The Ins & Outs of Successfully Hosting a Webinar

How to Host a Webinar & Get People to Attend

By Bridget CunninghamMar 4 /2021

When webinars work, they really work. Statistics show that these online-based seminars offer significantly higher conversion rates than other types of content, with an average of 20% of webinar viewers becoming paid customers. Paired with the shift to a more virtual environment, 67% of marketers are increasing their investment in webinars to help turn prospects into clients.

While some businesses are well-versed in how to host a webinar and get people to attend, other businesses are completely new to the game — and that can be an overwhelming place to be. If you’re in this boat, here’s a helpful resource on how to successfully host and promote a webinar. This will lay the groundwork for a model you can reuse over and over as you scale operations.

How to Get Started with Hosting a Webinar

1. Come Up with a Relevant Topic

Much like the content you create for your website, webinars should be centered around specific topics that connect with the relevant pain points of your audience. While some of these topics can be derived from those content archives (popular blog posts are a great resource), it’s also recommended to connect with other departments for insights. For instance, your sales team talks to customers on a daily basis, and within those conversations, odds are common challenges have come up — whether related to industry shifts or questions around products or services. In either case, a dedicated webinar can provide valuable insights and clarity.

(While blog posts can be the catalyst for a webinar topic, webinars can also be converted into blog posts and other types of content based on their success. Find repurposing ideas here.)

2. Secure a Webinar Platform

There are a lot of webinar platforms out there that are equipped with powerful tools — with more emerging on a regular basis. While budget is a driving factor in the choice of a webinar platform, it’s important to choose a platform that serves both your needs and the needs of your audience. As a baseline, your webinar platform should:

  • Be easily accessible and intuitive to use from a back-end and front-end perspective
  • Give you the option to easily interact with webinar attendees (i.e., chat, live polls)
  • Give you the option to record the webinar so it can be leveraged for future use
  • Have systems in place to maintain a secure connection for businesses and users
  • Provide useful data so you can measure the results of your webinar and its success

Beyond this, think more closely about the importance of flexibility in terms of the audience size, the number of speakers and customized branding (to name a few examples) and weave those considerations into your final decision.

3. Select the Right Team of People

In addition to selecting a guest speaker for your webinar, you’ll also want to think about who on your team should fulfill the roles of host and moderator. The host is the individual who starts and stops the webinar and maintains presenter and attendee controls throughout its duration. The moderator is the individual who introduces the speaker(s), monitors attendee chats and questions during the presentation and leads the Q&A session at the webinar’s end.

Together, these roles streamline the execution of the webinar for the speaker and attendees.

4. Prepare a Webinar Script

With all of the above factors defined, you’re ready to move on to mapping out the flow of your webinar. Generally speaking, webinars should follow this format:

  1. Introduce your team (including the speaker) and provide background information on expertise in the field
  2. Introduce the webinar topic and highlights its importance to the audience
  3. Cover main talking points and present reference points to back up statements
  4. Provide actionable insights as takeaways for attendees and wrap up the presentation
  5. Host a Q&A session led by the moderator
  6. Outro letting attendees know where they can find a recording of this webinar and when it will be available.

As the third step in the webinar flow suggests, the slideshow presentation for a webinar should function as a prop to support talking points versus somewhere to put an entire presentation. With this in mind, aim for 100 words per minute of the presentation when preparing the webinar script.

How to Increase Your Webinar Attendance

1. Create an Event Registration Landing Page

When you’re ready to promote your webinar, it’s time to create a landing page for the event. In order to attract the attention of your audience, this page must be compelling from both a visual and messaging standpoint. The copy should highlight the key details of what the webinar will cover and the benefits they can expect from attending the event, while including photos of the host, moderator and speaker can help shape this overall picture. If this combination of elements piques their interest, prospective attendees can fill out the registration form on the landing page.

All of the promotions that are sent out via email, social media and partner channels will point back to this registration page. The visuals and messaging used across these channels should mirror those from the landing page to create a cohesive experience for your website visitors.

2. Include Automatic Calendar Invites in Your Outreach

When it comes time for a webinar, it should be as easy as possible for webinar attendees to access the event. Implementing automatic calendar invites into your outreach efforts serves this purpose. When an attendee signs up for a webinar, they will receive a calendar invite for the event — with a detailed description included. Amid busy schedules, this automated invite keeps webinars on the radar of attendees and in doing so helps boost attendance rates.

3. Send Out Friendly Reminders on a Regular Basis

While calendar invites will help mitigate the need for as many event reminders, it’s still valuable to send out reminders to registrants on an ongoing basis. These email communications can be relatively simple in nature, with the main goal of keeping the webinar top of mind in the weeks and days leading up to the event.

If you can check all the above items off your to-do list, you’re well on your way to making your first webinar — and all the ones to follow — a success.

Working with Kuno

Bridget Cunningham
The Author

Bridget Cunningham

Bridget uses her journalistic experience to successfully engage with technical minds. Prior to Kuno, she managed the blog program and assisted with social media efforts at COMSOL, a high-tech engineering company that offers multiphysics software solutions.