This is it. You are turning a leaf in your online or offline business and you are launching your first ever webinar. For all its cost-effective and popular glory, you realize that the webinar is the ‘it’ thing in today’s world of online business communication, marketing and even educational scene so you decide to jump right on board.

Almost everybody else is hosting webinars here and there so it must be fairly easy to do one yourself – so easy in fact you think you do not need not make enough preparations before your big day. So there you are, in front of your computer for your big webinar launch armed with very little preparation but expecting the biggest of returns. What happens eventually is beyond your wildest imagination, a webinar failure of epic proportions that is actually a time bomb just waiting to explode as soon as you thought you did not have to greatly prepare for your webinar launch.


Deadly Consequence No. 1: Your webinar is a ghost town

You say hello and only a few voices answered back, many of them you faintly recognize as belonging to your colleagues, friends and family. Surprise! Only a few showed up on your event and the realization that will be talking to an overwhelming number of empty seats dawns upon you.

No matter how great a speaker you are or how groundbreaking your ideas are, the fact remains that webinars are only good as far as you have an audience that really matters – and we are not talking about your few close colleagues whom you required to attend your launch. The true, if not the only, measure of the success of your webinar is how many people actually showed up to attend your webinar, otherwise everything will just go to waste.

Announcing your webinar to as many people as possible through a variety of online platforms from email to social media tools to your very own website landing page is the first step to actually achieving successful results for your webinar. Preparing for your webinar by undertaking a massive campaign to advertise your webinar well in advance, typically at least 2 weeks before, and to get people to register and actually attend your webinar will make you say goodbye to launching your webinar in a virtual ghost town.


Deadly Consequence No. 2: Death by webinar

So, people actually showed up on your webinar even if you were actually ill-prepared for your event yet you face your audience totally oblivious to the interests and character of your expected audience. You embark on an unending monologue whose main feature is you and you alone.

No images to entice your audience, no diagrams to help them understand complex concepts, not even a tiny room to engage audience questions and insights. Your presentation will leave your audience in a state of death by webinar simply because you failed to prepare according to your audience’s interests and general characteristics.

What? You did not do your homework by researching the topics that are of great interest to your expected audience? You did not know that the average person these days is more visual and only has an 8-second attention span?

Not knowing this key data will likely lead you to doing a drab and boring webinar that will most likely leave your audience to suffocate with either information underload or overload – whichever way you suffocate them, they will surely hit the exit button and leave your webinar way before you realize what has happened.

To avoid this deadly consequence, choose the topic of your webinar carefully with the full knowledge of what interests your target audience, and what problems they need to solve and carefully plan out the flow of your webinar to incorporate a visual storytelling mode that will engage your audience, and make your presentation as interesting and interactive as possible so that you are able to hook them even after you have answered your questions and discussed clarifications.


Deadly Consequence No. 3: Detonating the technical bomb

Expect the worst even if you have given it your best shot. This is something you need to bear in mind especially in an online environment. You may have prepared well for both the content and form of your presentation, but success may still slip through your fingers, if you fail to deliver your message because you got disconnected from your audience – and by disconnected we mean technical glitches, like audio and video.

Such potential technical problems could be anywhere from a murmuring hiccup to a catastrophic roar, from a temporary disconnection with your audience to something that would really cut you off from them. Make sure that you do a run-through of the technical elements of your webinar, including testing all equipment, software and the internet connection you will be using so you have ample time to resolve technical issues and minimize your chances of detonating the technical bomb on the day of your event.


Deadly Consequence No. 4: Murdered resources

The appeal of webinars in almost every field lies in its proven cost-effectiveness, which allow organizations to minimize travel costs and mounting expensive product launches and other events. Be reminded that the operative term here is minimize, as you can be sure that hosting webinars still entail organizational resources spent on registering for webinar platforms (although you could also lay your hands on some free or trial use policies offered in the market), upgrading equipment and internet subscription programs to allow for a seamless usability of webinar technology, and forming a team to mount a webinar.

Costs are still kept to a minimum compared to traditional modes of doing live seminars, but doing a webinar still incurs financial and human resources that will be wasted and murdered if the team tasked to carry out such an important undertaking is ill-prepared for it. It is best to cover all possible preparatory steps from the webinar content all the way to ensuring a good showing of webinar attendees to actualize the cost-effectiveness and other potential benefits of webinars to your organization.


Deadly Consequence No. 5: No chance to resurrect the dead

We do not mean to scare you away from reaping the proven benefits of launching a webinar, but we have come to the bottom of the failure trap of an ill-prepared webinar launch: A webinar that screams unprepared and leaves the impression of being a waste of time will drive away your audiences and your potential market. And, this can have consequences long down the road when you brand’s reputation is at stake.

We all know how cutthroat today’s business environment could be and many companies that have died in the eyes of their market have also taken the bitter pill that the dead almost always cannot be resurrected. Keep in mind that your webinar launch is indeed a new leaf in your organization’s history and in history, something that has happened can never be undone.


In Summary

Ill-prepared webinars are a potentially serious blow, but preparing well for your webinar launch is not something that cannot be done. In the end, it’s a lot easier to prepare for battle and protect yourself from a blow than deal with the deadly consequences of being unprepared for a webinar launch.

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Posted by Agnes Jozwiak

Agnes is the Brand & Communication Director at ClickMeeting.

Time to move your events online. Do it with ClickMeeting


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