Many businesses find that traveling to present at various conferences or showcase their business at bridal shows are great ways to share information about their businesses, network with other industry professionals and raise brand awareness with engaged couples. But traveling to conferences and bridal shows can be expensive, on top of event registration fees. How do you grow your business awareness on a tight budget?
Webinars are a great (and inexpensive) way to show off your knowledge on a particular subject. While websites like SlideShare allow you to post your existing presentations, it’s much more powerful and valuable when you’re able to present live to another person, with both audio and visual information.
At WeddingWire, we host monthly educational webinars for our premium Pros, so we know a thing or two about hosting a great webinar! While hosting a webinar may seem daunting, follow these webinar best practices and you’ll have smooth sailing when hosting and sharing your content!
Make sure to have a plan
Most webinars are announced or promoted several days or weeks before their scheduled dates, so you should have plenty of time to come up with a plan. Who will be assisting you before, during and after the webinar? It’s nice to have a wingman to field questions or resolve issues while you’re presenting. Do you have a Plan B? If something goes wrong, it’s good to have a backup plan – whether that’s another computer on standby if the issue is technical, or a different format for your presentation, be prepared for a variety of scenarios.
Test, test, test
Before you dive head-first into a webinar, always be sure to set up a test webinar beforehand to run through the process. Testing will alleviate some of the uncertainty you may find when creating your plan. Testing is especially important if your panelists are in different locations, or if you will be switching presenters during the webinar. During the test, invite other people in your organization to attend so you can hear how the audio sounds and see if there are any other technical difficulties. This also serves as great practice for presenters! If you’re recording your webinar, you should also test the process of converting the recording into whatever format you need it in!
Prepare your “webinar room”
If possible, hold your webinar in a room with a door so there’s not a lot of background noise or echoing. Organize the papers or other materials you’ll need for the webinar. Make sure your computer is fully charged, as well as plugged in. Have an Ethernet cable in case the wireless connection goes bad. Turn your phone’s sound off, and stop any notifications that might pop up on your computer screen. Don’t forget to get yourself a bottled water in case your mouth gets dry from talking! All these precautions can help make the webinar run more smoothly and help to keep you relaxed and focused.
Start on time and be thorough
Be true to word and start your webinar when it’s scheduled to begin. Some registrants may trickle in after you start, but you shouldn’t wait for them to start. If you have any status updates or instructions for attendees, give those at the beginning. Also provide any social sharing information up front so attendees can share as you go. If you have multiple panelists or experts, introduce them at the beginning as well so attendees don’t get confused at the different voices. And don’t forget to hit ‘Record’ after you begin!
These tips will help make you a webinar pro! Want some examples of good webinar content? Be sure to check out how we present our webinars in the Education Center, or register for our November educational webinar, 4 C’s of an Engaging Website!