The Webinar Planning Checklist: Your Roadmap to a Flawless Event

By:
Rachel Meyrowitz

Lead generation is a primary concern as you grow your brand’s online presence. More prospects translate to more potential customers, which, in turn, supports your chances of closing more sales. How do you acquire these leads? Through webinars, of course: An overwhelming 95% of marketers believe webinars are essential to their marketing strategy, and 73% go so far as to say they’re the top method for generating high-quality leads. Further, over half of B2B marketing specialists host at least one webinar a week because they earn impressive results. 

So, to expand brand awareness for your business and build a trusting following, you must to create webinars that resonate with your target audience. If your virtual events fail to reach your target audience, it’s time to change things up. Accomplishing a flawless online event isn’t as complicated as it sounds, but it does involve smart planning. We’re here to show you how to host successful webinars without a hitch by creating a thorough webinar planning checklist. With this outline, you’ll have a clear roadmap for a stellar event. 

8 Weeks Before Launch

This is the planning and creation stage. If you haven’t chosen a webinar platform yet, now is the time to do so (Demio is a user-friendly webinar platform for hosting live, automated, and on demand content, and allows you to customize content as well). Get familiar with your webinar platform’s interface and engagement features as you craft your content. Along with building the actual webinar, you’ll draft a script around the main points of the presentation and line up speaker(s) so you’re ready when your event goes live or is recorded for automated and on-demand replay.

Define Your Goals

When planning live webinars, you must first establish your main goal. This serves as your webinar’s focal point, guiding your choice of topics, promotional strategies, speakers, formats, and other components of your live event. 

So, what do you want your webinar to achieve? More leads or sales? Generate thought leadership or expand brand awareness? Educate your demographic or onboard new members? Select a main goal for the rest of your webinar to revolve around. 

Note: It’s okay to pick multiple goals, but don’t generalize them. Be specific about your webinar objectives and how they tie together so you can formulate an organized, cohesive, and relevant webinar script and presentation that’ll drive you toward these goals. 

Anticipate Your Audience’s Needs

Your audience’s pain points are an excellent foundation for choosing webinar topics and areas of discussion. By hitting these key subjects of interest, you’ll draw in a larger crowd. Know what your target segment desires that they currently lack, then construct your webinar content around how your brand can solve that pain point. 

Choose Your Format

Your webinar format is how you deliver your presentation. If you’re going for an informative, educational tone, then opt for an onboarding, panelist discussion, or thought leadership format. If you want to generate leads or grow your brand, a product demo or Q&A session may be more appropriate. Another option worth considering is a customer satisfaction webinar. Let the goal of your webinar guide the format you choose for an optimal execution. 

Pick Your Speaker

The sooner you book your speaker (or multiple co-hosts, if desired), the larger a pool you have to pull from, so you should complete this step early on. This also provides enough time for them to draft their script for your online event, and you to incorporate their content into the rest of your webinar outline. 

Your speaker is one of the most important elements of your webinar, standing equal to the topic you choose. Additionally, two-thirds of webinar attendees want to interact with the speaker via a live Q&A session at some point in the event. So, search for a speaker who is engaging, can evoke the correct emotional response in your audience, and is relevant to your brand or industry.

6 Weeks Before Launch 

Now that you’ve assembled your webinar, it’s time to let people know about it. To attract more registrants, focus on the following promotional tactics to make your webinar stand out online. Be sure to take advantage of the integration and other advertising tools available within your webinar platform. Demio, for instance, has many promotional features you can use to market your virtual event with ease, like email marketing, integration tools, and webinar landing page templates.

Build Your Webinar Landing Page

Your webinar landing page is your event’s foremost promotional element. It summarizes your webinar’s subject matter, showcases photos and bios of your speakers, and outlines topics of interest to guide potential registrants to the simple registration form (located on the same page for their convenience). 

Keep your webinar landing page short and sweet so your prospective attendees don’t lose interest before signing up. This is crucial, as you only have a maximum of 20 seconds to state your value proposition (no pressure). As previously mentioned, Demio possesses webinar landing page templates you can use to simplify this process, or you can customize your own to your brand’s aesthetic. 

To further encourage registrations, create a sense of urgency to keep readers engaged and convince them to make quick decisions. Consider verbiage like “limited seating,” “time is running out,” or “discount entry fees” for a select number of registrants (if you’re charging to attend). 

Create Your Email Marketing Strategy

Email marketing remains a leading strategy to convert prospects. Many webinar registrants come from direct email campaigns, and 31% of marketers include it in their overall promotional strategy. You’ll gather many of your registrants this way, as well as reconnect with your audience after your virtual event ends (more on this later).

