How to Host a
Webinar in 9 Steps
+ Best Practices and Tips

how to host a webinar - feature image

Are you ready to up your online sales game? 

If you’re not already using online events for your marketing and sales, you are seriously missing out on a goldmine of opportunity. 

In fact, hosting webinars has proven to be one of the most effective methods to present interesting content, engage audiences and sell high-ticket online products and services. 

In this article, we’ll give step-by-step instructions on how to prepare for your first webinar, and invite friends and prospects using Facebook, LinkedIn and other social media platforms and email marketing techniques. 

Ultimately, we’ll cover in detail how to host webinars and increase sales by generating leads from interactive webinars.

Step 1: Define Your Webinar Goals

The secret to making your webinar successful is figuring out what it will be used for and what its objectives will be. Webinars can be a highly effective tool for lead generation. It’s also an effective way to educate, inform, or entertain your audience.

Determine the Purpose and Goals of Your Webinar

Recent studies show that over 89% of B2B marketers use webinars as a content marketing strategy, and that these events produce 20% more leads on average than other types of content. This is due to the fact that webinars let you interact with your audience in real time, enabling you to forge connections and present your area of expertise.

10 types of webinars
10 types of webinars

By having a clear understanding of your purpose and setting specific, measurable goals, you can track the success of your webinar and fine-tune your strategy for future webinars. 

Aligning your webinar goals with your overall business objectives is essential to making sure it is successful, regardless of whether your goal is to raise brand awareness, generate leads, or educate your audience.

Come up with an Attractive Webinar Topic

When choosing a compelling webinar topic, make sure you’re addressing the appropriate audience and providing them with helpful information.

Before you start writing, think about your target audience and the topics they might find interesting. Take into account the problems they are having and the solutions they might be seeking.

Most valuable topics
Most valuable topics

Additionally, you can conduct research on business-related topics and current events that your audience may find interesting. Be original and creative without fear, but make sure your topic is significant and will hold the attention of your audience.

Make sure your webinar topic is irresistible, because that will be the hook that draws viewers to sign up.

Step 2: Define Your Target Audience

Defining your target audience is an important step in planning your webinar. Understanding who you are speaking to will help you tailor your content and messaging to their specific interests.

Identify Your Target Audience and Their Needs

To ensure the success of your webinar, identify and understand your target audience and their needs. Tailor content and messaging to meet their specific interests and pain points for maximum engagement.

Define the demographics of people interested in the subject matter. Consider factors such as age, job title, industry, and pain points. Research or ask your audience to understand their needs and make sure your webinar addresses the right issues and provides value.

Webinar target audience statistics
Webinar target audience statistics

This will increase your chances of achieving your goals and building relationships with your audience.

Tailor Your Content to Meet the Expectations of Your Audience

To tailor your webinar content effectively, consider the following actionable advice:

By following these tips, you can customize your webinar content to meet the specific needs and expectations of your target audience. 

This will help you deliver an amazing webinar that engages your audience, accomplishes your objectives, and leaves a lasting impression.

Step 3: Choose the Best Webinar Software

When it comes to hosting a webinar, there are many platforms to choose from. Some of the best webinar platforms include WebinarJam, Livestorm, BigMarker, and WebinarKit.

WebinarNinja live webinar room
WebinarNinja live webinar room

Overview of Popular Webinar Platforms

WebinarJam: It offers robust marketing automation features, including email integration and lead generation tools, plus customization options to give your webinars a unique look. Read the full WebinarJam review

Livestorm: It is a flexible platform with strong engagement features like live chat, Q&A sessions, and live polls and surveys, made for companies of all sizes with numerous tool integrations. Read the full Livestorm review

BigMarker: It is a large webinar platform with live broadcasting, screen sharing, real-time polling, and advanced analytics & reporting, ideal for businesses tracking webinar success. Read the full BigMarker review

WebinarKit: It offers interactive webinar hosting features like screen recording, live streaming, live polls, and Q&A sessions, with customizable branding options. Read the full WebinarKit review

These are just some of the basic differences between these webinar platforms, and there may be other features and capabilities that set them apart. If you’re on a tight budget or just want to try hosting your first webinar, you could try some free webinar software.

Decide on Your Webinar Format

There are several ways you could host a webinar. The most common one is hosting a live webinar, which we will discuss in detail in this guide. 

You could also host a webinar as a pre-recorded session. There are automated webinar platforms that allow you to do that. Basically, you could pre-record webinars and then upload the webinar recording into the webinar tool.

