decisions when planning a webinar. Hopefully, this data will help you as much as it helps us.

3.1. Preparation

In the preparation phase, you must define your goal: what do I want to achieve with this webinar? What am I going to gain from this, and my audience too? Once you have a well-structured goal in mind, it becomes much easier to define the name of your webinar, the audience and the format of the event. Defining the format is very important. There are several types:

  • Presentation/Demonstration of a product, “unboxing” style. In this format, the product features, advantages, complementary solutions to the offer are explained. The audience must be able to ask questions;

  • Interview webinar, where a special guest is interviewed;

  • Q&A webinar, in which the presenter answers the most common questions on the topic, opening space for the viewers' doubts as well;

And the two most common:

  • Summit Webinar, a virtual meeting with speakers and leaders from the area.

  • Panel Webinar, a “round table” of conversation with various points of view on a subject. The model has a mediator who organizes the speeches of the guests and includes the questions of the participants.

Depending on the format, choose the platform that best suits you. In the case of BGI, the most used platform is Zoom. But there are other options: Microsoft Teams, WebinarJam, Facebook Live, Youtube Live, GoToWebinar, Webinar Center, among others. Finally, it is advisable to define what kind of guest speakers will participate in the event, outline an agenda, create a landing page or registration page and, of course, all communication materials, very useful in the next step.

Other tips when preparing the webinar:

  • Mid-week is the best time to hold a webinar, with Wednesday and Thursday as strong performers.

  • The most popular time to attend a webinar is around noon and the hour before and after. We would say between 11am and 3pm. Lunchtime and early afternoon usually works well in most regions.

  • Don’t make webinars too long. Globally, the average viewing time is 56 minutes.

  • Customize your webinar console to drive engagement. Use the webinar environment to create a connection between the attendee and your brand.

3.2. Promotion

Of course, the content of your webinar is important. But nobody will ever know its value without first communicating it, right? Here are some tips for you:

  • Longer promotional campaigns result in more registrations. Most registrations (43%) are made 1-7 days in advance.

  • Promotion via email (newsletters) is effective and the best days to send emails are Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, accounting for around three-fifths (61%) of registrations.

3.3. Pitch (the event itself)

  • Engage your audience. Q&A tools are the most popular engagement choice to drive audience interaction (77%). You can also do resource lists (58%) and surveys (55%) to engage your target. We use a lot!

  • Use video in your webinars to drive engagement. Video is one of the most effective forms of conveying your message.

  • Hybrid events are a good option too. Use webinars to broadcast your in-person events for maximum reach.

3.4. Post-webinar

  • Choose on-demand. “Always-on” webinars are popular as registrants can access them when it’s most convenient for them. Trust us, it increases the number of views.

  • Associate your webinar platform and your registration platform with your CRM system. This way, your team has immediate access to information about participants, allowing them to provide more targeted follow-up.

  • Evaluate. Collect data from your webinar to find out what works best and what doesn't.

  • Recycle content. Use the webinar to create content for your social media: highlights videos, quotes from participants, testimonials, etc.

If you made it until here, congratulations! You have everything to make a successful webinar. Never forget that teamwork is the key to success!

If you like webinars, and want to know more about the Portuguese startup ecosystem, sign up now for our next event: "Improving the Investment Culture in Portugal".

Dark blue background with white text in the front saying "Webinar: Improving the Investment Culture in Portugal & Portugal startup Outlook 2020 Report Launch" and the logos of BGI and EIT Digital

BGI and EIT Digital will be waiting for you!

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