In TechSoup's article 10 Steps for Planning a Successful Webinar, we showed you ways to design and prepare for a quality online seminar. In this companion piece, we offer steps you can take on the day of your webinar to ensure its success, as well as follow-up steps you can take to learn from your experience.
As we pointed out in "10 Steps for Planning a Successful Webinar," successful webinars usually involve several different players, including the organizer, presenter, and assistants.
The organizer (also known as the facilitator) manages the webinar process from start to finish — helping to determine the topic, recruit speakers, set up registration, communicate with participants, and cope with any problems that arise. On the day of the webinar, the organizer is responsible for performing all the steps outlined in this article or delegating them when necessary.
The presenter (also known as the speaker or subject-matter expert) focuses primarily on understanding the topic, developing slides and handouts, and communicating in a way that makes sense to the non-experts in the audience. Assistants, meanwhile, help the organizer by answering participant questions and helping them with any technical difficulties they might be having.
Even if you've held a dry run well in advance of your webinar, it's important to set up your workspace and check in with your presenters early on the day of the webinar to regroup. This means having your webinar equipment ready to go at least 30 minutes before the webinar is scheduled to begin, and your presenters logged on at least 15 minutes in advance to avoid any last-minute glitches, technical or otherwise.
Once everyone is logged on, you'll want to:
Once the webinar begins, many things will be happening at once. Rely on your assistants to deal with participants who have technical issues: you, as organizer, need to be leading the discussion, introducing speakers, and keeping participants engaged.
Just because the webinar is over doesn't mean that your work has ended.Be sure to take some time post-webinar to collect feedback from your participants — and to publish a recap, summary, transcript, or recording (or all four!) of your webinar online.
Here are some tasks you may consider doing after the webinar has ended:
Note that you'll have a higher response if you send out the survey immediately afterwards. Also, keep in mind that it may also be helpful to either formally or informally collect feedback from participants, including speakers, who may have good advice you can use to improve the planning and executing of future online events.
Image: Online conference, Shutterstock
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