A Webinar is a seminar, conference, lecture,workshop or meeting that is conducted over the internet or web. using video conferencing software.It is also called web-seminar, web conference, we-based meeting, online meeting, virtual meeting, internet meeting,etc.
Webinars are interactive as many people around the world participate in it.Webcast and webinars are different because webinars are interactive(two-way communication) whereas in webcast a speaker makes the presentation(one-way) and the audience can watch or listen without being able to interact.
The following steps will be useful in planning and conduct a webinar session.
- Planning: Planning is the first step in the webinar process.If you thinking of organizing a high-quality, webinar with full use of software applications, you need to plan ahead. Consider the date and time of the event, topic, and content, event format, speakers, promotional activities, follow-up strategy, and most important of all, your target audience.Make it easy for participants to register, and promote the event via emails, press releases, social media, websites, blogs,etc.
- Before the Event: Before the event, you and your team members need to practice via live rehearsals before the actual event so that you can fix any technical or other shortcomings.You must get ready at least 30 minutes before starting the event. During the rehearsal, test the web conferencing platform controls if they work properly. Check the sound and ensure whether the slides are loaded or not.
Other issues to consider include conducting a complete dry run of the presentation, ensuring proper timing of the event and transition points, and smooth communication among team members Practice how to facilitate the question and answer session at the end of the webinar and how to handle audience questions. Decide on contingency plan in case something wrong during the event.
- During the Event: Send a reminder about the webinar to the audience approximately 24 hours prior to the event because without an audience you cannot have a meaningful webinar.Know your technological and other limits communicate them clearly to the moderator or speakers or audience members before starting. You should set a firm start and end time, and it should not exceed 2 hours in duration.You must try to meet their expectations as set by your topic as the key is audience focus. Engage them with effective techniques of language and presentation (anecdotes, conversations) or format (social media hashtag on the topic of the webinar), etc. Be receptive and respond to audience questions in a systematic way, giving everyone a fair chance. In the case of time constraints, give them the opportunity for follow-ups. Wrap up the webinar with a brief summary and a call-to-action such as a post-event survey, redirecting audience to your website, etc.
- After the Event: After the webinar update your social media, blog or website with the event information, or send out press releases on the event successfully organized. This is also when you fulfill the promise and send participants and registrants anything they ask for, such as a response relevant documents, links, etc. You must reply them within 24 hours after the event.You may also like to let them know how they may get more information about your project or organization or an re-emphasize any call-to-action.Finally, conduct assessment of the event in order measure the outcome.In this way, you can conduct a webinar.