The Before and After Checklist for Hosting a Webinar
Webinars are a unique content channel that businesses can leverage in many ways, from supporting existing customers to positioning the company as a thought leader. They’ve become a must-have for virtual events because of the value they deliver. While it’s relatively easy to produce a webinar, you’ll want to consider your strategy to ensure success. To give you some advice, we’ve compiled this checklist for hosting a webinar, including insights for pre-event to post-event.
Why Webinars Matter
Webinars aren’t a new type of content. They’ve been part of marketing efforts for years, but they increased in popularity during the pandemic. They have many attractive attributes, including being low-cost and delivering high-quality leads. They can also be evergreen content.
Businesses have begun to invest more in webinar production, with 95 percent of companies saying they are a key part of marketing efforts. While marketing is a primary use for the medium, organizations also use them for internal training and customer engagement.
Hosting a successful webinar requires significant planning, beginning with determining topics and goals. If you want your next webinar to deliver the value you expect, you’ll appreciate this detailed checklist.
Checklist for Hosting a Webinar: Before
Ready to get started on your next webinar? Follow these tips.
Define Your Topic and Set Goals
First, you need a theme for your webinar and the key messages to express. Depending on your audience, you may be focusing on challenges, products, or strategies or exploring a case study.
At the same time, you’ll want to determine the goals for the event. Are you seeking to generate new leads? Help your customers use your software more effectively? Train users, employees, or partners?
In this initial step, you’ll create a title and abstract for the webinar. Take the time to consider a catchy title that defines what you’ll discuss and the takeaways. The abstract outlines what the webinar is about and what attendees can expect to learn.
Once these basics are in place, it’s time to consider logistics.
Plan Out the Logistics
The second step of the checklist is working on the details. You’ll need to secure speakers, who may be internal experts, customers, partners, or thought leaders. Once you have them on board, decide on the date and time. According to Zippia, Wednesday and Thursday are the best days. When setting the time, consider if you’ll have attendees from multiple time zones.
Next, you’ll have to plan out all the tasks using project management software to include all the things you need before you promote and host your webinar.
Create Promotional Content
To ensure great attendance, you must promote your webinar in multiple ways. The first piece you’ll need is the webinar registration page. You can develop your own or use your webinar software templates.
The webinar landing page should include:
- The speakers and their titles
- Date and time
- What attendees can expect to learn
- Any incentives for attending (e.g., gift cards)
Now, you’ll need to start promoting the page. You can use multiple channels, including:
- Email: Send at least two emails to your database.
- Social media: Post the webinar registration page and pin it to the top of your page. Also, consider paid social posts to a targeted audience.
- Paid tactics: The most impactful paid channels would be advertising on an industry website or sponsored email blast.
- Your website: Add special banners to your home page announcing the webinar.
In step with creating promotional content, it’s time to design your slides. Here are some best practices:
- Use a branded template.
- Include “housekeeping” slides (e.g., attendees are on mute, enter questions in the chat).
- Begin with an agenda slide.
- Keep slide copy brief.
- Use high-quality, relevant imagery.
- Add in stats where applicable.
Next, it’s time to practice.
Prepare Speakers with a Dry Run
Before the big day, you’ll want to schedule a dry run with speakers. They’ll have time to review the slides, and you can work on an outline or script for how the event will flow. You can also discuss other logistics.
Add Interactive Elements
A great webinar makes use of interactive features. You can add in things like polls relevant to the topic for attendees to answer.
Real-time Q&A is another must-have for an engaging webinar. Make sure you let the audience know how they can ask questions.
The last component is the survey. Insert a quick survey for viewers to take at the conclusion to get feedback.
Host the Webinar
The day has come for your webinar. Here are a few things to remember:
- Log into the platform at least 15 minutes before starting.
- Make sure you record the webinar.
- Preview your speakers’ video feed and audio to ensure everything is clear.
After the webinar airs, there’s still more to do!
Checklist for Hosting a Webinar: After
One of the great things about webinars is that they can continue to deliver value on demand. After the live airing, follow this checklist:
- Send emails to attendees and non-attendees with a link to the recording and other resources.
- Transition your webinar registration page to an on-demand page with a form.
- Repost the webinar as on-demand on social media.
- Publish a blog with questions asked during the broadcast.
- Review the survey and attendee statistics to determine how and what to improve on your next webinar.