Do your members utter a collective groan when you say the word “webinar”? Webinars have a bad name. In the old days, technology made them clunky and boring. Marketers used webinars as an hour-long advertisement. But, the future of webinars is bright. The format can get much-needed content and solutions to our members who cannot attend our events.
What do the webinars of the future look like?
Webinars are Interactive
Find technology that enables participants to type chat with speakers in real time. Then find speakers that can adapt or build presentations that capitalize on this functionality. Use the speaker’s webcam during introductions or even during the whole performance to generate engagement. Do not stop the webinar after the webinar is over. Gather speakers, hosts, and participants in a digital room a few weeks later to let participants ask questions and discuss next steps which will help them take action on the webinar material.
Session Duration Matches the Strategy
What is the strategy for your webinar series? Are you trying to introduce your members to new trends and big ideas? Maybe shorter webinars are for you. Who says a webinar has to be one hour? Your webinar could be 30 minutes, or 20 or, 10. I recently performed a 30-minute webinar for .orgCommunity and had a ton of fun focusing on a few big ideas.
Or maybe the topic deserves a deep dive and so a back to back webinar series works best, like the two-part series I am giving with CSAE. Webinars can be delivered over a few days, a few weeks, or a few months (like this two-part series for GrowthZone). Or does it make sense to organize many speakers to present in the same block of time and host a virtual conference? Check out SURGE a virtual summit for association professionals to see who does this well.
With some experimenting, your association’s webinars can be super engaging and provide a considerable value available to all of your members.