With no clear end to the pandemic in sight, many of companies and organization leaders are tasked with the decision to move scheduled conferences, fundraisers, and events online to a virtual format or webinar. And for most, this switch presents a new set of challenges and questions, like:
- What webinar platform will we use?
- How will we raise funds?
- How will we market the webinar?
- How will we keep people engaged?
Setting up a webinar in place of an in-person event can be a daunting task and usually needs to be done on a tight deadline. That’s why we’ve put together a few recommendations based on our own experience to help guide you through the process.
Q1: What webinar platform will we use?
Your webinar platform should satisfy all of your needs. It should be able host the number of attendees your expecting, provide the level of security you need, and have an interface that’s user-friendly for both the admin and attendee.
Luckily, most webinar platforms like WebEx and Zoom have a dedicated team of experts to guide you through the selection process. Just remember to do your research and shop around to find what’s right for you. And be mindful of the difference between a “Meeting” and a “Webinar” subscription level on some platforms – the cost is significantly higher for a true Webinar subscription, and most likely you can manage what you are trying to achieve with a few modifications to a meeting.
Q2: How will we raise funds?
Most webinar platforms integrate with ecommerce platforms like PayPal, making it easy to charge for attendance or ask for donations during the event. For those hosting a fundraiser event, be sure to include a link to donate on all social media posts, emails, and other marketing materials.
Q3: How will we market the webinar?
Your strategy for marketing a webinar shouldn’t be too different than any previous in-person events. Creating a cohesive campaign is key. Once you have the look, feel, and messaging established consider promotion via email, digital ads, social media, and/or direct mail to drive awareness and registration.
Q4: How will we keep people engaged?
Timing has everything to do with engagement.
Be sure to choose a time that works for the majority of your audience. A lunch-time webinar during a workday might work better than a Tuesday night at 6pm or vice versa.
The duration of your webinar matters too. Most people can’t stay engaged for longer than an hour. If you have several topics to discuss, consider doing a webinar series over a period of time.
You might also think about seeding in some questions ahead of time. Typically, once a question is asked, more questions will follow. Be prepared with a couple of questions to get the conversation going, if your webinar will include open discussion.
For more information about how Kearley and Company can help you set up a successful webinar, contact us at 817-870-2717 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.