How to Create and Host a Webinar
Ace your next online webinar with these best practices.
Watch how to schedule and host a webinar
Online webinars make communication with prospects, employees, partners and customers easy and efficient. Webinars are online events that combine HD video, integrated audio, live polls and more to engage audiences from anywhere. You can give presentations, perform product demonstrations and deliver world-wide messages to thousands of people at a time. And if you create webinar content that is informative and memorable, you’ll get great results. Follow the best practices below on how to create a webinar to resonate with your audience.
How to create great webinars, step-by-step
If you’re ready to start your first webinar then follow these steps to make sure everything is prepped to go without a hitch.
Schedule your webinar for a time that works well for attendees in different time zones. We recommend Thursdays at 12:00pm PST/ 3:00pm EST.
Step 2. Choose your webinar topic.
Make sure the topic will inform and motivate attendees. If the subject matter calls for it, guest speakers are always great.
Step 3. Customize your branding.
Choose a theme for your webinar, pick a relevant image for your landing page and add your logo to make sure the design reflects your brand.
Step 4. Create a hashtag for your webinar.
Successful webinars require promotion. Creating a hashtag is a great start, and it gives people an easy way to talk about it on social media.
Step 5. Send out your webinar invitations.
This is when you should really publicize the event. Send the invite to your email list. Post about it on your website or blog. Use the hashtag on social media. Get creative and you’ll get more people to attend.
Take care with the content you’ll present during the webinar. Engaging slides, polls and handouts will make a big difference.
Step 7. Do a practice run.
Get your speakers comfortable with the webinar controls and make sure things go smoothly by doing a test run using the webinar software or tool beforehand
Step 8. Host your webinar.
The day’s arrived. This is when your preparation pays off. Don’t forget to record your webinar as well in order to upload it to a video-sharing platform or your website later!
Step 9. Follow up.
Check up on your attendees shortly after the webinar, preferably within 24 hours. Ask whether there are any more questions or requests.
Step 10. Make your webinar recording available.
A recorded webinar is a great way to keep generating leads long after you’ve finished hosting. Publishing the recording can broaden your reach and attract extra interest for the product, service or information you offer.
What are the benefits of hosting a webinar?
Knowing how to do a webinar is one thing, and knowing why you should is another.
Reach and qualify more prospects, more often.
Build greater brand awareness.
Present to more people in less time.
Conduct cost-effective employee meetings.
Reach and qualify more prospects, more often.
Engage audiences with HD video.
Expand reach with reusable content.
Streamline your marketing processes.
Easy, engaging webinars with GoToWebinar
GoToWebinar offers a full suite of webinar features to ensure that you get the most out of your webinars.
Create custom email invitations, confirmations and reminders – or let GoToWebinar handle it with automated email templates.
Display your company logo and upload a custom image on all webinar materials to reinforce and promote your business brand.
Create up to 20 polls before the session or on the fly. Add up to 20 questions to a survey and engage your participants with Q&A.
Videos and handouts
Show high-quality videos and share valuable content to build excitement and keep your brand top of mind.
Reporting and analytics
Get the data you need to identify qualified leads and track which channels drive the most registrations.
How to create a webinar in GoToWebinar
If you’re ready to begin, follow these steps to schedule your first online event in GoToWebinar.
1. Sign in to GoToWebinar. Don’t have an account? Start a free trial.
2. Click the Schedule a Webinar button.
3. Specify the details of your webinar. This includes the title and description of the webinar as well as the session type, date, time and time zone.
4. Click Schedule when you’re finished.
5. On the Manage Webinar page, customize your webinar settings by clicking edit next to the section you’d like to change.
6. Set up reminder emails by clicking edit right beside the Reminder Email setting.
Final tips for running a webinar
Sometimes the unexpected can happen, even when you know the ins and outs of how to conduct a webinar. While you can’t always be fully prepared, here are several tips that will not only help your webinar be successful but make it engaging and informative for everyone.
Promote your webinar early and often.
Add presenter bios to the registration page.
Create polls to get attendees involved.
Connect to the Internet by cable.
Scheduling pre-recorded webinars
Once you know how to set up a live webinar, take advantage of other useful features in GoToWebinar like Simulated Live.
Reuse your recordings.
Get answers to all of your webinar questions.
- How long should a webinar be?
While there are no specifications for how long a webinar should be, most webinars are around 30 minutes to one hour long. The best webinars include time to interact with attendees via surveys or a question and answer session. If webinars are used for training purposes, they may last longer than an hour. The key is to engage and interact with your audience, regardless of the length of the webinar.
- How do I record a webinar?
To record a webinar with GoToWebinar, simply hit the Start Recording button on your organizer control panel. If you want, you can also customize your recording settings beforehand by selecting View and then Recording. This will open up your recording pane where you can . click Settings and adjust your audio and video options. Be sure to save your settings! Step by Step detail can be found here.
- What equipment do I need to run a webinar?
In order to hold an effective webinar, you’ll want the following equipment:
- A device that can connect to the internet. A laptop, desktop or tablet will work.
- Audio input (a headset is best, but your device’s built-in microphone will also work)
- Webcam (if you’d like to do a video broadcast)
- What is GoToWebinar?
GoToWebinar is an easy-to-use solution that enables businesses and sole proprietors to easily host webinars. GoToWebinar has a number of use cases and innovative features that enable rich and engaging webinars for connecting customers to brands.
- How much does a webinar cost?
The cost of a webinar is minimal. With Wi-Fi now available in almost all parts of the world, webinar attendees can connect with little to no cost. The main expense for a webinar host is the purchase of a webinar solution and any necessary hardware. That said, many effective webinars can be held using existing computer or laptop hardware. Find our more about pricing and plans on GoToWebinar pricing page