Webinar or Not to Webinar

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With brands looking to webinars as an alternative to cancelled Events, our Future Focused inhouse webinar expert Paolo, shares his experience and the best ways to keep your audience engaged.

Given the current situation, many of you will have delayed product launches, channel enablement events, product demos and all the kind of live activities that are common business tactics. Whilst some of you might have delayed or cancelled, others are turning their attention to webinars and video conferencing systems to overcome the current restrictions with travel and movement.

Running a successful and engaging video conference/​webinar is not an easy task, especially for those who don’t have a lot of prior knowledge or experience. After a bit of Googling though, you’ll be able to find a mix of interesting and useful resources, including tips and tricks” and other best practices. I would advise you follow most of the search results, as they are practical suggestions that will at least help you avoid classic mistakes (e.g. keep presentations below the 20-minute mark and make the most of voice intonations).

All useful tips but I’d like to suggest a couple of less conventional ideas that depending on scope, budget and time, will at the very least help you deliver your message engagingly.

1) Bring the experience home

Let’s face it, most webinars and conferences are a one-way stream of information that can get easily boring for your audience. This is especially true if you are addressing a homebound audience and have to fight for their attention against many possible distractions like the children or the overzealous pet cat or dog.

Try delivering the product (or a mock-up of it) to your audience ahead of the online event. And use the event to guide them through the product in an almost face to face fashion. This idea is probably better suited to small audiences. But you could divide your audience in time and replicate the process, this will also allow you to render the whole experience more personal and relevant.

2) Gamify your presentation

A rather exhausted trick to both drive attendance and to keep your audience from dropping during the presentation is to organise a raffle at the end of the event. While this can help you in attracting and retaining a healthy audience (at least from a numerical point of view) it rarely ensures the attention/​engagement level you are looking for.

It’s a given that the title and webinar content need to be attractive and of value to encourage attendance. So, it’s worth spending time and thought on this aspect, small things really will make a big difference.

My approach turns the subject and your presentation into the game, and your audience, the participants of the game show. Allow for audience participation, make it engaging just as you would at a face to face event. You could also further develop this idea along with the previous point and deliver elements of the game ahead of the presentation to your audience.

At this stage, the prize at the end of the game is the reward for taking part and engaging with you, the host, rather than it being just another webinar running in the background whilst the audience prepares coffee in the kitchen or lunch for the kids.

At a time when many companies and brands are turning their attention to new ways to engage with their audience, these are just 2 of the many possible ways you could improve your online conferences and webinars. The key to success and takeout is to think outside of the box and find new ways to keep your audience engaged and interested.

If you are interested in discussing ways we can help you improve your webinars give us a shout. Together we’ll find the best solution for you to reach a captive and engaged audience. Keeping you ahead of the competition.

If your business is looking for new ways to recreate your Event in a digital world, let us help make you Future Focused. Get in touch today [email protected]

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