For organizations of all sizes, webinars are a powerful way to deliver content. Even with tight budgets and packed schedules, learners can jump on the web to engage with your organization and learn more about a topic that piques their interest.

Although it’s easy for the end-user, for the organization delivering the webinar, there is a lot more to it than simply picking a date and securing a speaker. Preparation is key when it comes to executing an impactful, engaging webinar.

Here are seven tips that can help you provide your learners with a great webinar experience:

  1.  Plan … and plan some more: The first step of planning includes choosing a topic that’s relevant to your constituents, finding a speaker who is a subject matter expert, and picking a date. It’s important to hone in on a trending or hot topic that will generate enough interest to set you up for a good turnout. When it comes to picking a speaker, the best ones are not just thought leaders in their industry. They need to know how to engage an audience and be comfortable presenting virtually.
  2.  Promote: All events need marketing. Whether it’s your annual conference, a regional event, or a webinar, the content will not sell itself. Best practices are to start sending out marketing campaign emails three to four weeks before the program date. Once someone registers, make sure he or she receives a confirmation email with a way to automatically add the event to his or her calendar. Reminder emails are equally important. Remind your registrants of their upcoming event one week before, one day before, and the day of the event to ensure your registrants attend.
  3.  Provide interactivity: Throughout the program, ask questions and launch polls that encourage learners to engage with the presenter. Polling can provide insight to help speakers tailor their presentation to the audience; plus, questions will get the audience thinking about new concepts and ideas.
  4.  Use collaboration tools: A community platform integration will provide your attendees with a way to embark on a journey of continuous learning. They can create or participate in discussion threads and continue to engage with other learners after the program is complete.
  5.  Evaluate: Take advantage of the opportunity to collect feedback from your audience at the end of the program. Many webinar platforms today have feedback tools built in, so the learner is automatically prompted to evaluate the topic, the platform, the speaker, etc. This is great data to have when planning for future programs.
  6.  Support: Particularly with large events, it’s important to consider how much end-user support you need. Does your webinar vendor provide end-user support or does your team need to handle incoming calls for those who encounter technical issues logging onto the webinar?
  7.  Archive: If you have a learning management system (LMS) or if your webinar vendor is also archiving and hosting your content, take advantage of this technology by driving users to your archives, so those who missed the live program can view an on-demand version at their leisure. You will build loyalty with your learners and they’ll appreciate the opportunity to consume the content at a time that’s convenient for them.

Delivering professional, engaging, and memorable webinars is possible. Webinar technology is becoming a more common way to deliver education content every year. Nailing these webinars can add tremendous value to your organization and build a loyal audience that keeps coming back!