Hosting a Webinar

Category: Education

A webinar (web-based seminar) is an effective way to present an idea, or pitch a product or service to a large, geographically dispersed audience. Using software, a webinar hosting service and the Internet, you can put together a multimedia, interactive presentation that anyone, anywhere, can participate in. Here are some tips for putting together a webinar...

How To Host a Webinar

Why have a webinar instead of a face-to-face meeting? One of the best reasons is that response rates and sales are better because people don't have to spend travel time or money to attend a webinar. So how do you go about hosting a webinar?

First, choose your target audience. It might be investors, housewives, software developers, fishermen, or any other well-defined group. The key is to narrowly target a well-defined group so that you can tailor a presentation and product to their needs. That targeting will enhance webinar participation and sales.

Then pick a product or service to sell to your target group. I know, the traditional approach assumes you have a product and then go looking for buyers. But there are many good products on the market that you don't have to originate or own in order to sell. Just search for affiliate marketing or joint venture opportunities and you'll find them. Of course, if you already have your own product, go with it!
Webinar hosting

Design a presentation of the product that hits all of your audience's hot buttons. As you craft the presentation, keep in mind the buyer-stimulating features of webinar technology. You're not limited to a faceless voice repeating what's displayed in a PowerPoint slideshow. You can incorporate multiple speakers in a panel format; mix graphics with video; use whiteboarding to demonstrate how software is used; add chat windows so that participants can ask questions during a presentation. Just don't get carried away with too much multimedia, lest the audience get distracted from your main message.

Which Webinar Hosting Service?

Choose a webinar hosting service carefully. Most webinar hosting services support audio, video, whiteboarding, and all the other bells and whistles. But you should test-drive a hosting service before running a webinar on it. Is the audio crystal-clear? Is the video streaming smooth? How easy is it for participants to register for a webinar, log in, and use participant software? How much support does the hosting service give you in creating a presentation, recruiting participants, and following up on responses?

Many of my business colleagues who frequently have webinars just rave about GotoWebinar, from the same company that offers the popular GotoMeeting software for remote access. Others recommend Elluminate, which is particularly good for educational webinars. FuzeMeeting and Webex are two other popular names in webinar hosting.

Start early to recruit participants; some webinar experts suggest eight weeks before a scheduled webinar. You'll use email marketing, advertising, and other methods to get interested parties to register well in advance for your webinar.

Send out reminders on the morning of the webinar to all registered participants. But don't start the webinar exactly on time. People tend to log in exactly on time and then spend some time getting oriented to the software interface. Start the introduction two minutes after the starting time so fewer people miss it.

Fees charged by webinar hosting services vary widely. Depending on the total number of webinars and participants, and the features provided, webinar hosting service can cost anywhere from 35 cents a minute to several hundred dollars a month.

Do you have a favorite webinar hosting service? Post your comment or question below...

 
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Most recent comments on "Hosting a Webinar"

Posted by:

Gary Frederick
22 Apr 2011

I like the FREE Mikogo software http://www.mikogo.com/ to have meetings & using Skype group call along with it allows audio voice between participants.


Posted by:

Rohan Wickramasinghe
29 Apr 2011

In today's world the environmental and security benefits of 'Hosting a Webinar' could be of increasing importance. 'Security' would, of course, include safety while traveling. Thanks for this information. Rohan Wickramasinghe


Posted by:

Mariaa
05 May 2011

Check out GoMeetNow ( http://www.gomeetnow.com ). It is quite exciting for webinars, web meetings, online presentations and application sharing. The attendance is guaranteed despite platforms and firewalls supporting your meeting to be more productive and cost-effective.


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