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how to make webinars more attractive and drive busy prospects to attend

Hi everyone,

as the 'new normal' continues I really miss attending trade shows, conferences and events. Meeting busy prospects, collogues and partners was great and key to building a network.

Since we adjusted to online communication and more so to organizing webinars on online events, I feel that, 1. People are getting more reluctant to signing up to online events and 2. more number of online events and therefore more competition 3. too many emails all focused on driving registrations to webinars.

Are people getting tired of online events and are registrations declining in general? Anyone experiencing the same challenges?

Because nobody really knows when we are going back to normal, I think we need to rethink how to organize webinars that get the interest of our prospects.
Anyone open to share what works and what not? I look forward to getting your feedback. Thanks Carina

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    • Profile picture of Joe Latchaw
      @jlatchaw85
      ( 2.8k POINTS )
      2 weeks ago

      We are definitely experiencing webinar fatigue in our business (SaaS). We have since pivoted to doing podcasts with thought leaders both in and outside of our business and the engagement is picking up. I am not sure if you have the ability to “think outside of the box” but now is more of a time than ever to differentiate and cut through the noise we are all experiencing.

      Hope this helps!

      • Profile picture of Carina
        @carina
        ( 350 POINTS )
        1 week, 6 days ago

        thank you – Podcasts sounds like a good equivalent to webinar, appreciate you sharing

    • Profile picture of Colin Campbell
      @colin-campbell
      ( 5.1k POINTS )
      2 weeks ago

      So, as you may know, @carina, Sales Hacker runs two community events every single week, so we’ve had to make some changes this year as well.

      Here’s a list of the things we’re doing, and we’re seeing it have amazing effects.

      1) Don’t call them a webinar. Be more specific about the format. We’re using Q&A (question/answer format with one guest), Panel (discussion format with multiple guests), Workshop (active training session, where novel content is presented and attendees are asked to participate) and Masterclass (sort of like a workshop, really, but when the caliber of presenter is top-level. We’ll repeat these 2-3x per year because the content is so good)

      2) Set expectations at the point of registration that it’s different. Tell attendees they’ll be expected to participate. Teach them how to turn on their microphone or camera. Or, if you don’t want to do that, teach them how to use the Q&A/chat features in advance. Give them required reading beforehand, so all attendees have the same basic understanding of the concept. Or ask them to watch a quick video that summarizes key concepts.

      3) Don’t focus on registration. Focus on delivering an amazing experience. We’ve held several community events targeted at leadership, operations or enablement. Because there are fewer people in those positions than there are salespeople, we get lower turnout. We don’t beat ourselves up about it. Know how we decide if a webinar was successful? If the guests and moderators get “thank you” messages on LinkedIn afterwards. That should be your goal too! Big registrations will follow.

      4) Don’t deliver boring content. People are not working from home. They’re living at home, maybe with kids, during a pandemic, and just trying to get some work done. It’s not just webinars/online events that have seen lower interest this year. I’ve seen declining search traffic for all kinds of professional development keywords. People are not investing in themselves in the same way this year. They are still investing in themselves, but not the way they used to. You can’t always lead with a work-related topic. Try setting up an online event that leads with a personal development (but still related) topic. Or just something fun for your VIP prospects. We’ve had success with celebrity-chef cooking classes, wine-tasting, Zoom dinners with comedians, etc.

      Hope there’s some good ideas for your to steal there! And let me know how it works!

      • Profile picture of Carina
        @carina
        ( 350 POINTS )
        1 week, 6 days ago

        thank you Colin, I really appreciate your feedback and insights.
        i feel we reached the point where we need to rethink how to move ahead with online events. We launched an Academy with 6 courses and 3 are completed but feel we need to change our approach. I like your thoughts in point 3 as yes we should look at quality and not quantity. And point 4 as we (in Amsterdam) going into 2 lockdown) miss the contact with others and getting tired from home office, pressures and fears of uncertainties, providing something more light-hearted is appreciated, so i will definitely suggest we add something fun to the next online session we hold. Regarding point 4) do you offer this more so to existing clients and open deals or also to prospects? Would be keen to know how this is organized, so I can check if it fits into our format and budget. Definitely got many take away from your reply. …. might be a good Theme for your next Panel 😉

        • Lol, good idea on our next panel, @carina!

          To your question about #4:

          We’ve done it primarily for prospects at large companies, where we feel the money and time spent arranging these small, intimate events will pay off if a few of the deals close as a result.

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