Live webinars are real-time interactive webinars that take place for a live audience.
What is a Live Webinar?
Live webinars are virtual events that take place in real-time. They can be seminars, classes, interviews, or panel discussions, all broadcasted to a live online audience. These webinars are interactive, allowing the audience to watch and hear everything as it occurs live.
Can the Audience be Seen During a Live Webinar?
No. While you can view the speakers, guest speakers, and the content they present, you remain unseen. Your webcam and microphone are automatically turned off, so there's no need for concern. You can comfortably join a live webinar from any location, be it your living room, kitchen, car, or even the gym, without being visible to others.
Why Should you Run Live Webinars?
Unlike evergreen or on-demand webinars, live webinars offer peak engagement for the viewer. Participants in live webinars have the opportunity to interact with the presenters directly through the webinar platform, engaging in activities like chatting, posing questions, and answering polls. This real-time interaction allows hosts and guest speakers to respond immediately to viewers and even tailor their presentations based on live feedback. This heightened interactivity in live webinars establishes an immediate feedback loop, providing hosts with insights into participant interest. Hosts can use this feedback to create better experiences for the viewers.
Live webinars also help make the hosts more relatable. Audience members witness events unfold in real-time, get glimpses into personal anecdotes and reactions, there's a stronger sense of connection with the presenters. Hosting live webinars is the best way to maximize authenticity, as viewers experience the genuine, unedited flow of the presentation.
How to Host a Live Webinar?
To host a live webinar, there are three main steps to follow. Initially, you need to set up a new webinar with information about the session. Then it's important to include contributors such as team members and guest speakers.
1. Find a Webinar Topic
The first step to hosting a live webinar is coming up with the topic for your webinar. There are many webinar ideas that can work regardless of your industry. Try to pick something that is highly relevant for your target audience.
2. Create a New Webinar
Start by creating an account on a webinar tool. Then, from the admin settings of your webinar tool, create a new webinar and add the session's information (title, description, speakers, date and time, etc.). This will automatically create a landing page for audience members to sign up. You can then access the backstage area (or webinar studio) to add your logo, colors, fonts, presentation, and other branding elements.
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3. Invite Team Members and Guests
Now you're ready to invite team members and other people you will be collaborating on the webinar with. Remember, running a great webinar is a team sport. They will help you track registrations, moderate the webinar, engage with attendees, and answer questions. You can also invite guest speakers to participate in your webinar.
How to Join a Live Webinar?
To join a live webinar, start by signing up on the webinar's registration page. Once registered, you will receive an email containing a link to access the live webinar. This email will usually contain an invitation you can easily add to your calendar, and will be followed by one or multiple reminder emails as the date and time of the webinar approaches.
Some webinars will be open-access (not requiring registration), allowing anyone to join simply by using the link.
Additionally, if the live webinar is recorded, you can often expect to receive a copy of the recording after the event. This is particularly helpful if you were unable to attend the live stream, or if you want to re-watch certain parts or all of the webinar.
How to Promote a Live Webinar?
There are 3 steps to promoting a live webinar:
- Create a webinar landing page to capture registrations
- Customize emails around the event (registration confirmation, reminders, follow-ups, etc.)
- Market your webinar to your audience
Let's dive into these different steps:
1. Build a Landing Page
The landing page serves as the central information hub for your webinar, featuring a detailed description, speaker information, and registration form. This registration form functions as a gatekeeper for the webinar, requiring attendees to submit information before being granted access. The data collected from registrants is then securely stored within the webinar tool's dashboard. Additionally, the webinar registration page offers customization options, allowing for design and branding customization to align with the host's universe.
2. Customizing Automated Webinar Emails
Automated emails are a key tool for any event organizer. They enable them to share essential information to registrants easily and efficiently, without needing to manually craft and sending email campaigns. Central to the webinar process are several types of automated emails, each with a distinct purpose:
- Event Registration Confirmation: Once a participant registers for the webinar, they receive an automated confirmation email. This serves as a formal acknowledgment of their registration and includes their access link.
- Event Reminders: These emails are sent out at predetermined intervals before the event, serving as reminders to ensure participants remember to attend the webinar. They can also include additional information about the event to create hype around the event.
- Follow-Up Emails: After the event, follow-up emails are sent to all attendees. These emails can be tailored differently depending on if the person attended the event or not. Typically, these emails include valuable resources like the presentation slides and a link to the recording of the event.
In most webinar tools, the content of these automated emails can be customized to cater to the specific needs of the event and its audience, allowing for personalized and effective communication.
3. Marketing your Webinar
Once you have your registration page and automated emails, you need to market your webinar to your audience. There are hundreds of ways of marketing your webinar, but the most common (and efficient) are:
- Email marketing
- Online communities
- Social media promotion
- Website banner & pop-up
- Influencer & expert marketing
Remember to use UTM parameters to track your top-performing channels.
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How to Automate a Live Webinar?
Automating some aspects of a live webinar, despite its real-time nature, can greatly enhance the presentation's smoothness and reduce the workload for hosts and moderators. Several elements of a live webinar can be pre-programmed for automation:
- Scheduling Start and End Times: You can set the exact time for the webinar to begin and end, ensuring timely commencement and conclusion.
- Page Redirects: Automating page redirects can guide attendees to specific web pages either before the webinar starts or after it ends, such as a thank-you page or a post-webinar survey.
- Playing Videos at Specific Times: If your presentation includes video content, you can schedule these videos to play at predetermined times during the webinar.
- Sending Polls and Chat Messages: Automations can be set up to launch polls or send predefined chat messages at certain points in the webinar, engaging the audience without manual intervention.
Additionally, some webinars are designed to simulate live events through automation, giving the impression of a live host's presence without actually requiring someone to be there in real time. This approach can be particularly useful for replicating the live experience in an on-demand format.