Best Practices for Webinars and Virtual Events.

Summary/Overview

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There’s been a dramatic shift from in-person events to online spaces in recent years. Being centre screen has replaced centre stage, and our webcam has become the new spotlight.

Virtual events might seem different at first, but many of the best practices for webinars remain the same as in-person events. Webinars are a fantastic way for individuals and businesses alike to showcase their expertise, share knowledge, and get their name out there in a specific field or industry.

Planning your own webinar, or looking to perfect an upcoming virtual presentation? Lift the curtain and learn how to do a webinar worthy of an encore with Adobe Express.

What makes a good webinar or virtual event?

Learning about webinar best practice means you can be confident you’re delivering an engaging virtual event. There’s no need to break a leg – just brush up on our six best practices that’ll help you deliver a watch-worthy webinar.

Keep it focused.

When you’re hosting a presentation, it can be easy to meander – especially online when you’re more removed from peoples’ reactions. Remember, you’ve got a message to deliver, so keep your webinar focused on the key topics. Make a plan of your main talking points and segues before you start, so you can stay on track with your messaging throughout.

Choose your format.

Webinars don’t need to be one person sitting in front of a camera (though there’s nothing wrong with that). Think about the form that will best serve your content and what equipment you’ll need to pull that off.

Are you using a single speaker? A panel discussion? Live Q&As or interviews? Maybe you’re providing demonstrations. Either way, you can bring your webinar to life by getting a bit more hands-on and choosing a format that works for your discussion.

Create a story.

Got your talking points? Great. Now you can craft them into something engaging. Crafting a story – and storyboarding your talking points – can help you build an interesting narrative for audiences to follow. This method helps you keep your webinar focused and on-message.

Think about your audience.

Your audience should always be at the core of what you’re doing, whether that’s a campaign or a webinar. Let’s say you’re teaching customers how to grow their own vegetable garden – telling them you’ll help them stop being turnips with home gardening might get a few laughs. Translate that into a B2B setting and it may not land as well.

Additionally, your messaging will need to change depending on your market. What are the audience there for? What would a business owner or hobbyist want to get out of your webinar?

While audience is essential, you may want to ensure your brand is also being represented –try to adapt your tone of voice, rather than erase it.

Use engaging media.

Webinar best practice means the opposite of dulling things down. Get involved with your presentation and make it something worth looking at – it’s going to be front and centre after all. Add infographics to bring to life key information. Add your own logos or banners to showcase your branding throughout the talk. Enhance images with stunning effects or throw in a meme or two to show the audience your humorous side.

Be flexible.

Mistakes happen – be open to them and make light of the slipup rather than bringing things to a stall. The ability to laugh and keep your presentation moving can instil confidence and may even strengthen your webinar.

Editable webinar templates from Adobe Express.

How to do a webinar.

When you’re just learning how to do a webinar, it can be daunting – even when it’s from the comfort of your own chair. The hardest part is not knowing where to start, so before you jump in, try to prepare yourself.

Planning and practicing your virtual event.

Here are five steps to planning the perfect webinar.

  1. Pick a subject. Doing a webinar for the sake of hosting one is tricky. Before you begin, think about a subject you want to share. Consider your skillset and what knowledge you could impart.
  2. Decide on your format. Your format will define your webinar, so think carefully about how you want to host it. You could have multiple speakers or even an interview-style section. If you’re presenting something hands on like crafts, why not have a set up that lets you demonstrate and allows people to follow along?
  3. Do your research. Research is paramount – not only in relation to the subject you’re presenting, but also how you present it. Look at what other people are doing in your field and even outside of it. Get inspired. Educate yourself on webinar best practices and double check the information you’re sharing. The more research you do, the better your webinar will be.
  4. Create your presentation and script. Making a presentation and script gives you something to support your webinar and keep you focused and on track. Try not to treat the presentation as the script though, and don’t be scared to veer off if it seems right.
  5. Practice. Try to read your script and memorise your slides. Having this in your head means you can be more flexible if things change or go sideways. Try to do some test runs online to get used to the technology. Test-runs let you check for any issues too.

Scheduling and promoting your event.

Scheduling and promoting your webinar isn’t as simple as pushing it out online. You’ll want to conduct effective marketing in the run up to your virtual event.

Here’s a few steps for you to consider when trying to get the word out:

  1. Decide on a date. Until you lock in a date it’s difficult to make any headway in marketing – life’s too busy for anyone to book in maybes. Once an event date is confirmed, you can start marketing.
  2. Make the most of marketing. Start by crafting a range of social media content such as Instagram stories, Facebook posts and TikTok videos at little to no cost. Best of all? Getting this creative is fun. Don’t settle for online only advertisements either – making posters and flyers can be great for local marketing.
  3. Create a content plan. In the lead up to your event, you could create a content schedule to drop teasers and reminders for your webinar. This could be in the form of advertisements, but also as interactive or related content on your website.
  4. Advertise your webinar. There are a lot of ways to market your webinar online. You could try creating your own social advertisements, send out an invitation to your customers or contacts, or outreach a blog post relevant to the theme of your webinar.
  5. Share, share, share. Be your biggest advocate and don’t miss an opportunity to share. Whether it’s LinkedIn, the library, local pub, work or another social event – these all present excellent opportunities for you to shout about your webinar. The only caveat is to try keep things relevant and related to your audience.

Free templates for marketing your next webinar.

Tips for hosting your own webinar or virtual event.

You’ve done the hard work and laid your foundations – now you need to actually do the webinar or virtual event. Here are some tips to ensure things go to plan:

Useful things to know.

What is a webinar and how does it work?

Webinars are online events where a speaker (or speakers) deliver a presentation to audiences. It’s similar to attending a talk or in-person presentation, except the whole thing is hosted digitally.

Can you host a webinar for free?

There are paid solutions for webinars, but you can host some of them for free. Many platforms have free plans with reduced attendee capacity, so be aware you may be limited on the number of people you could invite or market to. Many popular video-calling services offer meetings for multiple people too.

Should I charge for my webinar?

You could charge for your webinar but think about why you’re doing it. Consider your audience and what you’re offering, then you can decide on payment.

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