An email campaign should include a personalized message that invites cold leads, active leads, and potential registrants to sign up for your webinar with a direct link to your webinar’s landing page, or a registration page on the email itself. To streamline this task, Demio has email marketing features you can use to customize communications for a personal user experience.

Then, decide on a timeline to send these emails so registrants remember the upcoming webinar.  They’re also a ripe opportunity to build anticipation and maintain urgency among registrants. While a landing page conversion can reach as high as 51%, the actual webinar attendance rate sits at about 36%. So, include a countdown timer in your webinar emails leading up to the event and another call to action (CTA) such as a promo code, freebie link, or other incentive to keep your registrants hooked and committed to attending your webinar. 

3 Weeks Before Launch 

Your webinar is going to air in less than one month, so you need to finalize your script writing and make sure your event promotion is well underway. At this point, your focus should be on making sure you’ve secured committed attendees (especially if you’re paying for an expensive webinar platform to host your event). 

Promote Your Webinar

With mere weeks to go, your webinar promotion should be gaining traction. Your website should display a registration page for your online event, and you can promote your webinar landing page along with sneak peeks of the content to come on your favorite social media channels. For registrants, be sure to send reminder emails about the upcoming event at periodic intervals to keep your webinar at the forefront of their minds.

If you’re unsure where to advertise this content, look to your consumer base: Dial up your webinar promotion on the social media platforms that your target demographic uses most for a wide audience reach. To extend it even further, ask your speaker to promote your webinar on their own social pages so you tap into and attract new audiences. 

Prepare the Final Touches

At this point, you should only need to fine-tune your webinar. Comb through your slide deck, speaker scripts, images, video clips, and all other presentation elements to make sure they’re free of errors. This is also your opportunity to craft a backup plan in anticipation of problems on the launch date. Taking these proactive measures significantly supports webinar success.

Do a Dry Run

Running  a dress rehearsal of your webinar gives you an idea of how the event will look to audiences once it’s live. During the dry run, go through the entire script with hosts and speakers, taking note of awkward pauses and phrasing and removing or editing content as needed. 

Check all audio, visual, and Internet connectivity aspects to make sure featured actions work and appear as needed, all links function, and the correct elements trigger at the right segments. You don’t want to run into any last-minute technical issues while live, and catching them during a dry run will help prevent them. 

The Day of Your Webinar

You’re hours or minutes away from going live or posting automated content. Lights, camera — action!

Do a Final Run-Through

While a dry run should be done in the weeks leading up to your webinar, doing a day-of run-through ensures your Internet connection is secure, audio and visual elements are ready to go, and any hosts and presenters are on stand-by. A quick run-through of the script leaves you feeling confident and ready to go live!

Follow up With Your Audience

Most audience members don’t convert during the live event; rather, they make the decision to commit in the moments or days that follow. According to ReadyTalk, prospects are 60 times more likely to convert if you contact them with a follow-up email or other marketing communication within an hour of your webinar’s end. Virtual event platforms like Demio often include an email marketing feature for webinar hosts to connect with audiences and continue promoting to them. This allows you to insert a personal thank you to your audience easily, along with a link to an ebook, discount code, or other CTA. You should also consider sending post webinar surveys to collect feedback. 

Be sure to target the registrants who fail to show up to your webinar as well. These warm prospects are worth reinvesting in for potential conversions going forward. It’s as easy as sending a simple “Sorry we missed you” email with a link to a webinar recap and highlights; this helps encourage these interested parties to commit to future events or follow some other included CTA. Remember, many registrants won’t show up to live events for various reasons, so don’t let these leads fall through the cracks. 

After the Webinar

Analyze Your Webinar Stats

Your webinar platform’s analytics tool tracks important metrics like how long audiences stayed in attendance, what interactive features achieved the highest response rate, and which attendees were the most engaged throughout the webinar. Event success metrics are key to honing in on which webinar topics and engagement elements worked well and which could be improved upon or replaced with better features. 

Plan Your Next Webinar With Ease 

When you’re armed with the right tools, planning and executing a flawless webinar becomes less difficult. A checklist for webinar creation will keep you on track and help you gain the most from your content, all while minimizing the stress and anxiety of building a webinar! 

The right webinar platform can take your webinars to the next level. Combined with the right planning strategy, you can give your content the professional and engaging appeal you desire. With several plans to choose from depending on your needs and budget, Demio’s webinar platform makes crafting virtual events easier than ever. Get started for free today or book a demo to make sure this first-class option is right for you.

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