Pre-Show Best Practices for Successful Webcasts

Event Scheduling & Promotion 

  • Best Workdays To Schedule Your Event? Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday
  • Best Workdays To E-Mail Invites? Tuesday to Thursday
  • Best Start Time: 12 noon – 2 pm (remember other time zones, too)
  • Rinse & Repeat: Send 2-3 event invites over at least three weeks — 50% will sign-up in the last week
  • Confirm It: Send confirmation e-mails with URL, time, instructions and calendaring link
  • Remind Them: Remind confirmed attendees of date and time 1 day before
  • Get Social: Use Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, etc. to build up pre-event excitement
  • Recruit Others: Cross-promote through partners, alliances or speaker lists
  • Easy Does It: Make registration simple — name, organization, title and e-mail address. Avoid detailed surveys or sales qualification questions, but ask for speaker questions during registration process — allowing speakers to shape webinar content


Venue Setup

  • Room Choice: Not too big, not too small for number of speakers and attendees (if any), plus technical equipment setup
  • Presenter Placement: Podium? Opposing lecterns (debate-style)? Roaming speaker? Seated panel? Decide early on since each has technical implications
  • Whats Behind Speakers? Avoid plants or lamps growing from heads, room clutter, bright windows, distracting pictures and ugly backgrounds, but consider adding subtle branding
  • Be Tech Savvy: Confirm availability of room’s high-speed Internet connection, access to power, good ambient lighting and isolation from external noises
  • Listen-in Option: Make a telephone line available for attendees having technical issues or in case of an emergency affecting the broadcast


Program Content

  • Draw In Your Audience: Choose a short, engaging and benefit-orientated title (How to…, 10 Steps to…, Quick Guide to…, etc.)
  • Identify Outcomes: Highlight anticipated learnings or benefits in promotional copy (You will learn…)
  • Runtime: Educational webinars run 30, 60 or (rarely) 90 minutes at most (average is 60 minutes or less)
  • Interactivity Level: Consider options for audience input — Q&A input box, free form or moderated chat, polls, telephone call-in, Skype callers, etc.
  • Downloadable Content: Consider making PDF handouts available at show time, such as background info, speaker bios, case studies or slide presentation
  • CPD/CLE: Allow time to apply for education credits to attract additional viewers


Presenter Prep

  • Run-Through: Consider asking speakers to rehearse before event day, select a chair or moderator, work out speaking order and time the duration of their comments
  • Edit Ruthlessly: Follow all the rules for good writing and presentation slide design, such as editing out clutter, keeping text on slides to a minimum, using tasteful and clear graphics, and choosing easy-to-read large sans serif fonts
  • Simple Slides: Elaborate slide animations and transitions are sometimes distractions for speakers if they misfire