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How to Host A Webinar People Want to Attend

So, it’s time to plan another webinar. Webinars are a dime a dozen nowadays, so it takes a lot more to grab the attention of potential attendees. Pair that with the opinion that some have with half-baked webinars, and finding active attendees can be like pulling teeth. But if you gain a reputation for hosting valuable, engaging webinars, you can rise above the noise and cultivate a dependable group of regular webinar attendees.   

Think about the last webinar you attended: was it good or bad?   

If it was bad, you can probably make a laundry list identifying why.  

  • It was boring  
  • It wasn’t engaging  
  • They were just trying to sell a product or service  

And on the flip side, if you loved it, it’s probably because:  

  • It was engaging  
  • It was interesting  
  • You learned something  

While those seem to be on the opposite ends of the spectrum for how a webinar can go, a few small differences can take a webinar from one end to the other.  

Let’s break down these differences.

Your Webinar MC  

The MC can be the heart and soul of your webinar. To get that awesome first impression that draws people in from the first few seconds, vet your MC and find a person that speaks to your brand voice.  

Download our checklist of 30+ ways to promote content here.

An MC’s job is first-and-foremost to act as the glue holding the webinar together. They kick off the webinar, introduce hosts, vet, and ask questions, as well as share Call to Actions and upcoming events with the webinar audience. The MC doesn’t necessarily need to be the most knowledgeable person on the topic of the webinar, they just need to be bringing all the aspects of the webinar together and making it feel conducive.   

Tailor the MC tone to the tone of the webinar and brand. A great MC can be the loudest and funniest person in the room, but it doesn’t have to be. Whether you want to go with a charismatic and talkative person, or an empathetic and soft-spoken person, make sure your MC can embody the webinar personality you’re trying to create.  

Your Speaker  

A great (and highly coveted) speaker can be all the bait you need to grow your webinar attendance. By doing your homework early and choosing the right presenters for your webinar, promoting it can be the difference between scrambling for attendees and having a waitlist to get in.  

If you can land speakers that people in your industry recognize, that’s a great way to drum up interest. If you can’t, make sure to communicate WHY they will be worth listening to. Offer context in the intro and all webinar promotion. If you can’t make the speaker the shining star of the webinar (which happens), make sure the topic that the speaker is talking about is engaging.  

Another option is to break up the time between multiple speakers. If you can’t get one amazing speaker, a few great ones to speak on their specialization is a great way to have a little something for everyone, and spice up the Q + A section.  

Your Webinar Title  

A catchy title is a great bait to gain the attention of potential attendees. Make sure it’s an honest representation of what you’re talking about. There is nothing worse than signing up for an interesting webinar, only to have it be an unrelated sales pitch. Don’t bait and switch!  

Another aspect of a good webinar title is how eye-catching is. Many people are creating webinars – make your title stand out from the crowd. You want to cause that double-take with your promotion. Whether it’s tasteful shock value or a satisfying play on words, have fun with it.   

Here are some webinar titles we love:  

  • 5 B2B Social Media Career Killers… And How to Overcome Them  
  • How do you stack up against your competitors?  
  • Fight the competition with your Google Shopping Ads this holiday season  

  

Your Priorities  

This section can be short and sweet because there is just one thing to say: Always choose webinar value over a sales pitch.   

Don’t shape the content around sales and expect your attendees not to notice. Focus on value first, and interest in the sales possibilities will grow organically. If you kick off your webinar immediately jumping into why the attendee needs to purchase your product or service, attendees will (at the very least) mentally check out. Many will probably physically check out as well.   

Your Content  

Nobody is going to memorize every single data point, example, or event topic you cover in your webinar. Most people will probably only hold on to a few fast facts from the whole presentation. That’s why easily-digestible tips are the lifeblood of your webinar. If an attendant learns just one new, actionable tip, that can change their entire opinion of the webinar.  

One of the best ways to easily increase the value of the webinar is to pepper in “easy wins” throughout the presentation. Content that starts with “Here’s an insider tip…” or “Here’s how our team does…” usually leads to these easy wins.   

Just one new fact can take someone’s opinion of your webinar from “it was ok.” to “it was ok, but I did learn this one cool tip…” and that is a big difference.  

Your Presentation  

Let’s face it – people won’t be paying attention 100% of the time. Most people are answering emails, having side conversations, or sneaking in some work while tuning into webinars.  

Empathize with those people by offering a summary of each section you speak about to re-mention and solidify the most important tips. This is the kind of slide that people will want to screenshot and come back to later. The more of these screenshot-able slides you have, the more valuable your presentation is.   

Another important aspect to include in your presentation to appease the distracted listeners is a total summary slide. An overall summary of the presentation with a slide that says “If you forget everything else, remember these 3 things…”  

Offering these summaries will help solidify the important value you offered so people are most likely to remember and act on it later.  

Your Webinar Engagement  

Depending on the size and scope, and digital platform of your webinar, the opportunity for audience engagement may vary. But in most situations, if it’s not plausible for your audience to join the conversation, polls and quizzes are a good alternative.  

But, if your audience is set up to get involved, try pulling in some audience discussion. Not only do those who feel heard feel better, but they will also stay attentive. Think about high school – if you know you will get picked to speak in front of the class, you will pay more attention so you have something to say when it happens  

Audience engagement in any form leads to tangents, riffs, and impromptu conversations that take you out of the presentation and into a more human conversation – all of which improves the atmosphere and leads to interesting value you didn’t plan in the first place.  

Your Off-Camera Assistance  

One of the most important and under-appreciated jobs is the person manning the comments section. Let’s say tons of people are sending questions and comments. Having a person dedicated to answering them not only helps people feel heard but can vet the comments. People notifying you of technical difficulties, corrections, and comments can be organized and discussed later by the speakers. It also helps organize the most commonly asked questions to bring up at the end of the presentation. 

  

Increase your chances of drumming up interest in your product by hosting a kick-ass webinar! If you need help creating your webinar strategy, reach out to our team!  

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