BlueJeans Blog

The Essential Guide to Webinars That Work

If you’ve been to more than one webinar, you’ll know that they are not all created equal. With a little knowledge, some solid planning and the right platform, you can create an effective and compelling webinar that engages your audience while delivering results. 
 
Let’s start with the basics. What is a webinar? 
 
Simply put, a webinar is an online meeting, presentation, or conversation, broadcast live to attendees anywhere in the world. Hosted by one or more persons, it is a two-way communication form in which attendees and presenters share and respond to information in real time. Covering a wide range of subject matter and content, webinars can help you reach thousands of participants instantly. 
 
 
What is the purpose of a webinar? 
 
Webinars are a great way to share knowledge, ideas, cultural events, and host events without the hassle or expense of travel – whether it be across town, or around the world. By engaging customers, prospects, and stakeholders in an online conversation, webinars build and nurture relationships, establish brand authority, accomplish marketing goals, and feature effective product demonstrations. They also help build community, educate potential customers, uncover new insights, and deliver lead generation. 
 
What are the top benefits of having a webinar? 
 
Webinars are powerful communications tools. Presenters can share documents and downloadable materials to screens and videos, while engaging in chats, Q&As and more. By serving up relevant topics in a lively interactive environment, you are able to keep everyone from clients to colleagues fully engaged. At the same time, the ability to initiate group participation online means companies gain an understanding of their audience even when they’re not physically in the same room. 
 
What are the best types of webinars? 
 
From product launches to brand advocacy to thought leadership and education, webinars seamlessly do it all. Be they events, video presentations, workshops, seminars, marketing, training sessions, or even lectures, whatever your goals are, a webinar can help you reach them. 
 
So how do I create an effective webinar? 
 
Although it may seem a little intimidating at first, if you follow these simple suggestions and partner with the right platform, you can produce a memorable webinar that helps you accomplish your objectives.  
 
Get clear on your webinar wish list. 
 
What is the goal you are trying to achieve? Are you generating leads or training your audience? Being specific on the desired outcome of your webinar will help you deliver the best results.  
 
In webinars and life, it’s good to know your audience. 
 
Is your webinar public or private? Have you chosen the right subject matter? Will your audience respond to the panel you’re putting together? The clearer you are on your target audience, the more effective your presentation will be. 
 
Organize ahead of time for best results. 
 
First, select your presenters and establish a schedule for your event, making sure to leave plenty of time to prepare content and establish the flow. Next, map out a storyboard, which covers all elements of your webinar, including introductions, the agenda, speaking sections, and audience Q&As. This will allow you to have enough time allotted for everything. Finally, consider what the best time is to schedule your event. Conventional wisdom says the middle of the week is optimal. And don’t forget to ensure you take global time zones into account before sending out the invitation.   
 
Promote the heck out of your webinar. 
 
Start promotion on your paid media and digital channels at least two weeks before the live event and continue to ramp up promotion in line with your desired attendance rates. The day before the event, make sure to drive a final push to attend. Don’t forget to promote your webinar on social media and make sure that you have a solid CRM solution in your plan. 
 
Always be prepared. 
 
Practice makes perfect because it allows you to identify potential problems ahead of time. It’s always wise to leave time for rehearsals and a dry run. These important steps help you prevent awkward moments or momentum-killing technical issues during your live event. 
 
Keep your webinar audience engaged at every stage. 
 
To keep your audience focused and involved in your content make sure to: 
 
Get to know all of your platform’s tools to enable you to seamlessly bring your attendees into the conversation throughout your event. From highlighting key segments of a presentation to flawless sound quality, you will want to be sure you have the platform knowledge to provide an exceptional event experience.  
 
  • Thread helpful tips and tricks into your presentation to give attendees maximum insight into your field of knowledge. 
  • Send occasional text announcements through the public chat feature or as a message that will appear on the ribbon at the top of the screen. 
  • To guarantee an immersive and participatory audience experience, encourage attendees to appear on camera using the ‘raise hand’ button during your Q&A discussion. 
  • Generate a live poll question or use a Q&A dialogue box to collect valuable feedback. 
  • Keep your webinar to 60 minutes or less so you don’t risk losing people or having them zone out. 
Follow through by following up with webinar attendees. 
 
Great news – the event went off without a hitch. Now that it’s over, you will want to make sure to examine all the attendee data compiled. Find out who were the most active audience members and who were the no shows, and then respond accordingly. Since the goal of an external-facing webinar is to capture and nurture leads for your sales team, following up immediately after your event is critical. 
 
We couldn’t help noticing you’re looking for webinar help. 
 
Now that you’re ready to take on the world of webinars, we’d love to tell you about all the great features we offer so you can knock your next webinar out of the park. Why not check out our user-friendly platform where you can schedule, join and host one-touch meetings in just six seconds from anywhere, on any device or room system. Here are some other great reasons to use BlueJean for your next webinar. 
 
An award-winning multimedia webinar experience. 
 
Our HD video and Dolby Voice® audio both sends and receives high-quality picture and true high-fidelity sound via any web browser. 
 
Enterprise-grade security for enterprise-grade peace of mind. 
 
We’ve all heard the stories about event hacks or employee missteps, and while they can be good for a laugh, they’re not good for the bottom line. That’s why it’s crucial to have a full suite of security tools to ensure that events stay on course and stress-free. Easy to use features such as registration forms requiring email verification and restricting undesirable email domains will keep your event strictly invite-only. Organizers can also enable audience view-only mode to toggle off public event chat and prevent rogue comments, while disabling auto-approved questions will ensure an event that’s enjoyable for all involved. 
 
Dynamic content sharing is workplace caring. 
 
Webinars don’t have to be the old ho-hum experience they used to be. Now you can easily facilitate an interactive meeting or brainstorming session. Simply share video/media content in real-time or pre-upload it to create compelling experiences for your audience. Our screen sharing software allows every attendee to see one or more visual aids simultaneously, while also being able to seamlessly transfer videos, still images, and engage in PowerPoint presentations.  
 
No download required. Now that’s an award-winning idea.* 
 
Keep meetings on track and on schedule with our zero download, browser-based meeting experience. Attendees can quickly join a meeting directly from their browser, so you can get down to business faster. 
 
 
Your wish is our Command Center. 
 
Our digital dashboard design gives you absolute visibility into your BlueJeans environment. Learn more about geographic distrubution of participants and quality scores in a gfew simple clicks. Plus, post-webinar reports send every event organizer complete attendee data, Q&A, chat log, polling responses, 1-10 satisfaction ratings, and comments for 360-degree feedback to make your future webinars even better!  
 
So now that you’ve read The Essential Guide to Webinars that Work, why not try BlueJeans for your next webinar! Click here to try free for 14 days