Conducting webinars are done for a number of reasons. The company hosting a self-managed webinar or even using a managed webinar service may either want to raise brand awareness, inform customers of its new products and services, generate new leads and retain current customers, be established as a thought leader in that area, or a combination of all. Webinars are effective business development strategic tools.
The success of a webinar largely depends on the skills, preparedness, and attentiveness of the host. They are given the biggest responsibility among anyone else involved with the webinar. However, it is easy to overlook other measures that participants can do on their end to make their experience as enriching as possible.
There are a number of guidelines and reminders for hosts to practice and abide by to ensure a successful event, but attendees can also do a few things to better utilize the event for themselves.
Essential things you should keep in mind as a webinar participant:
Make sure that you have a stable internet connection before attending the webinar to avoid missing important portions of the event because of avoidable connection issues. It is disrupting to ask the host to repeat whatever it is you missed because of an unstable connection.
Log in early
Set your calendar reminder to go off 5-10 minutes earlier than the scheduled event so you can log in and test the given link ahead of time and check if there’s a need for you to download or install any kind of software. Other than that, there are instances wherein you’ll be prompted to update Flash or other already existing applications to aid the webinar.
Put the phone on mute when necessary
If the host opens the computer or phone lines to let attendees participate, remember to keep your phone muted unless there’s a need for you to speak. This is to prevent unwanted background noise from distracting the host and the other participants on the call.
Be an active participant
Don’t hesitate to respond to the host’s questions or your co-participants’ comments and suggestions. Feel free to share your inputs and answer polls because this gives the host an idea of which sub-topics you are also interested in so that the host can include that in the discussion as well.
While it is encouraged to actively participate in a webinar, you are supposed to only ask and share topic-related information. Wait for your turn to ask a question and never openly disregard another participant’s input just because you don’t share the same sentiment. Avoid advertising any personal product or service during the webinar, especially if it’s directly in competition with the host’s business.
The main reason why you attend a webinar is to learn about a new product or service or get a better understanding of the business hosting it. Taking down notes will help you remember key points from the webinar which you think will be the most beneficial to you.
Let the host get an understanding from an audience’s perspective by providing feedback on how the webinar turned out. Help them improve by suggesting things that you think they can work on to improve future webinars. You can also cite other topics that you’d look forward to being discussed next.