During the lockdown, one word we have heard of probably more than the word ‘lockdown’ itself and a little lesser number of times than ‘Coronavirus’ is the word ‘Webinar’. Every day, our message boxes receive numerous invitations, and to begin with, there was excitement, which turned into boredom and fatigue.
LIVE events need a heavy budget, a big team, and months of preparation. Virtual ones or Webinars can be created in a few minutes sitting anywhere with ZOOM, GoToMeeting, Cisco Webex, etc. With a couple of speakers, a topic, and time, anyone can announce a webinar. During the lockdown, the market was closed, people were indoors, so the excitement we saw in people to organize webinars was obvious. Probably, people found an answer in the webinar about the ubiquitous question, “How to stay relevant during a lockdown?”
Unfortunately, the majority of them failed to delight the audience. Research done by Bigsea Market Research with prominent webinars across 5 different sectors revealed that only 14% received 5000+ views on LIVE in the first 2 hours and around 500 direct attendees. Only 3 could manage 10,000+ LIVE views and close to 1000 attendees. Many were good but the majority were moderate or terribly failed to make a mark. Results may vary for different sectors. This research was only for free webinars announced in the open forums during a certain period under specific circumstances. The extent to which people have abused and misused webinars can be explained from the tweet by businessman Anand Mahindra who shared a funny meme on frustrating webinars. It showed Prince Salim trying to wake Anarkali up by saying, “Utho Anarkali, webinar khatam hua!” That made me quip, “It is better not to do a webinar than to do a poor one.”
Here are some of the mantras for creating great webinars:
- Create Value and Giveaways before the Takeaways
For those who ask me about tools & techniques for high performing webinar, we do it with the end in mind. The end is not the takeaways. We cannot predict the takeaways since we allow it to flow freely for the creation. We work to create giveaways for our audience. Seeing many events become successful, from WADE ASIA to INDIA INTERIOR RETAILING (IIR) to Surfaces Reporter, Furniture Design & Technology, and Ply Reporter, we can safely say, creating value for your audience will go a long way in creating value for your company.
- What’s New in your Well-Researched Content?
A common mistake people make is not researching enough. Not all researched content can take the place of a valuable offering. It needs peeling of layers after layers in understanding the market that reveals what people are seeking. Research on those finer points is essential and not scratching the surface.
- Moderation is the key
Speaker and Moderator selection matters a lot. Do not select someone just to oblige. Moderation acts as the funnel which connects the expertise of the speakers with the audience. A moderator should be aligned with the overall idea to do justice to the subject, speakers, and the expectation of the audience. S/he should be one who is adept at conducting webinars and not just to ask the questions.
- Work for Audience, not for applause
Ask yourself ‘why this webinar’ before creating it. 93% of webinars fail to deliver because their focus is not on the audience. A webinar is not about what you have to say. It is about what your audience wants to listen to. To be counted among the top event organizers with webinars for architecture, interior design, and building materials, we focused on the audience.
- Stick to your niche
A common between some of the best webinars I have attended is that they stick to their niche. It is believed that generally, 20-25% of the attendance can be attributed to the subject and speakers. Several organizers who thought big names alone will do the magic were perplexed by the outcome. 80% depends upon what your audience expects from you and how you have worked on the entire package. Those houses with a history of research-led content with their fingers on the pulse of the market, are undoubtedly the top winners.
- Do not request people to join, inform about your offerings
Any event cannot be successful if people are not interested in it. People will never queue to attend just because someone is organizing it. People attend events because they expect to get something out of it. I have received many invitations requesting to attend. I failed to understand why anyone would need to request. You need to inform about the event and more importantly, about the offerings for the audience. Be truthful in your sharing
Authored Article by Vertica Dvivedi – Director of Bigsea Marcom (I) Pvt Ltd.