Key Features for a Live Webinar Platform

To make sure the webinar platform you select is a good fit for you, you should take a few crucial factors into account. Here are some of the important features to look for:

Choosing a webinar software for your webinar format from the many options available might be difficult. Once you’ve made your choice, host a test webinar first. Try out the features and get comfortable with the controls, learn how to operate the webinar slide deck, and how to control the webinar session

Being prepared is the best way to ensure hosting an effective webinar session. And certainly an investment towards your future webinars as well.

Step 4: Plan Your Webinar Content

Planning your webinar content is a crucial aspect of making sure your webinar goes smoothly and achieves your desired outcome. When planning your content, there are several things you should consider to ensure its effectiveness.

Here are some things you should keep in mind as you plan:

How Long Should a Webinar be?

To maintain your audience’s interest, you must strike the right balance between giving them just enough information and preventing information overload

Generally speaking, aim for 45 to 60 minutes, with a maximum of 90 minutes. By doing this, you can cover your main points while leaving time for comments and questions.

Best webinar length
Best webinar length

There are a few important considerations to make when modifying the duration of your webinar. Don’t forget to allot time on audience engagement activities like interactive polls or Q&A sessions, as these can help keep your audience interested and engaged.

Outline Your Presentation Structure

Presenting a disorganized webinar is not a smart choice, as it can lead to scattered information and make it challenging for your audience to comprehend your topic. These are signs of bad webinars. 

On the other hand, having a well-structured outline for your presentation will guarantee a seamless flow of information to your audience.

Here’s an example of an ideal webinar agenda that runs for 60 minutes:

Webinar agenda
Webinar agenda

Make Sure Your Talking Points are Engaging and Informative

When it comes to making a presentation or giving a speech, it’s important to have strong talking points. But remember, it’s not just about having the right information – it’s about delivering it in an engaging and informative way.

Make sure you use short sentences and speak in a conversational tone. Use vivid language and examples to help illustrate your points. However, avoid complex jargon. 

Take pauses. Give some time for the information to sink in. 

By doing so, you’ll keep their attention and make a lasting impression.

Plan the Interactions Using Engagement Tools

It’s crucial to plan the interactions using engagement tools in order to make a webinar interactive. Throughout the entire session, you want to maintain the audience’s interest and participation. 

Make sure to allot enough time for conversation, and invite participants to share their thoughts and ask questions. Questions, chat boxes, and interactive quizzes to keep your audience involved.

Zoom Webinar Polls example
Attendee view: Answering polls

To make your webinar more entertaining, consider using breakout rooms for small-group discussions or live tests. You can also use break-out rooms for group discussions or live quizzes to add a fun element to your webinar. 

Consider the webinar’s flow when organizing your interactions, and make sure they enhance rather than detract from the content. Remember, the goal is to host interactive webinars, not just read the information to your webinar attendees.

Prepare for Potential Technical Difficulties

Technical difficulties are a common occurrence during webinar presentations, so it’s important to be prepared. Ensure a smooth delivery by checking your computer and internet connection beforehand and having a backup plan in place, such as a backup computer or saved presentation.

To further minimize potential issues, familiarize yourself with the most common technical difficulties, including:

By being prepared for these technical difficulties, you can remain calm and collected during the presentation and effectively overcome any challenges that may arise.

Step 5: Create a Webinar Registration Page

Creating a webinar registration page is an important step in getting people to sign up and attend your online event.

Zoom Registration Page
Zoom Registration Page

Boost webinar sign-ups by offering incentives like exclusive content or a discount code, and by promoting the event through social media, email, and your website. A viable strategy is also doing personalized outreach to industry professionals and qualified leads. A good idea is to use cold email outreach software for that.

Include Main Registration Fields

When creating your webinar landing page, it’s important to include the main fields in the registration form. 

This will help you gather all the necessary information about your attendees and make the sign-up process easy and seamless.

Here are the main registration fields to include on your webinar landing page:

By including these main fields, you can be sure that your registration page is complete and functional, making it easier for attendees to sign up and attend your amazing webinar.

Use Custom Registration Fields if Necessary

A general rule of thumb, it is a good practice to keep the number of fields to a minimum. It can have a negative impact on sign-up rates if you ask for too much information. As much as needed, as few as possible.

Custom form fields on the Registration Page
Custom form fields on the Registration Page

Aside from the main registration fields, here are a few examples of custom registration fields you can use:

By including just a few custom fields, you can still gather more personal information while keeping the registration process quick and easy for your webinar attendees. 

