Tips for Hosting a Great Webinar

Updated: Jun 18, 2020

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As webinars have transformed into the new way of communicating while in isolation, we thought it would be a great idea to bring a webinar expert on board to help us use it to our advantage. Freelance tourism marketer and founder of Destination Webinars, Charlie Trevena, has hosted over 300 live webinars over the past 8 years, and uses her experience to give us some tips on how to get started, how to keep it simple and stress-free, what content to use for presentations, and finally, how to record, edit and upload your video.

Where do I start?

· There are differences between meetings and webinars. While meetings are collaborative gatherings, webinars are usually more formal and can include slides.

· Different webinar platforms have different advantages depending on how you’re using them. Zoom and WebEx are popular platforms and there are many other choices that offer free accounts to get started.

· The technology you need is a computer, headphones, microphone, speakers and a persevering spirit! You can always test different equipment, and you can also invest in an external webcam and/or microphone.

· Play around with virtual backgrounds but keep it as simple as possible – you can test this too.

Presentation Content

· Keep it simple and stress-free.

· Plan your webinar like you would with any presentation.

· Think about the format – is it an interview, presentation or Q&A?

· Think about your audience – what time of day is best for them, how will you invite them, how will you advertise the webinar? Send invites at least a week in advance and if you’re hosting a series, remember to brand it as a series to remind your audience there’s more to come.

· Think about the theme of your webinar to ensure it is tailored to your audience.

· Tell your audience how long it will be and keep to the time!

· If you’re sharing slides, a webcam can be distracting – think about what you want your audience to focus on.

· Webinars are very visual, and as the travel industry we’re selling something very visual, so use imagery to your advantage. Transport your audience to what you’re talking about. You can find images on many tourism boards of brand libraries.

· If you share something, keep it simple and limit it to one document.

· To make your webinar look appealing, update your PowerPoint, or use platforms such as Canva to find original templates. This adds to the visual element of your presentation.

· Have a clear call to action. Think about your purpose and what you want people to do next – where do they go from here and how do they find out more.

· Thank people for coming.

· Remind the audience to sign up even if they can’t attend and let them know it will be recorded. If people are listening later, encourage them to comment using #replay to you can see who is watching.

· Use a facilitator. Don’t necessarily have to pay someone, it could be a colleague or family member. It can be daunting to control all the technology, while presenting a webinar. You need an extra person to manage the tech, look after enquiries, ensure everyone can her you etc. This ensures your webinar runs as smoothly as possible.

· Practice in a personal meeting room. Record your presentation and watch it back to see how it works, what it looks like and how your slides work.

Recording, Editing, and Uploading

· In Zoom and WebEx, your webinar is saved as an mp4 file. Download it to your computer.

· If you want to edit the video, you can snip the beginning and end. Other software exists if you want to edit it further.

· If you want to put the video on your website, make a YouTube or Vimeo channel, upload the video file here, then use the embed code from the video and put this on your website.

· You can also send people the YouTube or Vimeo link.

Charlie will be hosting a webinar next week where you can find more in-depth information. To keep up to date with our upcoming Survive and Revive webinars follow the link below.