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Best Practices Series: Webinars

Engaging in a Live Conversation

Webinars are the next best thing to meeting your prospects in person. They give you the opportunity to go beyond simply talking to IT decision makers by helping you open a dialogue with them.

How you spend that 30 to 60 minutes will determine whether your potential customers are engaged and participating … or answering email while half listening in.

Based on our experience at UBM producing hundreds of webinars each year, we’ve developed a set of best practices to help you keep your webinar attendees tuned in:

Remember that content is king. Webinars are useful for all stages of the buyer awareness cycle. That means it’s okay to discuss topics at a high level (market research or industry trends) or to get granular (how-to, ROI, demos). Just make sure that you provide an adequate balance between business and technical benefits so that attendees will understand not only the innovations you are bringing to the market, but also how those innovations will actually help them increase revenue, decrease costs, improve collaboration, and achieve goals in their jobs.

Also - 92% of business technology professionals join a webinar because of the subject matter; not because research is released or it’s hosted by a known tech vendor. Make sure your title and description of the webinar grabs their attention!

Personality is a plus, so let yours show. Speakers should not be heavily scripted. Treat the discussion more like a conversation at a trade show or in a meeting room – not as if you are formally presenting on stage.

Make it real. Give attendees real examples of how your customers are benefitting from your solutions. Better yet, invite a customer to speak.

Leverage the webinar tools. Presentations can include more than just slides. Ask opinions via live polling, demonstrate capabilities via screenshare, or incorporate video clips. Multimedia aspects can enhance your presentation and keep attendees engaged.

Listen up. Leave ample time for audience Q&A. This is your chance to connect one-on-one with attendees. Don’t have time to answer all questions? Invite attendees to follow up via email.

Don’t leave them empty handed. Give attendees links to relevant content to help them learn more. Better yet, follow up with attendees a few days after the webinar; give them an exclusive piece of content (such as a summary of the webinar takeaways) as well as a link to an on-demand version of the webinar that they can share with colleagues.

To find InformationWeek webinars that are tailored for IT and business technology professionals, check out our webinar archive: https://www.informationweek.com/webinar_archives.asp  

Contact [email protected] to learn about webinar sponsorship opportunities and put these best practices to use!