Here is a distillation of 33 best practices presented as a quick list:
1. Define the audience persona (their needs & communication preferences) you want to attract
2. Focus content on best-practices, case studies, and how-to. (Timely trends are a reasonable second choice).
3. Keep webinar titles short & actionable
4. Secure marquee speakers with outstanding presentation ability (dynamic, articulate, story-rich)
5. Train speakers on webcast delivery techniques
6. Consider having 2 speakers who interact with each other
7. Keep the entire webinar to 45 mins (including Q&A)
8. Schedule for 11am or 2pm on Tue, Wed, or Thurs
9. Simplify registration forms and provide a confirmation page & confirmation email complete with calendar invite
10. Encourage sales & service people to send personalized invitations to key prospects and clients. Rather than sending link, offer to register them.
11. Test personalized plain-text invitations
12. Send at least one registration reminder to people who have not yet RSVPd
13. For those who have RSVPd, send one reminder the day before and one reminder 1 to 3 hours before. Consider calling to remind high priority prospects and clients.
14. Test technology to ensure there are no hiccups (dial-up, web audio/video, etc.)
15. Start all listeners on mute with no join/depart notification
16. Speakers should be on wired connections (PC & phone)
17. Presenter should turn off all unnecessary applications (email, IM, etc.) and disable their screen saver
18. Show video of speakers (not just slides); ensure backdrop is professional
IV. Live Event
19. Ensure speakers join at least 15 minutes prior to start time
20. Start 2 to 3 mins past the official start time; in the interim, makes sure introductory slide is showing and announce the webinar will start in a few minutes
21. Make it clear how questions will be handled. Encourage questions during the webinar to ensure higher engagement.
22. Incorporate live polling with instant results
23. Use presentation mark-up capabilities
24. End formal material on-time leaving additional time for Q&A; make sure to wrap up on a strong note AFTER Q&A is complete.
24. Survey to assess quality and improvement feedback
25. Send any promised/expected followup within 24 hours (replay link, slides, etc.)
26. Design & execute a post webinar engagement plan
27. Make the webcast available on-demand
28. Track registration volume
29. Track and optimize registration rate
30. Track and optimize attendance rate
31. Track and optimize webinar engagement (duration) rate
32. Track prospect metrics (qualified leads through revenue/ROI)
33. Track client metrics (retention rate of attendees vs. non-attendees)