Webinars with a difference: top tips on making and hosting a great webinar

As a result of Covid-19, companies across the country are having to adapt and take steps to move their business and events online. With webinars becoming commonplace across a number of industries, account executive – and producer and presenter of CC Live – Danielle Hall shares her top tips on how to take yours to the next level.

The world is moving online

Since Boris Johnson announced a nationwide lockdown on 23 March, millions of UK workers have been forced to work from home, events have been cancelled and a huge transition has been made by the whole country in an incredibly short space of time.

Naturally, it didn’t take long for companies to start looking into alternative ways to keep their audiences engaged and host the events that otherwise wouldn’t be feasible in the current pandemic.

With online video conferencing platforms such as Zoom, WebinarJam and GoToWebinar, the internet has become saturated with webinars from a range of different industries and sectors. Therefore, it couldn’t be more important to make sure that what you’re offering sets you apart from the competition. and

The Cartwright approach: creating “webisodes” not webinars

Like everyone, we noticed a rise in the number of webinars that suffered from “death by PowerPoint”. Where the whole webinar was simply a speaker running through slides with the possibility of a Q&A at the end.

At Cartwright, we decided we wanted to do something fresh, different and bespoke, so we created CC Live. A series of “webisodes”, not webinars, designed to help everyone stay connected by hosting conversations with industry leaders from a variety of sectors, as everyone works through the coronavirus pandemic and beyond.

By utlising a combination of pre-recorded and live content, we’ve been able to transform a webinar platform into what is essentially a fortnightly online television programme, covering different topics each time.

You can have a watch of episode one here, or view the preview below:

Our first webisode had over 100 registrants with 87% attending the live broadcast. That’s a significantly higher attendance level than webinars from an established networking brand. This is a testament to the fact that, by putting a slightly different twist on an existing format, you can open the doors of your business to a wide audience of existing and new customers.

We’ve put together our top tips and tricks to help you create amazing virtual events and episodes like CC Live.

Plan out your webinar

You want the finished product to look slick, polished and professional, so give yourself plenty of time to be able to achieve this. Plan out your webinar by creating a running order and then expand on this as ideas begin to take shape.

Keep it short and snappy

Maintaining your audience’s attention from start to finish is key to the success of a webinar. You don’t want to lose viewers by hosting an event that’s hours long by drawing out content. At Cartwright, we’ve limited our webisodes to a maximum of 45 minutes – made up of approximately 50% live and 50% pre-recorded content. By being succinct you’re still able to get your message across and minimise the risk of your viewers switching off.

Make sure it looks and sounds as good as possible

There’s no point having incredibly interesting content and speakers, if your webinar looks and sounds average. By following a few simple steps you’ll be able to take your offering from average to excellent.

Include your audience

For CC Live, we use Zoom which has a fantastic Q&A function where attendees can type questions for the host and panellist to answer. There’s also the capacity to “up-vote” other people’s questions so, as the host, you can see which questions are proving the most popular with your audience and answer them accordingly.

This is the perfect way to make your audience feel involved in the conversation and allows you to tailor the event to them.

Practise, practise, practise

We can’t emphasise enough how important it is to familiarise yourself with whichever platform you’re hosting your event through. Especially if – like CC Live – you’re bringing in speakers from external companies.

Zoom allows you to have a practise session before opening your webinar for attendees to join. We strongly recommend utilising this and running through the layout of the event before going live.

Get involved in CC Live

We’re always on the lookout for industry professionals who are interested in being part of future CC Live webisodes. We offer sponsorship opportunities which give you access to our highly skilled CC Live team. From start to finish, we will help you to create your webisode, book and interview guests, edit content as well as hosting the live event and more.

Get in touch here to start planning your own CC Live event.

By Danielle Hall

Danielle spent more than four years working as a broadcast journalist and presenter before moving into PR. Her journalistic approach to the industry means she knows what newsrooms want to hear allowing her to secure strong coverage for clients. Her videography skills also give her the tools to provide strong and engaging content across all platforms.