Zoom is one of the most effective webinar tools around. It allows you to organize events for a lot of people, without compromising on the quality of video or the sound.
In this article, not only are we going to explain how to host a webinar, but we’re also going to show you some tips and tricks that most people don’t know about. Keep reading to learn how to organize a webinar like a pro.
How to Schedule a Webinar
One of the first responsibilities you’ll have as a host is to schedule a webinar and make sure all participants are informed. As you know, there can be up to 100 panelists and 10.000 attendees, which means you have to choose the most practical way to register the participants.
Here’s how to schedule a webinar:
- Enter the Zoom app and click on My Webinars.
- Click on Schedule My Webinar. You’ll now have to enter some information.
- In the Topic field, write the name of your webinar.
- In the Description field, write your company name, names of the panelists, and any other information that you find relevant.
- Enter the date and time of the webinar.
- Choose the duration of the webinar.
Choose Registration Option
Depending on the type of webinar and number of people, you can ask attendees to register in advance and confirm their presence. Alternatively, you can host a registration-free webinar so everyone can join. Of course, if you plan to follow up after the meeting and send some additional material, it’d be best to ask people to register.
If you don’t have a lot of time, you can choose the option that automatically approves everyone who has registered. That way, you won’t have to read all registration forms and confirm them manually. Here’s how to choose a registration option:
- Go to Invite Attendees field and click on Edit.
- Select the registration option you find most suitable. You can choose from a full registration form or simply registering by entering name and e-mail.
Before the webinar starts, you should make a decision on every detail. That way, if attendees ask you a question, you can provide them with the correct information. Here are some things you should take into consideration when hosting a webinar:
Decide whether you want to record the webinar and make it available on-demand. We highly suggest doing so, as there are many people who won’t be able to attend the webinar but who’d like to see it afterward. This is good practice and it multiplies the number of people who get to hear your message.
Decide whether the panelists’ video is going to be on or off during the webinar. Of course, we suggest you talk with the panelists and decide this together.
How to Publicize Webinar
Once you’re clear on every detail, it’s time to make the webinar public and invite people. All you have to do is copy the webinar’s URL and share it with attendees. This can be done via Google Calendar, e-mail or social media platforms.
If you want to promote your webinar and attract more participants, share details about your webinar on social media and ask the panelists to do the same. Don’t forget to make an eye-catching banner that’ll attract new people.
How to Begin Webinar
Bear in mind that you’re the one who’s in charge of the atmosphere and that you should make both the panelists and the attendees feel comfortable. Before the webinar starts, present your guests and briefly explain the structure of the webinar.
If you want to organize an interactive webinar, you’ll have to encourage people to ask questions and participate. Explain to them that they can do so by raising a hand. You can also encourage them to chat, as that will make them feel as if they’re actively participating and not just watching.
Some of the best conversation starters are to ask them where they’re from, what made them join the webinar, and what they expect to learn from the session. If a Q&A session is planned for the end of the webinar, don’t forget to state that clearly, otherwise people might be wondering why you aren’t answering their questions.
As host, you’ll have access to options other participants don’t have access to. You can use these features only while the webinar lasts, and you can find them by tapping on the Manage Participants button in the Zoom menu bar. We’re going to explain the most useful options now:
- Mute All/Unmute All – If you’re hosting a webinar for a large number of people, we suggest you mute all participants. That way, you’ll avoid background noise which could ruin the overall experience. Of course, every panelist can unmute themselves when it’s their turn to speak.
- Mute on Entry – If you select this option, participants who join late will be automatically muted and won’t be able to distract other attendees.
- Play Enter/Exit Chime – Select this option if you want to hear when someone joins or leaves the webinar.
- Lock Meeting – Some hosts like to lock webinar after 5-10 minutes from the beginning. That means that people who are coming late won’t be able to join.
- Remove – You can remove one or more participants from the webinar.
You also have the option to make another person host or co-host. This means you can share hosting privileges, which can be especially useful if you have to leave suddenly or just can’t do everything alone.
Host Gets to Decide
We’ve explained all the technical details regarding organizing and hosting a webinar. There are various types of webinars and everything depends on what kind you want to organize. As you can see, you can customize almost everything and we recommend you do so.
Have you hosted a webinar before? How did it feel? Feel free to share your experiences in the comments section below.