Hacking your way to your first webinar

By Sam Javier

PRAXIS Associates PH Co. and Learning Synergies Inc. for the Help & Learn Series

Webinars have been around for quite some time now in the online space, but they were usually conducted by formal training companies and educational institutions. The lockdown of several countries due to COVID-19 has given birth to the release of an overabundance of content left and right, whether they are free or for a lowered fee. Companies that have not hosted a webinar before had to jump into the bandwagon to be able to connect with their own employees or with potential clients.

These seminars on the web (webinars) seem pretty straightforward from an audience viewpoint. You have a set of speakers on a particular topic and you have an audience from all over the world who can tune in to listen actively or passively. But there’s more to this than meets the eye. Based on our teams’ experience in conducting webinars during the time of pandemic, here are some life hacks we can share with you as you plan out and implement your own webinar from the comforts of your own homes:

On Online Learning

  • Choose a date and time that best fits your target audience. Online and face-to-face learning will never be the same. This gap has been heightened by the pandemic when people are thinking about the uncertainty of the future on top of other personal and work life matters. But this does not limit us in exploring ways by which we can make learning more fun and engaging despite physical distance and differences in time zones.
  • Keep in mind that webinars are not the same as your traditional classroom lectures. You are competing with the attention of your audience so make sure your speaker’s talking points are pretty straightforward and they come with visuals and other multimedia content such as audio effects that are dynamic enough to keep them glued on their seats and screens.
  • Make your talk succinct and relatable. The style of delivery varies from speaker to speaker. Some stick to the traditional lecture type of seminars but others use a storytelling format. Choosing a mode of delivery would depend highly on the learning objectives as well as the level of comfort of a certain speaker. As a speaker, make sure that you talk to your audience directly by breaking the fourth wall and by imagining that you have an actual audience in front of you.

On Marketing

  • Respect visual hierarchy. Since you are competing with a number of webinars and other live content online (e.g., concerts and movie premieres) that may fall on the exact date and time that you are planning to book, keep up with the competition by highlighting the most important details from the webinar, such as the topic, speakers, day, date, time, and time zone. You would not want your audience to miss your webinar just because the details in your promotional materials were not enough.
  • Monitor your performance. Set metrics such as audience reach and engagement like number of views, comments, reactions, and shares before the conduct of the webinar. This will help you evaluate how your team has fared in the implementation.
  • Engage potential participants on a real-time basis. Maximize the use of autoresponders in instant messaging applications or emails in case you do not have a 24/7 staff to do the customer relationship management for you.

On Technical Aspects of Actual Webinar

  • Choose a platform that best fits the functionality and learning environment that you’re trying to create. There are a number of webinar platforms available especially for one-to-many conferences. Some organizers maximize the use of free teleconferencing platforms that let many people interact with each other at the same time. Be extra careful in choosing which platform you would subscribe to as this would spell half of the entire audience experience your participants will have.
  • Capture all basic data that you might need from your target audience. Automate your registration forms using your preferred signup sheets, if these are not provided by your chosen platform. Make sure your forms are saved in a secured platform and that they respect data privacy laws in the country where you implement your webinar. To keep your audience in the loop for future activities, you may also ask for their consent to be included in future correspondence like newsletters.
  • Divide and conquer. While it is best to capture your target audience through various platforms like social networking sites and ticketing platforms, having a single source for all relevant information, say a webpage, and a single booking site (e.g., event) will lead your potential participants to the right information at the right time. This way, you have opened not only several doors but also all windows to a single room.

These are just some of the most important hacks that we have learned from our own experience in conducting webinars. You might have more to offer to new webinar organizers. Send us your thoughts at [email protected] or at [email protected]!

But wait, there’s more! We are giving away a quick guide to Zoom from the speaker’s point of view and a cheat sheet for you, new webinar organizers!  

Bonus: A Cheat Sheet for Webinar Organizers

Help & Learn now!

The Help & Learn Series runs from April 24 to May 31, 2020.

PRAXIS Associates and Learning Synergies are in full support of the Help & Learn program, a five-part webinar series, organized by the Vietnam-based technology company UpUp Technologies. Here are the next four webinar episodes for the month of May:

May 19, Recruitment and Jobhunting During and After COVID-19
May 21, Leadership in Times of Crisis
May 26, Mental Health and Employee Well-Being During and After COVID-19
May 28, The New Normal in Business Operations

This webinar series intends to gather HR leaders, business leaders and business owners in a two-hour interactive session to discuss the challenges and opportunities to organizations in the time of pandemic, such as managing employees remotely and recruitment styles.

Through the Help & Learn series, you will also be able to extend help for health care workers and vulnerable families in the Philippines aside from learning from industry leaders. Proceeds of the webinar will go to the Doctors to the Barrios COVID-19 response efforts in rural Philippines and to help/feed those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Registration fee starts at USD5.

About the Help & Learn Organizers

UpUp Technologies is a Vietnam-based technology company that creates meaningful engagements with professionals across Southeast Asia through events, online communities and technological breakthroughs like UpUp App.

UpUp App is an interactive project management and HR service that rewards employees for completing tasks and hitting KPIs. This gives the management team full visibility on productivity, allowing more time to focus on the business. When KPI’s or targets aren’t hit, the software will alert the management team and suggest creative ways to help the individual achieve those goals. High achievers will be incentivized through a well curated list of rewards based on personal preferences and driven by strong partnerships within food, retail or entertainment promotions. Learn more about UpUp App at upupapp.info

PRAXIS Associates PH Co., a trusted partner in the empowerment of organizations in Asia and the Pacific, was founded on the same idea that organizations must keep abreast with the changing times while developing their most important resource—their employees and partners.

They have worked together with organizations and companies from very diverse backgrounds and compositions. Since 2014, they have kept the promise that they will remain as their clients’ partners in hitting their short- to long-term goals for organizational development. While the solutions that may be offered come from a very wide spectrum of interventions, PRAXIS assists them in three main service groups: 1) Technical Consultancy; 2) Integrated Digital Marketing Communications; and 3) Technology Solutions. Learn more about PRAXIS at www.praxis.ph