Starting to run webinars. It’s not too dissimilar to learning to drive (a very loose comparison, I know, but bear with me!).
It’s easy, right? Just learn the right pedals, get in the correct gear, check your mirrors all the time and you’ll breeze through!
Same with virtual events. Yeah? Simply make the slides, upload them into the platform, buy a half-decent microphone and you’re sorted!
We’d love for things to be that simple, we really would.
Unfortunately, much like when preparing for your driving test, there are lot more aspects to learn before you can run a successful webinar!
Sorry to kill the buzz right there!
But, if you want something remotely resembling a professional, but also engaging presentation, you have to take more things into account than just the basics.
Luckily, we’re here to help with the basics!
Often, our Account Managers & Sales Team have follow-up calls with their clients, following the conclusion of their event.
Occasionally, when they speak to them, they get a smattering of “I didn’t expect”’s here, and a couple of “I know that for next time!”’s there.
And that’s totally cool! Running webinars is a learning process for many, so we know clients aren’t going to get every little aspect of their events spot on all the time.
So to help, we decided to create a list of things nobody tells you about when you begin creating webinars.
Whether you’re a first-timer or a more seasoned pro, hopefully you’ll gain a little insight into the less-well-known online event elements!
Perhaps you’ll recognise a few that you became aware about too, take a look!
1. Definitely Check Your Connection Beforehand
Obviously, right? Well, sometimes it’s an afterthought for many.
We live in an age of 4G and fibre-optic broadband, so connection problems are becoming less of a worry for us in our day-to-day lives.
But, there are some rare occasions where our networks at home, or at work, can encounter difficulties.
This can be a real pain at times, even more so if you’re relying on your network to connect to our WorkCast platform for a webinar broadcasting!
Therefore, checking your connection, before your event is due to start, is an absolute must.
Don’t assume that your network is okay, as you could run into problems, especially if you’re very close to your event going live.
Many organisers, unfortunately log in with little time to spare. Giving them minimal time to detect network issues.
Make sure you’re not one of them! We’d recommend doing this a few hours before your webinar is due to start, so there is time to resolve the problem.
2. Upload Your Slides Well in Advance
This one isn’t an obvious one, hence its inclusion on our list.
But, it’s an action that should be a priority, as it links very closely to something that is essential to planning a webinar; An Event Workflow.
You might think that once your slides have been carefully crafted in PowerPoint, Google Slides or whatever presentation program you’re using, that they’re good to go.
You can relax and put them to the back of your mind until the session begins…
So many facilitators forget to upload their slides into our platform, well in advance of their webinar taking place.
Why does it need to be done in advance you might ask?
Because sometimes you can run into problems, such as:
- File Size: Some networks have upload limits. Therefore, if your presentation file size is considerably large, it may take a long time to upload your presentation into our platform
- Multimedia Displays: The WorkCast platform supports multimedia elements such as Animations, Images & Video. But, if you upload late, then suddenly find these aren’t displaying properly, you leave yourself little time to change things
Uploading with time to spare will also make any pre-event reviewing you need to do, a much less stressful process!
3. Your Equipment Needs to be Tested
When you’re preparing for a physical presentation, you always check the equipment you’re using.
Clicker? Check the batteries are working.
Projector? Double-check the display settings are correct.
So, should webinars be any different? Absolutely not!
One thing that many don’t mention about running virtual events, is that you should test any external equipment you’re using within it, to ensure they’re fully operational.
Do the usual checks to see if they’re able to operate, then head on over to the Media Hub, within our platform, and check if the audio from these devices, is being picked up.
Specifically, look at the Audio Status light, a few hours prior to your broadcast, to see if everything is in working order.
Please don’t forget to do this!
You could be left red-faced come showtime if your audience can’t hear you speaking into your microphone, your headset has run out of battery, or view you on webcam!
4. A 30-40% Attendance Rate is Very Good!
30-40% usually doesn’t denote an impressive result in business.
Many would believe this when applying it to attendance rates for webinars too.
But, achieving a 30-40% attendance rate is actually a really impressive result, honestly!
Think about it. You probably get numerous emails through on your work account, inviting you to attend seminars or links to articles and posts about topics related to your profession.
How many of those do you actually attend in the end?
We’d venture to say a low percentage of them!
Your events are no different. You’ll discover that high attendance rates are very hard to come by, because of the nature of webinars.
Some less-experienced organisers can get very disheartened when they view post-session reports in our platform, and find they’ve achieved less than 50%.
But it should be viewed as a positive!
If you’re still disappointed with the number, then try and view it as a learning point.
You can build on this result and look to improve aspects of your event and focus on how to get more registrants to actually attend.
