What Is a Webinar and How Does It Work
Webinar, webinar software, live webinar, web seminar, virtual event, video conferencing... You've definitely come across these words before in your life. But since clicked on this article and got here, you probably want to find out what all these words actually mean and how all of this works.
Well, if that's the case, you couldn't end up at a better address.
Nowadays, webinars play a significant role in businesses as they often work as lead magnets, brand loyalty enhancers and awesome profit drivers. They can allow you to stay connected with your customers, launch a product in a creative way or even conduct paid online courses from the comfort of your house.
If this sounds like something interesting for yourself or your company, it's probably high time that you learned a little bit more about the magic of webinars - all so that you can jump on the train as soon as possible too!
In this article, we'll talk about everything webinar and webinar software-related. It's time for you to relax, sit back and get ready for an awesome dose of insightful knowledge!
What is a webinar?
Let's get our basics covered first. We can't talk about how webinars work if you don't get a proper grasp of what this term itself means for a start.
A webinar is an interactive, visually stimulating, engaging, and rich in data experience. It can be seen as an online presentation or seminar that provides both hosts and webinar attendees, also called webinar participants, with information in a way that is exciting, engaging and convenient. The word 'webinar' itself is a rather loose term and can also be understood as an online seminar, a virtual event, video conferences, multimedia online content and more.
Such online events, whether live or pre-recorded, have a high potential to create human connections on and about a significant subject, regardless of the location of the parties involved. They are also excellent for sharing knowledge, showcasing video presentations, screen sharing updates and ideas, conducting training sessions and providing other, various sorts of content - whether business-related or not.
And the best thing? It all can be done in the form of a completely virtual event - from the comfort of your house.
Webinars have immense potential in the digitized world we live in today, which is still undervalued by many people. You don't have to make this mistake though and you can start enjoying the perks stemming from online webinars today.
They can be used for different purposes and in all sorts of industries. In fact, there are no limits. Whether it's e-Learning, business meetings, lectures, conferences, online training and counseling, building relationships, building brands or demonstrating how a product works - a live webinar will make your job easier, more engaging and much more scalable in the long run.
The list of purposes is pretty much endless.
Essentially, most webinars allow you to hold interactions or presentations with the lack of necessity to meet your target audience physically being one of the core fundamentals and benefits. That's, of course, not everything. To find out more about webinars, keep reading. Things are about to get more interesting!
How does a webinar work?
In this part of the article, we'll tell you a little bit more about how, in fact, webinars work. At first sight, the process may seem quite complicated and challenging to manage on your own. But don't you worry, it's actually much easier than it seems and we're sure you will be able to master your webinar skills in no time.
Add to it a great and reliable webinar software to operate on and you won't have even think about any potential competitors - you'll be simply the best!
#1 Find a reliable webinar solution
If you want to host a webinar yourself, the very first thing that you have to do is to schedule a proper webinar event.
Before you get there, though, there's something else you need to take care of! Ideally, you should start with finding your one and only, the very best webinar software. The process of searching can be long and daunting, but it's definitely worth it.
Things to consider when picking your favorite webinar software include aspects like pricing, the variety of features, possible integrations, voice and video quality, and of course customer reviews - to name a few.
Once you've done some research and said yes to that one webinar software provider, it's the right time to get down to business!
#2 Schedule your webinar
Start with creating an account on your webinar platform of your choice, such as LiveWebinar - a highly recommended webinar software - and use the webinar software dashboard to set the event's date, time and duration. We'll cover more on this later on in the article.
Depending on the platform you choose, your audience can attend webinars in at least two ways.
The first way is joining by downloading a small application when they register for one of your webinars. The second way is considered easier and more direct and involves inviting participants to join your online seminar via a link that is sent to their email - days or sometimes even weeks before the webinar begins (that's totally customizable and up to you, of course).
#3 Master your webinar content plan
When this is ready and set, the very next step is probably the biggest and most challenging one: creating the right webinar content for your participants. They need to see the benefit of joining and dedicating their precious time to your webinars in the first place.
How to convince them you're not only worth their time but that they will also be eager to come back? We know the secret!
Your content must be relevant, fun and engaging to your target market - whether it's the live audience or just people dedicating their time to your evergreen, on-demand webinars.
Some factors and aspects to take into consideration when preparing your perfect plan to absolutely nail your live webinars, as well as those pre-recorded ones include:
staying focused on what your participants will expect to hear from you and then delivering it
aiming to provide valuable content that is unique from the competitors, at the same time providing your participants with something they won't get anywhere else
looking out for fun and engaging features to implement to your webinars, like polls, surveys, open chat boxes and Call To Actions buttons (linking to your website or newsletter signup forms, for example)
considering reaching out for help from other, experienced with webinars individuals to ensure maximum satisfaction and no issues before, during and after the webinar - note: a good and reliable webinar software provider will offer extra help, guidelines and ongoing technical support - do look out for it!
making sure the webinar is well promoted, using appropriate webinar marketing strategies, for example, invite e-mails, social media announcements and maybe even some offline marketing like word of mouth, flyers and radio
thinking of letting your audience steer the wheels for a little bit and allowing them to submit questions they would like you to answer during your live webinar, give some video content wishes or suggest some cool live streaming opportunities - such tips are usually free, come straight from the people you aim to impress the most and, the best thing, in the long can help you a lot with building a strong and loyal webinar attendee list.
