Despite a minor glitch from the webinar hosting provider during the first minute, the event was successful due to Richardson's impeccable planning process. This sales training company is all about preparation, execution and communication -- which led to a great event. Let me outline that procedure ramping up to a webinar, focusing not on presentation tips but on the production of the webinar itself.
- Initial Planning - Identify speakers, topics and goals of the webinar
- Messaging - Get all participants and constituents together to brainstorm messaging, expectations, schedule and action items
- Content Creation - Three weeks prior. Involve all participants in the content creation process and solicit comments constantly.
- First Review - Two weeks prior. Participants walk through the slide deck, talk about what each can contribute and what cues might be used for transition.
- Dry Runs and Rehersals - Use the actual webinar hosting software so that everyone involved is familiar with operations.
- Dry Run #1 - Week prior. Casual run-through with some designated critics that are not intimately involved with the content. Feedback as needed during the dry run. Edits.
- Dry Run #2 - Three days prior. Formal run-through with critics, refined content review and attempt at real-time flow and timing. Feedback after the dry run. Final edits.
- Dress Rehersal - Day prior. The whole presentation, as it will play out. No stops. Feedback after. OK, more final edits ;)
- Prep - 30 minutes prior. Get presenters to log in early. Test everything for going live and use tech support if necessary to fix any glitches.
- Go Live - At start time, announce that the webinar will begin shortly. This gives stragglers a couple minutes to log on. Then jump right in.
- Q&A - Make sure to allow enough time for questions, and then after the event answer any open questions in an email to the participants.
- Followup - Send a prompt followup with calls to action and link to the replay.
The number of reviews and dry runs might seem like overkill. In fact, this presenter originally complained it was too much, but Jim & Lori ... I take it back. This level of preparation was perfect.
Thanks to Richardson for producing a great event and inspiring this contribution to the Smashmouth Lead Gen Tips collection. As always, thanks to Nigel for being a great sidekick and colleague. The two of us are never at a loss for words.
Any other webinar tips you want to share? Add them as a comment.