Webinars are one of the most resourceful tools for marketers, educators and other professionals needing to communicate in real-time.

 When done correctly, webinars can engage an audience for extended periods of time, something long videos can rarely accomplish. You can tailor the content and presentation to your participants, who can tune in from anywhere in the world.

Online seminars also have major opportunities for engagement. As the host, you can chat with audience members throughout the presentation, and with webinars, attendees get voices too. Guests can chat, ask questions and get valuable information on the topic or training as they learn. In today’s largely remote workplace, webinars are a great teaching platform to help your agents be their best.

If you’re interested in hosting a webinar, there are some best practices you should keep in mind if you want to make your session a success.

Planning a Webinar
The main objective of a webinar is to educate, demonstrate or instruct. For any of these goals to be effective, you need a decent attendance rate. The average attendance rate of a webinar is 40-50% of those who registered. That means if you’re aiming for an audience of 50 people, you need at least 125 people to register.

Perfecting the registration process is a crucial part of a successful webinar. Email is the most effective promotional technique. Your email should be concise and clear, and should include a bold headline, promotional content, main messages and a call-to-action. Emails should also include an opt-out or unsubscribe option to comply with the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003.

The best way to increase the attendance rate is to begin ending reminder emails two weeks in advance. Reminder emails should be sent every few days until the day of the event.

According to findstack, a website devoted to finding the best software and services, 46% of registration happens within the week of the webinar. Make those last few emails pop and send them early in the day. Research shows most people register for webinars between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m.

Most importantly, you want to pick a date and time that works well for most people. LiveWebinar, a streaming platform, reports the best days for webinars are Thursday, Wednesday and Tuesday – ranked in order of highest attendance.

Time is precious so your webinar shouldn’t be longer than 60 minutes. You also want to schedule around lunch and aim for a 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. or 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. time slot.

During the Presentation
A good presentation is powerful, memorable and leaves audience members motivated to use their new knowledge when the webinar is over. A great presentation starts with a confident speaker. Choose an industry expert or someone at the top of their game who can deliver a strong script and appealing slide deck in an easy-to-follow performance.

The speaker should interact with the audience as soon as the presentation starts. An ice breaker poll question is a fun way to reduce anxiety while demonstrating the available technology. Be sure to highlight other interactive features like hand-raising and unmuting so attendees can prepare to participate.

A key component of a great webinar is the Question and Answer session. Q&As are an engaging way for attendees to interact with the presenter and also offer further information and/or insight on the topics discussed.

According to 99 Firms, which provides research-based evaluations of the best IT, marketing and business services and software, 92% of attendees expect a live Q&A session at the end of the webinar. Good Q&As include pre-prepared questions and an on-screen host. Seeing the speaker makes the interaction feel more personal for the audience. A speaker and moderator can even jump on screen to bounce questions and answers off one another to give a more conversational feel to the session.

User feedback is the most useful tool to measure success of a webinar. It’s crucial to send a well-designed, post-meeting survey within two hours of the event. To get feedback in real-time you can also run a poll on screen during the presentation. After the webinar, you can use this feedback to improve future sessions.

A personal touch goes a long way. Follow-up with attendees to learn how they are leveraging the webinar training and send a ‘thank you’ email to everyone, even those who registered but did not attend. Along with a ‘thank you,’ send any promised materials and information, as well as a recording of the webinar, if available.

Webinars are a unique educational asset you can use to help your agents feel confident they know the business inside and out. Whether you’re using these sessions to build relationships or communicate the value of a new product or service, webinars are a top-notch tool to connect with your agents on-demand.

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