Webinars, or online seminars, are popular marketing tools used by countless organizations worldwide to, among other things, bring in new prospects and expand brand recognition. They are powerful tools, but not without risks since a poorly run webinar full of technical difficulties or other issues could easily turn people away.
Companies wanting to incorporate webinars into their overall strategy need to develop a webinar management process that allows them to create valuable content that is enjoyable to watch while simultaneously furthering the company’s goals. This sounds complicated, but like most things, becomes more manageable when taken one step at a time.
- What is webinar management?
- Creating a checklist for better webinar management
- Webinar management tips – create a successful webinar
- Why using a webinar platform is important in webinar management?
- Kaltura webinar management
- Final thoughts
What is webinar management?
Great webinars may sometimes seem like they came together effortlessly, but in reality, there is a lot of work that goes into planning, organizing, and finally implementing a powerful webinar–And it doesn’t end there. Even after the webinar is over, there’s still more work to be done to maximize the benefit for both the host and the participants.
This is why it takes one or more dedicated professionals to manage the webinar from start to finish and make sure everything goes off without a hitch. Managing a webinar effectively requires good attention to detail, well-honed organizational skills, and an ability to adapt to the unexpected. If you’re new to webinar management, it’s best to familiarize yourself with the process and technologies available to support it prior to the planning stage.
Creating a checklist for better webinar management
It helps to make a list of everything that needs to happen before, during, and after the webinar for the event to be a success. Below are the most common checklist items along with a brief explanation. Not all webinars will be run the same way, so take note of your own needs and refine a custom list that suits your unique management style.
Topic – The topic should be closely related to your field so that it attracts participants who are most likely to be interested in your services. The material presented has to provide useful information for the audience about something they care about.
Speaker(s) – Aside from being engaging and knowledgeable about the topic, speakers must also be aligned with your company’s values and core message. Book speakers at least a month in advance and have a signed agreement if they are outside of your organization.
Microsite/Registration platform – Have a dedicated landing page for each webinar with a compelling call-to-action to drive registration. Some platforms such as Kaltura allow you to create a branded microsite and landing page as part of their service.
Presentation deck – Work with presenters to develop an informative slide deck that will look good on screen while adding value for your audience. Build several opportunities for audience interaction into the presentation.
Marketing – Don’t wait until the last minute to start promoting your webinar. Your marketing campaign should kick off at least several weeks in advance and could include things like social media posts, targeted ads, automated emails, and influencer partnerships.
Reminders – Put in place a smooth participant communications process that includes email confirmation upon registration and periodic reminders. Send an email on the day of the event with a final reminder and link to the webinar.
Hit the record button – With everything going on, this crucial step could easily be overlooked. Ideally, the webinar should be set to record to the cloud automatically, but sometimes the recording has to be turned on and off manually, in which case, it’s wise to set reminders for yourself.
Participant management – Start the webinar on time and don’t make people wait long to be admitted. Monitor the chat and event’s email inbox in case people are experiencing technical difficulties. Be prepared to send people into breakout rooms and facilitate questions and answers.
Keep an eye on the clock – Stay aware of the time and how much material is left to cover (including the Q&A). If your webinar is on the verge of going over the set time limit, have a way to let the speaker know to pick up the pace.
Follow-up email – After the webinar, send one last email thanking your viewers for participating and asking for feedback in the form of a survey. Include a link to the recording if available. Already have another webinar in the works? This is a good opportunity to let people know about it.
Make available on-demand – This will expand the reach of your content, potentially allowing it to continue reaping rewards well into the future.
Use clips for social media – This will also extend the life of your webinar and increase your social media footprint.
Data – Review analytics from your webinar platform to see which parts of the presentation had the most engagement and where viewers may have dropped off. This will give you an idea of what your target market is most interested in. It will also help you identify areas for improvement.
Leads – Compile the leads generated through the registration process and deliver them to sales. Attach any helpful information that may have come up during the Q&A or was learned through surveys and analytics.
Webinar management tips – create a successful webinar
Timing is everything. According to Kaltura’s 2022 Webinar Survey, “just under an hour is the sweet spot.” In fact, the average preferred length based on all participants surveyed was 55 minutes. This includes time for the audience to ask questions.
Keep slides simple. Most people find it impossible, or at least difficult, to read and listen to two different things simultaneously. This means that if the viewers are focusing on reading the presentation, there’s a good chance they are not actively listening to the presenter, so no complex slides with excessive words and information. Instead, the slides should simply reinforce what the speaker is saying with bullet points, basic charts, and visual representations.
Uphold production values. Even the most brilliant speaker will have trouble keeping a virtual audience engaged if they are hidden in the shadows or their voice sounds muffled. This can easily be avoided with a few relatively inexpensive pieces of equipment such as ring lights and external microphones. Hosts should always keep a few of these webinar essentials on hand, either for filming webinars on-premises or for loaning out to remote presenters. If the presenter is remote, schedule time to review their set-up beforehand to make sure their lighting, background, and sound are just right.
Run a rehearsal. Running through the presentation, including all technical requirements, will make for a smoother live webinar. It will also improve timing and reduce surprise technical issues.
Promote participation. Keep the audience involved by building into the presentation things like live polls, breakout rooms, quizzes, and plenty of time for questions. This will keep the viewers engaged and prevent their attention from drifting to, say, their email or social media in the middle of the webinar.
Why using a webinar platform is important in webinar management?
As you can see, a webinar has many moving parts and to try and manage each one individually using a patchwork of different software solutions could easily get out of hand. Luckily, there are platforms available to webinar organizers that combine the various tools needed to easily and effectively manage a webinar. Platform providers are focused on understanding the needs of both webinar hosts and participants, and are constantly updating their products to address those needs.
While there are many options when it comes to platforms, not all of them offer the same features. Determine what you will need to effectively run your webinars and research to see which platform offers the tools you need and also suits your budget.
Kaltura webinar management
Kaltura Webinars allows you to conduct the bulk of your webinar management from one convenient platform. From the earliest stages of creating a branded microsite and matching landing page, all the way through to making the webinar available on-demand, Kaltura’s all-in-one video solution seamlessly guides the user step-by-step.
In addition to essential moderator controls like Q&A and live polls, there are unique features to dazzle participants such as the option to bring an attendee to the stage and virtual confetti for big announcements. For those who are relatively new to webinar management, there is a learning site with a constantly updating resource library and chat support.
Kaltura provides HD streaming and webinars are automatically recorded to the cloud. Additionally, all webinar plans include comprehensive tech support for added peace of mind throughout the process. Advanced analytics reports are also included.
Knowing how to efficiently organize a webinar is a valuable skill to have, but also one that takes time to develop. With so many components, it’s easy for one or two small factors to bring down the overall quality of the presentation. Plus, like any live event, there is always the element of the unexpected.
Preparation and familiarity with the technology will go a long way to reducing these sorts of problems, but ultimately, nothing will replace experience. If you look at each webinar as an opportunity to improve, you can develop a webinar management process that best suits you and your organization.
Make webinar management a breeze… with Kaltura Webinars!