People are forgiving when there are technical issues during webinars and virtual conferences, but it only takes a minute or two of dead air before you lose someone’s attention. When your audience is sitting at their computer, it’s easy for them to switch over to doing something else, so it’s important to get the technical basics locked down.

There are a number of webinar platform options available including GoToWebinar, On24, ClickMeeting and Zoom, with the choice depending on a number of factors, including price and the specific features needed.  

Regardless of the platform, the key is to fine tune communication between the production team, speakers, and the host/MC, to ensure that everything is seamless on screen, said Monkey Media’s Marketing Account Manager, Harry Johnston. 

Monkey Media has run several Virtual Conferences in 2020, including Digital Utilities, Disaster Management, Asset Management for Critical Infrastructure, Flow Technology, and Smart Cities.

Harry manages the technical components of all Monkey Media webinars through programs including the Zoom webinar platform and OBS Studio streaming software. 

“We have set up websites through Zapier that allows people to automatically download Zoom when they register for a Virtual Conference, and also have several add on programs such as a virtual camera attachment, so we’re not just using the one program,” Harry said.   

“Since Digital Utilities, we’ve stepped up our production quality by adding graphics and animations to show who’s currently speaking and what’s coming up, so it’s more like a broadcast than a lecture. We use Adobe AfterEffects to custom-make our own graphics and after the webinars, we edit and upload the presentations so they can be viewed on demand.” 

While the webinar is running, it’s best to have a production team set up with different people managing different aspects, including one person to coordinate with the speakers and answer delegate questions that come through, and another to focus on the visuals and audio to ensure everything on screen is running smoothly. 

Harry said the biggest mistake companies can make is to not thoroughly test all technology and the way it integrates with each other prior to the event and not allowing adequate time to fix any issues.  

“There’s a lot of dialogue behind the scenes, so my best piece of advice for all webinars is to do a comprehensive practice run at least the day before to troubleshoot any problems. This ensures the speakers are comfortable and know what they need to do, and allows you to test the sound quality, backgrounds, and that slides or visual aids work,” he said.

Polls are also a great addition to a webinar or Virtual Conference as they keep people engaged but can also be used as lead generation, where people can opt in to receive more information on certain companies presented.

This is part of a series of blog posts about running a successful webinar. Find the other tips about audience, content, format and follow up engagement here.

If you’d like more information about Monkey Media running a webinar for your businesses, or sponsoring a future Virtual Conference, get in touch at [email protected]