Webinar Success Unveiled: Key Lessons for a Panel, Promotion, and Follow-Up

Webinars have become an essential tool for businesses and professionals to connect with their audience in a virtual landscape. When executed effectively, webinars can be powerful platforms for knowledge-sharing and relationship-building. 

In this blog post, we will delve into the key lessons learned on running a successful webinar, covering assembling a good panel, preparation sessions, promotion, question management, follow-up strategies, mechanics of running the webinar, and addressing common problems.

Over the past three years, hosting webinars has proven to be an instrumental tool for Ezra Group in building our brand and propelling the growth of our business. As a forward-thinking company, we recognized the immense potential of webinars to connect with our target audience in a meaningful and interactive manner. 

Embracing this powerful platform, we have been able to showcase our expertise, share valuable insights, and foster meaningful relationships with our participants. Through a seamless blend of informative content, engaging panel discussions, and thoughtful follow-up strategies, our webinars have served as a gateway to establish our authority in the industry and create a loyal community of like-minded individuals. 

1. Assemble a Strong Panel

One of the crucial factors that can make or break a webinar is the choice of panelists. Select experts who can add value to the topic and engage the audience effectively. 

Experienced panelists are best. Look for for industry experts that have appeared in other webinars, conference panels or other events.  

Select individuals with diverse perspectives and experiences who can contribute to a well-rounded discussion.  

2. Preparation Session

We have found conducting pre-webinar preparation sessions with panelists to be invaluable. 

During the preparation session, outline the flow of the webinar, the allocated time for each segment, and rehearse any interactive elements. A well-prepared panel ensures a smooth and cohesive presentation.

Collaborate with your panelists beforehand to align on the webinar’s objectives, content, and flow.  We find it beneficial to speak to each panelist before the webinar to prep and review topics they would like to discuss.  Rather than telling them what we want to ask, we let the panelists build the conversation flow.

We then create questions based on the specific concepts each panelist would like to talk about.  This allows each person to feel comfortable with the discussion and enables them to make their maximum contribution. 

3. Promotion

Promotion is key to driving attendance and generating interest in your webinar. Start promoting early through various channels, including email newsletters, social media, blogs, and relevant online communities. 

Utilize eye-catching visuals and concise, compelling copy to entice potential attendees. Collaborate with your panelists to leverage their networks and expand the reach of your promotion efforts.

4. Good Questions and Flow

A successful webinar maintains a dynamic flow that keeps participants engaged. Plan a structured agenda with clear objectives for each segment. Encourage audience interaction through live polls, Q&A sessions, and chat engagement since a balanced mix of panelist insights and audience participation enhances the overall webinar experience. 

Leverage the prep sessions to prepare thought-provoking questions that spark meaningful discussions and address common pain points. A common mistake in running webinars (or conference panels) is to ask each panelist to respond to the same question.

This leads to a boring and repetitive discussion, unless you know that a specific panelist has a different point of view on an issue, do not bore the audience by asking them to respond!

Switch things up by asking each panelist a question from their own prep session and then encourage the other panelists to react to the answer. This builds a much more interesting discussion.  

5. Mechanics of Running the Webinar

The mechanics of running a webinar involve choosing the right webinar platform and setting up logistics. Platforms like GoToWebinar, Zoom, or WebEx offer user-friendly interfaces, interactive features, and audience analytics. 

Familiarize yourself with the platform’s tools, such as screen sharing, polling, and chat moderation, during a practice session. Ensure that your internet connection, audio, and video equipment are stable and functional.

Ask all panelists to log into the webinar platform 20-30 minutes before the official start time. This will enable your support team to verify that everyone’s technology is working 100% and avoid any embarrassing audio or video issues during the webinar.

Remember to record the event for later use. It can be hosted on a video sharing platform to be viewed by any registrants who were unable to attend the live stream. This provides another touch point with your audience.

6. Follow-Up

Following the webinar, a proactive follow-up strategy is essential for nurturing the relationship with your audience. Send a post-webinar email thanking attendees for their participation, giving access to the recorded session and highlighting a few key takeaways from the discussion. 

Consider sending a recording of the webinar to those who couldn’t attend. Use this opportunity to gather feedback through surveys, enabling continuous improvement for future webinars.

7. Common Problems and How to Circumvent Them

Despite careful planning, webinars can encounter technical glitches. Some common issues include poor internet connectivity, audio disruptions, or panelists missing their cues. 

To circumvent these problems, conduct a pre-webinar technical check to troubleshoot potential issues. Have a backup plan in case of unexpected interruptions, such as having an alternative internet connection or another panelist ready to take over if needed.

Conclusion

Running a successful webinar is a multifaceted endeavor that requires meticulous planning, effective promotion, engaging content, and seamless execution. Assemble a competent panel, conduct preparation sessions, and optimize promotion efforts to maximize attendee engagement. Employ interactive elements and thought-provoking questions to maintain audience interest throughout the webinar. 

After the event, follow up with attendees to build lasting connections. Master the mechanics of the webinar platform and have contingency plans in place to address common problems that may arise. By implementing these valuable lessons learned, you can host webinars that leave a positive and lasting impact on your audience, fostering long-term relationships and enhancing your brand’s reputation.

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ABOUT ME

The Wealth Tech Today blog is published by Craig Iskowitz, founder and CEO of Ezra Group, a boutique consulting firm that caters to banks, broker-dealers, RIA’s, asset managers and the leading vendors in the surrounding #fintech space. He can be reached at craig@ezragroupllc.com

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