All about webinars for SMEs-part two

Last month in our productivity article we took a look at what exactly webinars are and how they can help your business expand and communicate with markets and potential customers in locations previously unavailable. The webinar will continue to play an important part in communication and building brands well into the future and companies.

This week we present to you six steps to planning a successful webinar.

1. Is a webinar the right tool for the situation?
When planning a meeting or training session, you should take into account who your audience is, the purpose of the meeting and the message you’d like to get across. Some messages are better delivered through other mediums, or in-person. If you’re hosting a seminar that’s scheduled to last longer than 2 hours, webinars are probably not the best medium to use, while a 15 minute introduction of your products to a potential client will go over well as a webinar.

2. Who will speak/ who will be support?
If you decide a webinar is the medium to use, you need to assemble staff to help you run the webinar and choose the person who will speak. If you have experience addressing small audiences and running a powerpoint and related visuals while doing so, you can do it by yourself. If not, it will help to have a support team to help answer questions, run visuals and acting as tech support.

3. What format will you follow?
Like any meeting, webinars require a format to be successful. Will you or your speaker be addressing the audience like a traditional classroom with questions and comments to come later? Or do you want to run more of an open forum and discussion where the speaker moderates? Picking a format will help you develop the content and maybe predict outcomes.

You should also pick how you will host a webinar. If you’re unsure with the options available, please contact us, we may have a solution.

4. Create an agenda
When you feel the webinar is almost ready and the key ideas are in place, you can set an agenda. Try to make an educated guess on how long it will run for and how long each part will last. Write the schedule down and include extra time for technical issues and questions. By sticking to an agenda you can better stick on schedule, get the message across and your audience won’t get lost and shortly thereafter be bored.

5. Publicize
For any webinar to be successful, you need to publicize who is speaking, when the event will happen, the topics it will cover and what programs will be used to run the event. It’s important to get this to as many people as possible, so put the info on your website, share it on your social networks and create an email to send to participants explaining the event and rundown.

6. Practice
A few days to a week before the webinar, you and your support team should conduct a dry run of the event in the location it will take place. This is an important step as it can help identify technical issues and weak spots with the presentation itself. If you have staff who are unfamiliar with the technology or the process, this is also the time to train them.

By following these general steps, you will have a solid foundation with which you can host a successful webinar. To learn more about using your computer systems for communication, please contact us.

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