At times it can feel as though there is never a break in your trade show season. You are either busy planning for an upcoming show, attending a show, or following up on one! Inevitably however, there comes a time when there is a lull and that is an ideal time to look at other ways you can connect with your prospects and customers through alternative face-to-face marketing events. Why not try a webinar?
We recently hosted just such an event at our facility. One aspect of our business that we enjoy most is sharing what we’ve learned over the years of logging countless hours at a wide-range of industry shows. With that spirit, we connected with an expert on the sales process to design and deliver a workshop on maximizing revenue generation from the trade show floor. What transpired was a content-rich presentation, coupled with a lively discussion of best practices and idea-sharing among the attendees.
Perhaps an on-site event is not feasible for your business. Thanks to technology, other opportunities to host informative seminars or discussion groups are possible through hosted webinars. If you’ve never attempted to leverage webinar technology, the trade show off season might be just the time to give it a try. Below are some tips to ensure your webinar is a hit:
- TOPIC SELECTION: picking a topic that connects with your intended audience is a make or break part of hosting a webinar. One way to narrow your topics is to consider the top 3 problems and goals of your target market and design your webinar around those topics.
- PRE-WEBINAR: connect with your audience on social media, via email marketing, and personal contact to generate buzz and excitement about your webinar.
- SLIDE DECK: create a lively and engaging slide deck to accompany the webinar. Minimize text and keep it visually exciting.
- SPEAKER SELECTION: this is key…your speaker (or speakers) must be energetic and a true expert in the topic. Nothing sends a webinar south faster than a dull speaker or one who does not truly have something of value to impart to your audience.
- USE a HOST: identify someone within your company to serve as the emcee, particularly if you have more than one speaker or if you’ve planned the webinar as a facilitated discussion. This individual is responsible for keeping the webinar on schedule, moving the discussion forward, and asking any questions that come up during the webinar.
- MEDIA CHOICES: to ensure your audience zones out during your webinar – simply talk to your slides. If you want to keep your audience tuned in…mix it up! Include a bit of animation, share your screen to demonstrate a point, show a short video. We live in a world of short attention spans, so be creative about how you are presenting your material.
- MASTER THE TECHNICAL PIECE: the webinar platform you select depends mainly on your budget, size of your audience, and your level of technical expertise. One popular option is to use Google+ Hangouts. It’s free, connects to YouTube and allows you to share your screen. This article gives some advice on current platform options. Read Article.
- DRY RUN: before taking your webinar to your audience, test your chosen media and delivery mechanism to make sure that everything works together smoothly.
When things slow down, it’s a good time to explore other options for connecting with your customers and prospects. The notion of hosting a webinar may sound intimidating, but with a little preparation and practice, you may discover it’s a great vehicle for building on your face-to-face marketing efforts. If you would like help with an event or show, get in touch, we’d love to help!