5 Easy to Avoid Webinar Mistakes
Lisa Thompson, NASCIO Deputy Director/AMR Marketing Director
Webinars are a great way to stay in touch with your members and deliver high-level continuous education. However, we’ve all attended (or held) webinars that quickly went from an educational opportunity to a train wreck due to some cringe –worthy mistakes that can all be avoided with some careful pre-planning.
So, to make sure your next webinar goes smoothly, here are five avoidable mistakes to be on the lookout for:
- Ban the Beep: Nothing will ruin a webinar faster than constant notification of participants entering or leaving the call. Most webinars allow you to manage these notifications, so don’t forget to turn off those annoying beeps. These may be great for committee calls so you are notified when someone enters, but for a webinar with 50, 75, 100 attendees, it’s nothing but a distraction that disrupts the entire event.
- It has a good beat and you can dance to it! Ever had someone put their phone on hold during a webinar, leaving your attendees listening to the smooth jazz music of their on-hold message? I thought so. Make sure you can mute disruptive attendees or, better yet, put all attendees on mute through your controls during the presentation and unmute for Q&A to ensure no disruptions.
- Dry Runs are a Must: While it can be difficult to pull your speakers together, every effort should be given to having a quick run-through with your presenters. You don’t want to reach the webinar day and have your many attendees hearing discussions with presenters, watching slides move as they test their equipment or, even worse, having a presenter who is having technical problems for all to see and hear!
- Give it Some Pizazz: Keeping webinar attendee attention can be hard enough. The opportunity to multi-task is always there. Make sure your presentation slides hold their attention, speakers keep the pace moving and you engage your attendees with features like webinar polling to ensure they have a great experience.
- Follow-up: The webinar may be over, but your work is not. To keep your members engaged and looking forward to the next webinar, make sure you do a post-webinar follow-up. Send a link to the recording or the slides, send a survey to evaluation the webinar so you can continue to improve them, or just send a thank you for attending note and promote your next opportunity.
Every webinar isn’t going to be a slam dunk. But, if you watch for these common mistakes and continue to work on improving with each and every webinar, they can be an outstanding addition to your educational offerings that keep you members engaged year-round.