Surveying your attendee list before the webinar will help you prepare a more personalized event.

Step 6: Promote Your Webinar

There are several ways to promote your webinar to help you reach a wider audience and attract more attendees. No matter if you’re an experienced presenter or new to the online environment, you must understand the importance of effectively marketing your webinar.

By using the correct strategy and marketing techniques, you may increase sign-up and attendance rates for your webinar. You can also successfully generate interest, excitement, and buzz around your virtual event.

Utilize Social Media and Email Marketing to Reach Your Target Audience

Social media platforms and email marketing are powerful tools to help you reach your target audience and promote your webinar.

Crafting engaging posts on social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn can broaden your audience and pique their interest in your online event. 

It also helps to use social media management tools to schedule your promotion on different social channels.

Webinar twitter post
Webinar twitter post

Additionally, email marketing provides a direct line of communication to your subscribers and enables you invite people to attend your webinar. This ensures that your target audience is well-informed and motivated to participate.

By sending out regular reminders and including a clear call to action, you can encourage your subscribers to sign up and attend your webinar.

Offer Incentives for Attendees to Participate

Offering incentives is a great way to attract more attendees to your webinar. By providing something of value, such as exclusive content or a discount code, you can entice potential participants to sign up and participate in your online event.

These incentives not only increase the number of attendees, but also encourage engagement during the webinar, leading to a more successful and impactful event.

So, consider what you can offer that would appeal to your target audience and motivate them to participate in your webinar.

Collaborate with Influencers or Guest Speakers to Promote the Webinar

Collaborating with influencers or guest speakers is a great way to promote your webinar and reach a wider audience. By partnering with someone who has a large following on social media or in your industry, you can tap into their network and attract more attendees to your event.

Example webinar with a guest
Example webinar with a guest using Demio webinar software

You can ask them to share your webinar with their followers or even invite them to be a guest speaker during your presentation. You could run a panel discussion live event if you invite several guest speakers. 

In this case, include the presenter bios in your event page. Even better – include a YouTube video of them introducing the webinar. Having authoritative presenters is one of the key aspects to get people to sign up for your awesome webinar. 

This not only adds credibility to your webinar, but it also helps increase visibility and attract more participants.

Step 7: Schedule Webinar Reminder Emails

Hosting a successful webinar requires a lot of planning and preparation, but even the most well-crafted presentation can fall flat if nobody shows up. To ensure that your webinar is well-attended, it’s essential to send out reminder emails to your webinar early on.

WebinarGeek email sequence set up
Email sequence set up

These emails not only serve as a reminder to your audience, but also as a way to build excitement and anticipation for the upcoming webinar.

When to Send Webinar Reminder Emails?

Sending webinar reminder emails is a critical part of promoting your event and ensuring a successful turnout. But when exactly should you be sending these reminders?

The timing of your webinar reminder emails is just as important as the content itself, and can greatly impact the attendance rate. Ideally, you want to start sending reminders a few days before the event, with more frequent emails leading up to the day of the webinar. The exact timing will depend on a variety of factors, such as the length of your webinar, the target audience, and the time of day it’s scheduled for.

Webinar reminder email types
Webinar reminder email types

By strategically timing your reminders, you can increase the chances of getting a larger audience and creating more engagement and interaction during the webinar.

How Many Email Reminders Should I Send?

Deciding how many reminder emails to send for your webinar can be a bit of a balancing act. While you want to ensure that your audience is well-informed and prepared for the event, you also don’t want to overwhelm them with too many messages.

Generally, it’s a good idea to start sending reminders a week or two in advance of the webinar, with more frequent messages as the event draws closer. A good rule of thumb is to send out three to four reminder emails in total, spaced out over several days leading up to the event. 

This will give your audience enough notice to plan around the webinar, while still keeping it fresh in their minds as the date approaches. Make sure the calendar invite is included, so that recipients can easily add the event to their calendars.

Email - add to calendar inside the email link
Email - add to calendar inside the email link

However, the exact number of reminder emails you send may depend on the length and complexity of your webinar, as well as the preferences and behavior of your target audience. It’s important to strike a balance between staying top-of-mind and being overly persistent.

Step 8: Host the Webinar

You’ve worked hard to prepare for your forthcoming webinar, and it’s finally time to hold the event. Many elements influence the effectiveness of your webinar, including your presentation abilities, the quality of your material, and the technology you utilize.

