A Webinar is an Event

May 17, 2011 by     2 Comments    Posted under: Best Practices, Organizer, Webinar Basics

The most common mistake a webinar organizer makes is not to plan the event. Just because it takes a few clicks to open a webinar room, this doesn’t mean you can organize one on the fly. Yes, it is the most cost efficient way of bringing in a group of people in to have them listen to what you have to say, but it can be a wasted effort, if not done correctly.

I hear some of you saying, “But, a client needs to know more about my services NOW.” In that case, you need to open a virtual meeting room, not start a webinar.

A webinar is an event. An online seminar is an event. A web based seminar is an event. I think I’ve made myself clear. Like any event, you need to plan. Here are some things you need to do during the planning stages.

Know your objective

Why are you offering a webinar? Is it going to be for training purposes? Is it a lead generation webinar? Will it be for your existing customers? Here are some questions you have to answer. There are so many reasons why an organization (or professional) would want to offer them. What is yours?

Identify your target audience

It’s easy to invite everyone. But, are they your audience? Will they take the time to register? Similar to mailing lists, segmenting your network will help when you start marketing your webinar. This is the reason you need to know who your audience will be. Are they students, entrepreneurs, sales agents, gamers, parents, or customers of a certain product? How old are they? Are they Internet users? This will also help you decide where to market and your webinar schedule.

Who are the stakeholders

I’ve personally seen webinars done by a one-man team and though it can work, I don’t recommend it to newbies. Build your team and know who is responsible for certain tasks. Who will be the project manager to make sure everything is prepared and everyone in the team is on track? Who is responsible for the content and agenda? Who will market the webinar? Who will take care of orienting the speakers and hold their hand during the process (face-to-face moving to online speaking)? Who will moderate? Who is in charge of post event tasks and follow up?

Where will it be

I can see confused faces. Isn’t a webinar online? Why the need to know where? The country, at this point, is not fully connected with the bandwidth we expect it to be, nor is it stable. So, knowing where your speakers will connect is important. Knowing whether the audience you are marketing to has access to the Internet and where they will likely connect is crucial.

When is it going to be

This can be the easiest to answer but the fact is, it’s the hardest question. Picking the right date and time is dependent on your target audience. If they are housewives, weekdays are still good but schedule it when their kids are in school and their hubby has left for work. Entrepreneurs are normally free before lunch or after dinner. Weekends are hands off unless it’s a webinar class or it is related to entertainment and games. One tip here is never schedule a webinar the week before or after a major holiday.

These are just the basics and each stage has its own list of tasks. Just remember…a webinar is an event. Don’t treat it like it is not and do nothing.

Photo courtesy of Little Big Joe’s Flickr Photostream

2 Comments + Add Comment

  • Good day!

    Do you know what softwares can I use for webinars aside from GoToWebinar?
    Are there an alternative?

    Thank you!

  • There are several you can use Richard. Some are free and most have fees. It is dependent on what you would need to do on your webinar and also if it’s stable enough to support the internet connection of your attendees. There is anymeeting, webex, adobe connect, meet.fm, and more. Just make sure you look at the features that they offer, especially if they allow VoIP. Some usually just have a US conference bridge which we can’t use here in the PH. Let me know how else I can help.

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