The first time I hosted a webinar I was extremely nervous. It was the enormity and the responsibility of it all. I thought of all the things that could go wrong, as well as all the minor glitches, the mix-ups, the misunderstanding, the unexplained pauses, the communications failures, the outages and network snafus.
I was sweating about the possibility that scores of participants might complain about any aspect of the webinar. I worried about anything and everything.
I felt as if the attention of hundreds of people, who were giving up their time for the experience, was concentrated on me. Even my experience in managing corporate events did not make me feel any more comfortable. This was on a different level, a totally new experience for me.
I remember I was sitting alone in my office in Switzerland waiting for the webinar speaker and the “producer” – my technical support. The fact that the speaker was sitting in New York and my producer was supposed to join from California sounded cool but what if they were late or had a technical issue?
We sent out a couple of thousand email invitations. Attendees started to log-in to the event. It was the moment of truth when all could go wrong. But my fears were groundless.
The speaker and the technical support were there on time, the slides were working fine, the videos played without any problems and we had great live feedback from the audience during the webinar.
Since this first event I have hosted dozens of webinars in many different languages for a diverse audience all across Europe and I have become a huge fan of them. Webinars are a great tool to engage with your audience. Let me tell you why I think so:
- Webinars help you strengthen existing relationships and each webinar you do creates new contacts, a great way to build your email list.
- Webinars with powerful and interactive presentations increase brand awareness and can significantly improve your reputation.
- Webinars help you establish yourself as an authority in your field and increase your credibility
- Webinars are a great tool for interacting live with your audience and getting instant and valuable feedback.
- A webinar organized well and with good feedback can give you a flying start and enhance your confidence for the next one!
- Webinars are a cost effective and convenient communications channel. It’s not worth flying in experts and paying for their hotels and catering. Get them to join remotely just as your audience can join remotely from their offices, their home or even on the move from their mobiles.
Creating and running live webinars is one to the best things I’ve done in the last few years to improve the relationships with international influencers and thought leaders, customers and industry peers.
It’s a very powerful tool and it’s worth trying it out. Why don’t you give it a go?