How to Manage Successful Webinars – Part 2

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Posted: May 15, 2011 | Event Marketing

Last week I kicked off a three-part series titled: How to Manage Successful Webinars – A Checklist. In part 1, we walked through the steps we take leading up to a live event. In today’s post, I’d like to talk about the actual day of the webinar. What do we need to prepare and which steps are undertaken during the event itself to make it a successful one?

Live events can be great for lead generation and lead nurturing. But a big part of our strategy during the event is to change the webinar from being a one-to-many, to a many-to-many communications medium. Your webinar attendees likely have a lot in common, and they will get more out of your event if they can interact with each other.

For the purpose of this checklist, we’ll assume the event takes place at 10:00 a.m. Pacific, a time which makes it possible for viewers across North America, and night owls in Europe, to attend live.

Day-of-Webinar Checklist

8:00 a.m.: Prepare to incorporate LinkedIn into the webinar experience.
Part of our webinar follow-up strategy will incorporate this. Prepare a shortened, easy-to-share link to your LinkedIn group, e.g.: http://linkd.in/marketo-group

8:10 a.m.: Temporarily turn off Slideshare’s lead capture.
In our pre-webinar checklist, I talked about uploading the webinar presentation to SlideShare.net. The Pro version of SlideShare enables you to capture lead information from within the slide presentation. But since most visitors to your SlideShare presentations over the next couple of days will be from your webinar, this won’t be needed as you already have their contact information.

8:30 a.m.: Have a hard copy of the webinar slides, webinar checklists and moderator notes. Write down the dial-in # on the hard copy as a backup. Add notes in your hard copy slides about where you want to mute and un-mute your phone line.

8:30 a.m.: Switch the archive webinar assets to “public”, i.e. in Slideshare and the resource page you built for the webinar. See points 16 and 17 from the pre-webinar checklist for more information on this.

9:00 a.m.: Post a registration reminder on Twitter using the agreed-upon hashtag. Also schedule a tweet to go out at 10:00am with the webinar access info. Have someone on your team dedicated to monitoring and engaging from your corporate Twitter account during the webinar.

9:30 a.m.: Dial-in. Sound check, etc.

10:00 a.m.: Showtime! Follow your moderator notes closely, especially for the opening few sentences. Check off items as you progress.

10:15 a.m.: Post a link to the webinar resource page you created (containing embedded SlideShare presentation) in your LinkedIn group as a new discussion.

10:15 a.m.: Place a 301 Redirect from the original webinar registration page to the new resource page. This will ensure you’re still capturing intent, even if it’s too late for the live event.

10:25 a.m.: Post notable content from the webinar on Twitter, as well as in your LinkedIn group. These can be drafted in advance by pulling information from the slides.

10:30 a.m.: Encourage questions from the audience via the webinar chat functionality and on Twitter.

10:50 a.m.: As you wrap up the webinar, share the link to your LinkedIn group with the audience, giving them instant access to the webinar slides.

10:55 a.m.: Encourage further Q&A on Twitter and LinkedIn after the webinar.

11:30 a.m.: Publically thank those that participated in the online discussion, e.g. on Twitter

Any live event will have elements of unpredictability. It’s part of what makes a live event interesting and engaging. But having a thought-out plan will reduce your risks and help you – and your audience – get the most out of the investment.

In our third and final post in our ‘webinar checklist’ series, we’ll cover what should be done in the hours and days after a webinar.

How to Manage Successful Webinars – Part 2

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