As I am writing this blog humanity is put on a test, maybe the hardest one in modern time called- Corona or Covid-19. It has affected everyone’s lives and things are not the same. Schools, universities and kindergartens are closed, stores are shifting their traditional brick and mortar models to online shopping, companies are shifting towards remote working, trainings are held online…
It is a perfect time to think things out and try something new. In the era of Corona, I decided to host our company’s first webinar. It is actually going to be a series of webinars that will be dedicated to mothers in the IT industry, under the name Inspirational Monday. But planning and hosting a webinar should be planned well and there are numerous things that you should consider before deciding to host one. In addition, read a list of 10 things you need to do in order to host a successful first webinar.
- Find your WHY
The first thing you need to do is find your why. Why do you want to start organizing webinars? Is it because you want to do knowledge transfer? Do you want to build a community? Do you want to inspire people? Do you want to increase website traffic?
After you answer these questions and find your WHY the rest will follow easily.
- Decide on the subject and frequency of the webinar
You can’t expect results without a plan. Planning ahead and having most of the things defined ahead will give you a great starting point. Make a simple Excel sheet with subjects you would like covered on the webinars you are going to host. After you have it written down and you know what you are going to talk about, it is going to be easy to decide when and how often you are going to do it.
- Make a list of speakers
Hosting a webinar without a list of speakers would be pointless. Make sure you have a list of people you would like to speak, consult them and have your speakers list ready.
- Content creation
After you have your topic defined you need to make a content plan. Define what each speaker will talk about and make sure you know how he/she is going to present it. It would be great if you have an interesting presentation format, I made the following one for our first webinar. The visual part of the webinar is equally important as the verbal one. To put it all in one sentence, make sure you plan right and provide quality content that will add value to those listening and if possible and applicable an interesting visual presentation they will remember.
- Select the right channel or tool
Once you decide to host a webinar you need to choose the right channel or tool to do it. There are numerous options you can try out but I decided to use our YouTube channel. You can live stream on YouTube very easily the only tricky part is the screen sharing. You can do that by downloading OBS studio and integrate it with your channel. If you are looking for something easier and faster to use try out Zoom (paid) or 8×8 (free).
- Create a social media campaign
Organizing a webinar is all about having attendants and spreading the word about it. Accordingly, you will need to create a social media campaign and spread the word. Choose the right channels that work for your company and promote your content. I used Facebook and Instagram to create a paid campaign with photos and a video and shared it on LinkedIn as well.
- Choose the location
Hosting a webinar requires choosing the right location to do it. The room should have good acoustic, proper light and something to make it attractive. I used flowers, a board with our logo and books on shelves as a background on the webinar.
- Prepare in advance (camera, microphone…)
After you prepare the room and the background of the room you need suitable equipment as well. Finding a camera that is not from the laptop will produce a higher quality picture of the speaker and will also provide a better angle. Put it on your laptop and you are ready to go. Including a small microphone is also a good idea because the speaker will be able to say things louder and clearer.
- Involve your colleagues
Even the best prepared webinar wouldn’t be successful without an audience. So, besides sharing it on your social media pages make sure you involve as many colleagues as possible and ask them to share and attend the webinar. The support of colleagues is very important because besides attracting or inviting other visitors to attend, it can also inspire them and help them learn something new and useful.
- Test and repeat
Make sure you make a test webinar before you actually go live. Simulate an environment and try it out with a couple of colleagues. If everything works well you are all set. And last but not least make sure you do this regularly. Building a solid audience is possible only with frequency. So, don’t stop and do it as often as you can.
Stay safe and infect people with your quality webinars only!
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