It’s critical to be organized and well-prepared to ensure your webinar works well and provides value to your attendees. Prepare to take the stage and engage your audience in a lively and interesting discussion.

Livestorm live webinar room
Livestorm live webinar room

You may boost your chances of holding a successful webinar by following these guidelines and putting your best foot forward.

How do I Prepare for the Webinar Presentation?

Preparation is key for a successful webinar presentation. On the day of the webinar, you want to make sure that everything is in place so that you can focus on delivering your message.

Here’s a checklist of things to remember:

By following these tips and preparing ahead of time, you’ll be able to deliver a great webinar presentation that engages and informs your audience.

How do I Speak Confidently in a Webinar?

Speaking confidently in a webinar can be a challenge, but there are several tips that can help you feel more at ease and deliver a successful presentation.

10 tips for business presentation
10 tips for business presentation

Here are a few tips to consider when speaking at you webinar:

By following these tips, you can feel more confident and deliver a successful webinar. Remember, the more you practice, the easier it will become over time.

How do I Engage with the Audience?

Engaging with your audience during a webinar is crucial to keep them interested and connected with your presentation.

Fortunately, most webinar platforms have built-in interaction tools that make it easy for you to get real-time feedback from your audience. Polls, Q&A sessions, and live chat are just a few examples of the tools you can use to encourage engagement.

The best webinar platforms like Demio even have an engagement-meter to show who was focusing.

Demio Analytics measures attendance and focus
Demio Analytics measures attendance and focus

You can also ask open-ended questions, invite attendees to share their opinions, or use interactive features like hand-raising to keep the audience engaged and active.

Remember, the goal is to make the webinar interactive and engaging, so don’t be afraid to get creative and have fun with it!

How do I Greet Someone in a Webinar?

In a webinar, greeting guests is a vital part of establishing a welcome and engaging experience. Begin by greeting guests when they join the webinar and inviting them to the session.

Before you begin the presentation, offer a quick introduction about yourself and your topic to establish the tone for the rest of the webinar. You should address the audience by name if you want to build a personal connection with them. You might inquire as to where they are coming from and urge them to introduce themselves and interact with one another.

It’s critical to remember that the aim is to make participants feel at ease and involved, so they can fully participate in the webinar and interact with you and other attendees.

How do I Handle Technical Difficulties if They Arise?

Handling technical difficulties during a webinar can be stressful, but it’s important to remain calm and have a plan in place. Here are some tips to help you handle technical difficulties smoothly and minimize the impact on your presentation:

By being prepared and handling technical difficulties with calm and confidence, you can ensure that your webinar runs smoothly and that your audience remains engaged.

How do I Encourage Questions and Feedback from the Attendees?

There are several ways to do this. First, you can create a Q&A session during the webinar and encourage attendees to ask questions

You can also use the chat feature provided by the webinar platform to facilitate real-time communication between attendees and the host. Additionally, you can ask for feedback through polls and surveys, which provide a quick and easy way for attendees to share their thoughts and opinions.

Host launched the Q&A
Host launched the Q&A

To further encourage questions and feedback, you can also offer incentives such as exclusive content or a discount code to participants who ask questions or provide feedback during the webinar.

How do I Answer a Webinar Question?

Providing answers to participants’ questions during a webinar can be a good opportunity to engage with them and establish rapport. When responding to a question, be sure to pay particular attention to what the attendee is asking and take some time to prepare your answer.

Be concise and clear in your response, and try to be as detailed as you can. Additionally, don’t be afraid to acknowledge if you don’t have an answer and let them know you’ll follow up with them after the webinar if necessary.

It’s important to remember that the Q&A session’s purpose is to give guests useful information that will allow them to get the most out of the webinar.

Step 9: Follow-up After the Webinar

Congratulations on successfully hosting your webinar! But don’t forget that the work doesn’t end there. Following up with your attendees is just as important as the event itself.

By sending a well-crafted follow-up email, you can keep the momentum going and turn your attendees into loyal customers.

Scheduling a Webinar Follow-up Email

Most webinar platforms offer built-in automated follow-up email sequences that can make the post-webinar process much easier. These emails typically include a link to the webinar recording, a summary of the key takeaways, and a call-to-action that encourages attendees to take the next steps in their journey.

Webinar follow-up email
Webinar follow-up email

If you want to make the most of your webinar follow-up emails, it’s important to have a proper schedule for sending them.