You should also try to think about what your goal with your webinars actually is. Are those educational webinars? Maybe some other type? Do you wish to earn money with your webinars, or are you just planning on doing them for fun?
Well, no matter the goal, whether you're focused on lead generation, attracting potential customers, or simply sharing your affiliate marketing knowledge with a wider audience, you need to plan in advance. Now, we can't stress enough how important it is to plan your webinars way ahead. Benjamin Franklin didn't say 'failing to prepare is preparing to fail' for no reason, after all.
Make sure you keep this in mind!
#4 Time for launch!
After you have done mastered and planned your perfect webinar content plan, it's time to finally share everything you've put together (with hard work we hope) and host your webinar in front of tens, hundreds or maybe even thousands of attendees!
Now, you may be thinking 'how do I make my webinars effective and my webinar attendees satisfied and, most importantly, willing to come back?'. Well, everything depends on how you deliver your content.
Probably one of the most important aspects is ensuring that you launch your webinars at the right time (as long as they're alive). The last thing you want to do is have your webinar at a time when your audience is busy. After all, your goal is to attract as many people as possible, so you absolutely must find out the best time to get your attendees' time. For some more insightful guidance on the perfect time for your webinars and more, make sure you check this article out.
Another important aspect, next to the right timing, is communication. During live webinars, communication is all about you (the host) talking to your webinar attendees while sitting in front of a computer, a tablet, or even a smartphone if you wish.
To make that communication smooth, interesting and engaging, you're going to have to use so-called interactive tools. Keep reading to find out how helpful they can be in ensuring that there are no better webinars than yours!
The magic of interactive tools
The magic of interactive tools is often undervalued. Interactive tools are tools such as polls, tests, whiteboards, Call To Action buttons, multimedia content and breakout rooms that are used to show visual media to your participants before, during or after your webinar - all of that in a highly interesting and engaging manner.
The participants of the webinar watch, listen and communicate via chats or discussions on the forum. Attendees are also allowed to speak when necessary by expressing their interest to do so by raising their hands - of course, virtually, as opposed to a traditional meeting.
As always, there might be some distractions as the presentation is happening, but a good moderator will be able to handle them for you quickly and effectively.
You can also give your attendees a chance to exchange questions and answers between them at the end of the webinar. Another cool feature to consider implementing is using recordings of your webinar events so that they're available to participants who could not attend the event at a given time.
Using all of these engagement features has multiple benefits.
First of all, you become more than a video with some voice attached to it. You give people a chance to have fun with your content and engage with it on a deeper level, at the same time portraying yourself as a valuable and interesting source of information in your audience's minds.
Second of all, given your audience is happy with the tool, they'll be more convinced to come back to your future webinars and maybe even generate leads for you that, in the future, will turn into new customers. When new users see that you offer various interesting features, they will instantly love it and become new leads with potential.
Now, that's a great way to make money with your webinars, isn't it?
Again, if you wish to learn more about this topic, here's a great article on how to make your webinars more interactive. Do check it out if you really wish to take your webinars to the next level!
What tools do you need to host webinars?
Most webinars are powered by various tools, pieces of software, equipment and more. If you're curious to know what you're going to need to host your very first webinar, we've prepared a short but helpful checklist of your top webinar essentials:
A reliable webinar solution is an absolute must-have. Without it, where are you going to host your webinars? Your perfect webinar software could either be free or paid. Both these options have pros and cons, of course.
Free solutions are well, free, allowing you to save money, but they also often lack essential features. Paid platforms, on the other hand, offer many more features than the free versions and don't actually have to cost a fortune!
Which one will you choose?
Camera and a microphone
A good camera, as well as a fully operational microphone, will allow your members to see and hear you well. It's important to have them ready for a few reasons.
Firstly, when you show your face, you automatically become more genuine and people will most likely trust you more. Your brand gets more authenticity and you're more than some voice behind a black screen.
When it comes to having a good microphone, things are quite simple here. You need it to work properly so that people can hear you. The last thing that you need during your webinar is glitching and constantly breaking voice connection. This can not only irritate your viewers, but also put them off for good!
Internet Connection: Since this is an online event, a great Wi-Fi connection is probably the most critical requirement of a webinar. Poor internet connection will frustrate you, and all the participants in the webinar.
Types of Webinars
These kinds of webinars are used to teach participants something. The aim is to add value by imparting some knowledge using visual aids such as pictures, charts, and videos which will help keep your audience learning and engaged.
Panel Webinars: This kind of webinar is a means of connecting with other professionals in a subject area. The idea of this kind of webinar is to get well-informed people to discuss a current trend or issue.
Interview Webinars: This is much like the interviews you see on TV. The difference is that not many presentations, if any, are required. The idea is to let the knowledgeable interviewee have a go at a subject they are familiar with.
