Lessons Learned: Webinars and Virtual Events
It is no surprise that virtual events have become a vital part of this new digital era. With major events everywhere continuing to be cancelled, people are turning to the internet to stay connected.
One type of event, webinars, has especially gained traction and has even become a necessity to businesses across the globe creating a major question for those who choose to use them: How can I ensure success in a webinar?
To answer this question, we’ve asked MedTech Momentum’s own webinar master, Carolina Montes, VP of Creative Operations. Take a look as she shares the lessons she has learned while hosting webinars for clients from all over the globe.
The Webinar Experience
With pre-COVID experience hosting webinars, Carolina already had a great understanding of how webinars work before they became a major part of today’s market. During the pandemic, webinars became more popular and frequent which lead to her hosting over 75 webinars, bringing together more than 100 panelists and thousands of attendees from all over the world.
Favorite Part of Hosting Webinars
Webinars are all about connecting with one another, especially when you cannot meet in person. Carolina explains that her favorite part of hosting webinars was being able to “share a virtual moment” with people across the world.
“We are now part of a digital world and it is something completely normal to have a cup of coffee while sharing information with someone who is across the world in a completely different time zone. That virtual moment is something we would not have, had it not been for webinars,” says Mrs. Montes.
Along with the connectivity, she also enjoyed the ability to share knowledge with so many people. “Webinars have allowed professionals to educate one another and share vital information that is typically shared in traditional in-person events”.
Virtual vs. Traditional Events
The benefits of virtual events are endless, but they also have their limitations, just as traditional events do. For example, virtual events don’t require traveling and provide the user with all of the information of the event, product information, presenters, and exhibitors at the click of a button.
However, with traditional events, you can expect more engagement and interaction, downtime, promotional items, and of course, food! Nothing beats the experience of connecting and interacting with someone during a conference or in-person event, but in this new post-pandemic climate, there may not be as many of these options available. This is why Carolina believes that “in the future, virtual and traditional events will complement one another so that everyone is accommodated and gets the best experience possible”.
Most Difficult Part of Hosting a Webinar or Virtual Event
“The hardest part of hosting a webinar is the coordination of panelists, moderators, and hosts!” – Carolina Montes
The larger the webinar, the more coordination and planning required for the event, panelists, moderators, and host. This is especially important when each party is in a different location. It is crucial that everyone is on the same schedule and has the same level of understanding of not only the webinar platform, but also the event program and schedule. This is especially important in the MedTech Industry where doctors and experts are on tight schedules.
Advice for Future Webinar Hosts
According to Carolina, there are a few ways you can prepare yourself as a webinar host, to have a successful digital event:
- Plan in advance – Give yourself a minimum of 8 weeks to plan to ensure every detail is thought out including promotions, graphics, social media campaigns, programs, presentations, etc.
- Have a robust event program – The more information in your program the better. Break down the event with topics, presenter name, presentation times, polls, and premeditated questions to engage the audience.
- Keep everyone in the know – Ensure each panelist is on the same page and understands flow of the webinar. Consistently share updates via email and have a set space in an online excel spreadsheet or in a Smartsheet that is constantly updated that everyone is able to access.
- Have a strong internet connection – Having a strong ethernet connection for both the host and panelists is extremely important. Any interruption in internet connection can create an issue for the webinar.
- Own the platform – Make sure as a host or panelists, you understand all the features and settings of the conference platform you will be using. Every person should have a clear understanding of the features and settings, to ensure a smooth event.
- Think outside the box – It is important to never forget your audience. Even with a great presentation, people want to see people, so step outside of the box to make it a memorable experience for attendees. Be personable, tell a joke! Don’t be afraid to break the script every once in a while.
- Always attend the dry runs – Carolina’s biggest piece of advice for future hosts, “Always attend the dry runs. It increases your chances of a successful webinar immensely!”
Webinars have been used for many years but are now really gaining traction in every industry. Hosting a virtual event like a webinar can prove to be a major tool for your business. Take advantage of all the internet has to offer and utilize webinars to connect with your community, promote your business, network with other professionals, and build brand awareness.
Interested in learning more about how to run a successful webinar? Click here to discover the most essential technology you need to launch or participate in your next webinar like a total pro!