Webinar Hosting for Non-Webinar Users – A Step-by-Step Guide to Hosting Webinars

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The webinar industry is rapidly growing, and so is the number of webinar hosts. There are significant benefits to conducting webinars, but the key is figuring out how to get started. In this article, We’ll walk you through the steps of holding an online webinar. We will provide you with the knowledge you need to get started, and hope you’ll realize that hosting webinars is simpler than you think. 

We’ll walk you through how to host a webinar without all the tech confusion. From getting people on the call to getting them off, we’ve got you covered.

Webinar 101: What Is A Webinar?

A webinar is a web-based seminar or web presentation. It is a presentation that is made available to those outside the room, who can listen and/or view the presentation. It is usually run on the internet and is usually paid for. However, there are many free webinars that are available. Webinars are typically run by individuals and groups such as corporations, schools, and non-profits. Webinars can be hosted by individuals or companies, who use the webinar as a way to promote their business, product, or service.

Why Is Hosting A Webinar Important?

Hosting a webinar is one of the best ways to reach out to a large audience. It is a great way to get your name out there and make a name for yourself. 

You’re passing up a massive opportunity if you’re not engaging in webinar strategy as part of your overall marketing efforts. Webinars are the best way to produce high-quality B2B leads. According to research, 99% of businesses agree that webinars represent a critical element of their marketing plan, and they’ve become even more effective given the recent shift to hybrid and remote work.

How To Host Your First Webinar? A step-by-step guide to planning and running a webinar

Now you know that a webinar would be good for business, but you have no idea how to get started with it. So far, at least.

So pull up a chair, make yourself comfy, and get ready for a detailed, step-by-step guide on how to plan, promote, and run your first webinar – every step of the way, from tech to marketing to follow-ups. 

Webinar & Virtual Event Timeline & Checklist

6-8 WEEKS PRIOR

  • Pick your webinar topic. It’s why people attend. Your promotional efforts may fail without a topic that would interest your target market. Choose something engaging and relevant.
  • Pick a date
  • Choose the speakers, hosts, and co-hosts.
  • Set your webinar’s goals and measures.

6 WEEKS PRIOR

  • Finalize topic, title, abstract, and speaker(s). You should pick your event host as soon as you can. Your host will decide how your content is presented. Think about picking someone who knows your industry or even getting co-hosts who can work together to make your event more interesting.
  • Come up with an interesting title that would attract your target market.

4-6 WEEKS PRIOR

  • Create a web page for the webinar and links to online registration
  • Choose if you want the registration page to link directly to the webinar platform or if you want to send them an email with sign-in information before the webinar.
  • Then choose a platform for hosting a webinar.
  • Begin promoting your event. The most important webinar planning phase. Without it, event attendance could be minimal.

2-4 WEEKS PRIOR

  • Send email invites. Your email marketing list is a great place to start because it has people who are already interested in your webinar. If your event is for a specific group of people, don’t send invitations to people who don’t belong to that group.
  • Use your CRM to figure out which potential attendees will get the most out of your event, and then start with those people.

1 WEEK PRIOR

  • Meet with the speaker(s), moderator, and others for a dry run. Practice is key for avoiding any tech issues at your online event. 
  • Make sure presenters know your webinar platform. Schedule a tech/dry run, upload your slides deck, and test multiple audio methods.

2-3 DAYS PRIOR

  • Receive the final version of the slide presentation. Proofread and make any last changes to the setup or slide deck.
  • Send handouts to registrants.

24 HOURS PRIOR

  • Send reminder email #1
  • SMS messages and even phone calls can be used in addition to emails to get people excited and encourage them to show up.

2-3 HOURS PRIOR

  • Send reminder email #2. Most webinar attendees register within 24-hours before the live event, Busy professionals often forget they enrolled for an online event. Sending a last email invitation with “today” in the subject line will remind guests to log in and participate.
  • Promote on all of your social media platforms

30 MINUTES PRIOR

  • Hold a pre-conference with the moderator and the speaker (s)
  • Ten minutes before the start time: repost on social media

WITHIN 24 HOURS AFTER

  • Send attendees a follow-up email with a link to the blog/landing page.
  • Send a follow-up email with a link to the blog/landing page to registrants who did not attend.

It is important to treat a webinar as you would an actual conference and plan accordingly. Planning ahead of time and giving yourself plenty of time for promotion can have a significant impact on how the audience responds.
Sample webinar timeline.
https://www.ncsl.org/documents/lscc/Tech09_10_AppendixD_ProcessandGuidelines.pdf

…and that’s the whole thing! Following the procedures outlined above will set you up for a successful webinar, ensuring the event runs well and you capture the most leads possible. 

But wait! There’s more…since we’re teaching you about webinars, we can’t leave out the best platforms you can use.

Webinar Software

Since a webinar is a combination of web and seminar, we use it to represent online events exclusively. Webinars require video conferencing software. 

You’re undoubtedly most familiar with Zoom, which reports 300 million daily meeting participants

There are, however, additional options designed specifically for webinar functionality that we can mention. Check the list below for some webinar platforms you can use:

Webinars aren’t just a way to bring in new customers, they can get people to act, make them buy more, keep their attention, and give you more credibility in your field.

Still, how well a webinar works depends on how well it is planned. By making and using a well-thought-out webinar and marketing strategy, you can make sure that your webinar will bring in the right people, have a big turnout, get people to take action, and have long-lasting benefits for your organization.

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