Q&A Webinars: You will need a moderator to regulate and record the influx of questions. In Q&A webinars, direct interaction between the hosts and participants is critical. It requires the host to answer questions being asked as fast as possible.
Keynote Webinars: This type of webinar consists of a speaker making a presentation to an audience of participants.
Webinars – a Mini FAQ
For people who have never been part of a webinar or hosted one, there still can be plenty of questions on their minds around the topic of webinars, online seminars, starting their own webinar sessions, working out pre-recorded webinar presentations and many, many more.
We’ll do our best to answer the most common questions asked by people here so that you know where you stand at:
Where are webinars held?
Webinars are virtual events, so the content of the webinar is delivered directly to your computer straight from some type of webinar room. Webinars can be held wherever there is a computer with internet access: your office, at home, or while traveling.
How do I participate in a webinar?
All you need to do to participate in a webinar is to simply register on a webinar platform. You will get an email or some type of invite link with the information required to register for the webinar.
You should use the information accordingly and then you are ready to join your very first webinar! Sometimes, you may be even able to join webinars through social media platforms, as some webinar software providers do often integrations with platforms like Facebook.
How do I ask questions of presenters during a webinar?
You could ask questions using the chat feature that’s available in the webinar's interface. Just type your question during the webinar, and the moderator can (but doesn't have to) forward it to the presenter(s) to respond. You could also raise your hand and ask to be allowed to speak, and then you could ask your question using your voice.
How much participation is required from me?
This is completely up to you: you can just be a passive or active listener, you can ask questions, just watch, discuss the webinar with other participants in the chatbox and more.
Will other people be aware that I am attending?
This depends on the webinar's settings. The moderator is the only person who will know if you are in attendance, unless the host chooses to have the list of participants visible.
Can the speaker see you in a webinar?
No, they can't. The only exception is if they invite you to get on camera side-by-side with them, or if the host asks you to turn on your webcam.
What do I need to participate in a webinar?
Cameras, microphone, connection to the internet and a device (a computer, a tablet or a smartphone). That's pretty much it and you're all set!
To Sum Up: How to Participate in a Webinar
Join the webinar:
Follow the link or e-mail invitation received from the webinar organizer. You want to do this a few minutes before the scheduled time to make sure you're early in advance in case of any communication issues, as well as
Follow the instructions provided in the link. Fill in the required fields with the required information like name, surname, e-mail address and telephone number, and complete the registration process. Webinar registration is usually simple, so don't worry about it in advance.
Also, all webinar hosts have to do it, so make sure you don't ignore this step!
Once you've completed your registration process, you then log in after filling in all the required information to log in and enter your account. That's all required setup-wise.
Avoid distractions. Close all tabs in your browser and block certain ones where necessary. Try to eliminate all the background noise and sit in a quiet, comfortable place. The aim is for you to focus on the event fully so that you can enjoy and take advantage of every single second of it - after all, it's there for you to benefit from!
Also, make sure you don't disturb other people with your webinars. Remember that comfort works both ways and no one wants to be disturbed by your own business.
Here's where you speak up when you have something to stay that is relevant to the webinar event. After logging into the webinar, you will find two buttons on the left part of the window – Ask a question and Ask to speak. Use them as the situation demands, for example when you'd like to ask for some screen sharing. There is a chat field to your right as well to use when you wish to. Use the chatbox to communicate with the presenter and other participants.
Discuss any ideas you have with co-participants as they might offer some valuable insights and get inspired by you. Remember to be respectful and courteous in the event if there are differences in opinions. It's all about having a good and enjoyable time!
Webinars are essential in today's world, there's no doubt regarding this. This is because a remote approach to business, learning, and marketing (among other areas) appears to be exactly what is necessary in our current world, which is highly digitalized and full of constantly developing intelligent technologies. Therefore, you can't miss out on the potential that webinars offer you and your company.
In case you are wondering how to start as soon as possible to master your webinar work, you can easily hold a webinar event by creating an account with LiveWebinar - one of the most reliable webinar platforms out there. With this unique platform, you can host events of up to 1500 participants at a time and provide your organization with the customizable webinar software. Prepare for a great adventure and give your company a totally different meaning today!
Guides, tips, tricks, insightful pieces of advice and more are waiting for you at LiveWebinar, so don't waste your time. Free webinars, on-demand webinars, presentation slides, live audience, presenter video capabilities, multimedia content, high-quality leads for saas companies and more - all of this is possible with LiveWebinar.
We hope you enjoyed this contentful piece of article. If you're interested in the topic of webinars, feel free to take some time and go through our blog section that we're constantly working on to provide our users with top quality. We touch upon topics and issues like effective customer service, webinar integrations, webinar marketing, hybrid learning challenges and education, webinar software comparisons and many, many more!
Grab a cup of favorite coffee or tea and dive into interesting pieces that will turn you into a true webinar professional in no time.
If you need us to answer questions we might've missed in this article, you know where to find us. Start creating webinars to gain real, actual customers and meet your business goals like a pro now!
Happily combines a love of writing and new technology as a copywriter, and enjoys the puzzle of putting together a good article. In her spare time she likes to catch up on the latest, greatest books, bake chocolate chip cookies and ponder her next travel destination.More posts