This could be:
- Improved follow-up emails
- Increasing the number of reminder emails
- Social posting about the event etc. etc.
Don’t be put off running webinars because of a seemingly low percentage. That’s something really important to take away from this blog!
5. Platform Features Are There to be Used
Okay, blatant advertising coming up here, apologies!
Many organisers get stuck in their ways with the features they use for their events.
Hey, if it’s working for them and they’re creating great webinars, then more power to them!
But, so many aren’t taking advantage of the vast amount of features that WorkCast’s platform has.
Utilising them could help them create an event of even higher quality and sometimes that’s not as well known!
But we encourage people to not be afraid to learn about the less-well-known features at their disposal.
- Branding Capabilities
- Leading CRM Integrations
- Live Webcasting Feature
These are just some of the features that many perhaps aren’t aware of, within our platform.
And, they can increase the effectiveness of so many elements of your webinar!
Also, whilst not strictly a feature, but certainly something that can aid you in your quest for a successful session, our Account & Event Managers are on-hand to assist you in experiencing the full benefits of choosing WorkCast!
Okay, plug over!
6. Remember to Press the Broadcast Button!
Really? That’s a thing people don’t tell you about webinars?
It actually is, and it’s something remarkably easy to forget!
Many who run events with us presume that the slides they’ve previously uploaded (in advance, remember!) will automatically go live at the designated start time.
They begin presenting, then suddenly realise the slides they think are appearing, aren’t!
Your slideshow won’t appear to your audience until you’ve hit Broadcast!
We’ve had clients encounter this in the past.
They’ve began presenting their slides, but have forgotten to press Broadcast.
Not a great start! They began speaking, but their presentation wasn’t visible to those in attendance. Nightmare.
A way to prompt yourself to remember, is that when you click the Broadcast button, in our platform, you’ll see a countdown to the stream starting.
So, remember, unless you’ve seen a countdown take place, your event isn’t live!
Quick point, responsibility to do this fall on the webinar facilitator/organiser, as presenters cannot broadcast via their computer.
7. Rehearsals Take More Than Just 10 Minutes
Now knowing about this one, is crucial for webinar success going forward.
Some feel that event rehearsals are a bit of a throwaway.
A quick 10 minute run-through and we’ll be fine!
Hmm, it should be taking a little longer than that!
We at WorkCast recommend that you set aside a designated period to have a thorough practise of your webinar.
Why? Because you’ll see the bigger picture of how the presentation will play out, from start to finish.
Also, it’ll give you the chance to see what and where changes need to be made.
Neglecting to dedicate enough time to hone the content within your event can really damage your chances of a successful broadcast, and more organisers do this than you may think!
Scheduling them is particularly important if you have more than one speaker too.
Think about it, switching between one presenter to another could become a little chaotic if you haven’t prepared adequately.
You don’t want people talking over each other, so practice the transitions during your rehearsals to iron this out.
That’s just one example, there are countless other things you can learn about your content by rehearsing!
8. Don’t Forget to Register For Your Own Event!
Okay, you’re clearly running out of ideas for this blog, I hear you saying.
Alas not, this is actually a really useful tidbit of information to know when conducting a webinar!
Why would we need to register for our own event? We’re the ones running it!
A valid question, but one with an equally valid answer.
Registering for your own webinar will allow you to see your event, from the audience’s perspective.
In other words, you’ll see what they see, from start to finish.
- What they see when they first visit your landing page
- What emails they receive, pertaining to your webinar
- What your presentation actually looks and sounds like from their standpoint
This is so vital going forward and your findings will play a very important part in running your subsequent presentations.
Specifically, the promotional and marketing aspect of them.
You’ll be able to recognise what you need to add or improve upon, in order to make your future online events more audience-friendly for your registrants!
Not so ridiculous after all!
...Phew! So, after all that, what have we learnt?
Well, it’s safe to say that when running webinars, thinking a little deeper about things that you might not totally expect to encounter, will help you greatly during the process of building an event!
No facilitator/organiser will get things perfect every time. That’s just a fact!
There are always aspects to improve upon or learn about.
And the best way that organisers can learn about the aforementioned issues, is simply by creating events!
By improving and learning as you go, you’ll inevitably pick up knowledge along the way, finding the best solutions for your own needs!
Always remember, at WorkCast, we’re always here to help you!
If you ever have any questions about webinars or what we do, please don’t hesitate to get in contact :)
So what are your views? Have you encountered any of these “8 Things Nobody Tells You About Running Webinars” whilst conducting your own events?
We’d love to hear from you about this, so let us know your thoughts in the comments below! Thanks for reading!