Here are some tips to help you achieve an ideal follow-up email:

By sending out follow-up emails, you can reinforce the value of the webinar and continue to build your relationship with your audience.

Webinar Follow-up Call-to-Action

In your follow-up email after your webinar, add a call-to-action (CTA). The CTA might be anything from convincing visitors to buy your product or service to completing a survey with comments on the webinar. It might also be to sign up for your next webinar.

Email followup editor
Follow-up email editor

Provide participants with extra tools or information, in addition to the CTA. To encourage them to take the next step in their journey. You may, for example, write a relevant blog post or eBook to assist visitors learn more about the webinar topic.

This shows that you value their time and are committed to supporting them in success.

Best Practices and Tips

When it comes to hosting webinars, there are some best practices and tips that can help you succeed. Here are some key tips to keep in mind:

By following these tips, you can increase the chances of a successful and engaging webinar experience for you and your audience.

Frequently Asked Questions About How to Host a Webinar

What are the Main Advantages of Webinars?

Webinars offer several benefits that make them an excellent tool for marketing, education, and communication. One of the primary benefits of webinars is that they allow you to access a big, yet specific audience from all over the world. 

This makes it simple to exchange information and expertise. Webinars are also inexpensive since they eliminate the need for travel and venue expenses. There are even many free webinar software. 

They are also quite convenient for both the presenter and the attendees because they may participate from the comfort of their own homes or businesses. Furthermore, webinars allow for audience participation and interaction, which can improve learning outcomes and raise your chances of meeting your objectives.

Overall, webinars can help you to share your message, increase your visibility, and brand awareness among industry professionals. It can also help you in generating leads.

What are the Disadvantages of Webinars?

While webinars provide numerous advantages, there are also drawbacks to consider. One of the biggest downsides is that webinars might be influenced by technical issues such as bad internet access or audio problems, which can affect the quality of the presentation.

Furthermore, webinars can be impersonal and lack the face-to-face connection that can be beneficial in other types of communication. Webinars can also need extensive preparation and planning, which can be time-consuming for the presenter.

Finally, it might be difficult to keep attendees focused and prevent them from multitasking or becoming distracted throughout the webinar.

Can Webinars be a Marketing Strategy?

Webinars can be utilized as an effective marketing strategy. They enable you to display your knowledge and add value to potential clients.

You can attract and engage a highly relevant audience by hosting free webinars and sharing industry-specific insights. Furthermore, webinars allow you to advertise your products or services and give attendees unique bargains. You may also utilize webinars to connect with your audience and promote yourself as an industry thought leader.

Overall, webinars may be a successful marketing technique for reaching new consumers, increasing brand recognition, and driving sales.

Can Webinars be Pre-Recorded?

Pre-recording webinars can have various advantages, including greater schedule flexibility, less technical challenges during the live session, and simple dissemination of the recorded webinar to new audiences.

Pre-recording your webinar also allows you to fine-tune your delivery and ensure that your material is precisely what you want it to be before presenting it to your audience.

If you’re wondering how to record a webinar, most webinar platforms have a built-in recording feature that you can use. To ensure that everything runs successfully, double-check the settings and test the recording before your planned webinar.

Keep in mind that pre-recorded webinars do not allow for live audience engagement, so find alternative methods to engage your viewers, such as employing chatbots, including a Q&A segment, or delivering live follow-up sessions.

Do Webinars have Certificates?

Yes, certificates of completion can be issued to participants after they attend a webinar. Certificates are often provided to those who complete the whole webinar, and some platforms may additionally ask participants to pass a quiz or complete a survey in order to earn the certificate.

The certificates serve as documentation that the attendee finished the webinar and may be used to show their employer or other stakeholders their involvement and expertise. If you want to provide webinar certificates, be sure to verify the particular criteria and settings on the webinar tool you’re using. For example, GoToWebinar has an option to include a certificate.

Key Takeaways for Hosting Webinars

In conclusion, webinars are an effective marketing tool for high-priced products and services. They provide several benefits, including the chance to communicate with a huge audience from anywhere in the globe, inexpensive production costs, and the possibility to brand yourself as an industry expert

Make sure to plan ahead of time, utilize high-quality equipment, keep the topic attractive, and interact with your audience to keep them involved. Following the webinar, follow up with registrants and provide them further materials or a call to action

Remember that webinars are an excellent method to educate and engage your audience, grow your brand, and eventually sell your high-cost products and services online. And, if you’re wondering how to record a webinar, most webinar systems have recording options to make it easy.