The Express Blog

9 common webinar mistakes to avoid (for your best virtual event ever)

Webinars have exploded in popularity in the last few years—and it’s easy to see why. They provide many wonderful benefits to an organisation, from lead generation to building authority, broadening audience reach, and streamlining the cost of holding physical events.

But that doesn’t mean that every webinar is going to be a success. In our work helping countless Australian businesses host their own successful webinars, we’ve witnessed the many common mistakes people make when they try and host their own.

To help you avoid these pitfalls, we’ve put together our expert knowledge of the 9 most common webinar mistakes you should avoid so that you can host your best virtual event ever.

1. Event registration is too complicated

Attracting and capturing a relevant audience is key to the success of your webinar. If you grab their attention through a great promotion program, how can you make sure you capture them on the registration page?

One common mistake that we see many organisations make is creating an event registration page that is too long and complicated, hasn’t been optimised, and doesn’t pre-qualify prospective attendees.

Remember, people have short attention spans and don’t like filling out forms. So to capture the biggest audience possible, keep your registration page as short as possible. You only want to capture basic information like name, email address, and one qualifying question such as their workplace or industry. Especially if your webinar is a hybrid event (both physical and virtual attendees) it’s best practice to work with a webinar provider who can manage the registration process for you.

2. Leaving too little time for promotion

Too many businesses leave their promotional activity to the last week before their event. This is a big mistake. The longer that you promote your event, the more potential attendees you can reach. Ideally, start promoting your event as soon as your speakers are locked in—or at least 3-4 weeks before your start date. Use a combination of email marketing, social media, and display advertising for the best results.

3. Going in for the sale too aggressively

Webinars are wonderful marketing tools because they provide your audience with value in exchange for their time. They’re not tuning into your webinar to be sold to. We’ve witnessed too many well-meaning webinar presenters deliver great content, only to finish the event with a long sales pitch. Your webinar is there to help, not sell. Get this right and your audience will remember and reward you for it.

4. Not recording the webinar

Live webinars are fantastic for creating engagement and making a connection with your audience—but that doesn’t mean that your audience shouldn’t have the option for on-demand content available to them. One big mistake we see organisations make is failing to include on-demand content in their strategy, meaning they lose out on all the leads that couldn’t attend the live webinar. 

A good webinar provider will record and transcribe your session for you to be used for an on-demand audience, or spliced up for future marketing assets.

5. The webinar is visually boring

When an audience is tuning in online, you do have to find more creative ways to hold their attention. A common webinar mistake we see is when presenters focus too much on creating great spoken content but don’t have engaging visual aids to help maintain audience focus. 

This doesn’t mean having a huge slide deck with thousands of dot points. Choose visuals that show, instead of telling your story. Think bright graphics, short videos, and even humorous images all help grab the attention of the audience and better digest your message.

6. Leaving your audience out of the conversation

Don’t leave your audience out of the conversation. This is a big mistake that we see in organisations that choose to use generic video conferencing tools to host their webinar rather than a professional webinar platform. 

Audiences are done with static webinars that don’t engage with them. Choose a webinar provider who can facilitate conversation between the speakers as well as each other. Look for features such as moderated Q&A sessions, live chat, and live polling.

7. Sessions are too long

There’s nothing more off-putting for an audience than webinar sessions that go for too long or listening to speakers who drone on and stray off-topic. 

If you have lots of great speakers or content to talk about, consider breaking up your webinar into smaller episodes to create a webinar series. Webinar series are great marketing tools because you’re creating more opportunities to attract an audience. And if they keep coming back to tune into your next episode, you’ll build a great relationship between them and your organisation.

8. Failing to follow up the right leads

Too many organisations make the mistake of failing to look for data and audience insights that will help them follow up with the right leads. Not every lead should receive the same generic follow-up from you. You want to know who registered but never showed up, who dropped off your webinar and at what point, who was engaged and interacting, and so on. These insights will help you design customised post-event nurture programs that will help turn these leads into paying customers.

Look for a quality webinar provider that will supply you with audience data and insights after your webinar is finished. 

9. Not using the right webinar software

At the end of the day, the webinar software that you use is enough to make or break the success of your webinar. We see too many businesses make the mistake of thinking they’ll cut corners by using a generic video conferencing tool, only to be left with poor audio-visual quality, a registration process that’s a complete mess, no analytical data to help them convert leads and a boring, static presentation that doesn’t engage their target audience.


The takeaway

At Express Virtual Meetings, we’ve studied the mistakes that thousands of webinar users have made to create a webinar platform and service that overcomes them. 

Our managed webinar service is the ultimate foolproof answer. From incredible engagement features such as Q&A sessions, live chat, and polling, to the highest quality audio-visuals, stress-free managed registrations, data security, and a team of experts working behind the scenes to keep your event running smoothly at all times. 

Don’t let your webinar go to waste by making any of the common mistakes above. Contact the team at Express Virtual Meetings to book an obligation-free demo with our team or call 1300 849 300 between 6 am and 9 pm Monday to Friday (excluding Australian national public holidays) to discover how you can deliver a professional, engaging, and secure webinar that's easy, stress-free, and managed for you.

 

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