19 Jun 2020 21:41 IST

How and why to host a webinar during Covid-19

They are the new normal and a great way to manage professional activities and keep social distance

The dawn of 2020 saw the rise of the infamous, coronavirus. What started out as news in China, soon reached our nation and we were slapped with our first lockdown from March 24, 2020. With the public locked in their homes, brands marketers have been busy finding new ways to promote their products and services, generate insights and communicate with their clients and customers.

Emergence of webinars

This is how webinars have become the new normal. They are a great way to manage your professional activities while maintaining social distancing. Although webinars are not a new discovery, there is a definite increase in their use and we see more and more brands opting for this method to reach out to their audiences.

In fact, according to a study conducted by GoToWebinars in 2019 (months before the coronavirus outbreak), a massive 73 per cent of marketers and managers had already started the use of webinars. Additionally, 57 per cent of them have decided to continue creating more webinars in order to generate brand awareness. Fast forward to March 2020, the number of such online events hosted has increased by 330 per cent, and the numbers of attendees are doubling with each passing month.

Most brands are focusing on spreading awareness on the novel coronavirus, its prevention and its effect on their services and products. Coronavirus has changed everything in our lifestyle, including our business strategies, market values and consumer demands. There are a number of webinars on school safety, food safety, travel and weddings, with regard to safeguards against coronavirus and the prevention of its catastrophic spread and how you can still avail a brand’s services while social distancing.

Hence, if you are a brand marketer, and you're contemplating hosting a webinar, we suggest you take the plunge because this is the new way to strengthen your business campaign.

How to host your first webinar

Now that we have covered the “why” to host a webinar, the following are factors to help you on “how” to host one during this pandemic.

Build a reliable team

It's understandable that you cannot do everything all by yourself when you're making a webinar. Teamwork gives better results because each person can focus on doing one thing rather than one person doing everything. Build a team and appoint people who have the right skills for each category while you manage their work. A webinar needs an organiser, a presenter and a couple of assistants who can take care of microphone, backups, lightings, and editing.

Plan a format for your Webinar

A particular format will help you construct a good webinar in your vision and you will be able to execute it better. Time each segment of the discussion strategically and always stick to the plan. A few commonly-used types of webinars are as follows:

· Educational Webinar: This type is generally a lecture form, with a single speaker addressing the audience.

· Viewer-driven Webinar: This is an interactive process that consists of Q&As interviews or any face-to-face communication.

· Sales Webinar: The most common type, this type is also called a workshop webinar, where brand marketers educate audiences and pitch their products to them.

Provide imperative material

Most brand marketers derail from their topics and end up conducting long webinars with unwanted or unimportant information. This is a big reason why they lose audience because even though we're all in a lockdown, we still require content that keeps us glued and interested. Keep your webinars to the point and easy to follow and only provide beneficial information to your audience.

Rely on visuals

Keep your webinars vibrant and colorful to keep your audience interested. If your content consists of paragraphs of texts after one another, it may get a little dull for your viewers. Include statistics, pie charts and creative contexts in your webinars. Provide synopsis before going into details so viewers get an idea of your insight.

Have a backup

It is absolutely crucial to keep a backup of all your webinar contents in another hard or soft drive in case you lose all information mid-webinar. It is also important to carry battery backups, extra power cables and make sure you have power backups too. If, in an unfortunate turn of events, you lose any of these vital equipment and information, you will be at ease to know that you have backups.

Promote your webinar

In a world of social media, it's not difficult to promote or market your business. Make sure you spread the word on your webinar well in advance so you have enough time to reach large groups and connections.

With these tips, you can soon take your first step into the exciting world of webinars!