Managed Webinars – are they worth it, or can you do-it-yourself?

By Sara Gonzalez

Plus – tips for getting your webinar program off the ground

It takes time to create high-quality, engaging webinars that can hold an audience’s attention for anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour. And since someone who has viewed a bad webinar is unlikely to return, it’s important that the quality of your webinars is consistent from event to event.

Increasingly, many organisations have a dedicated in-house resource or team member who is responsible for developing, marketing and managing webinar programs. This is because the best webinars are planned around strategic initiatives and are an extension of the content plan.

In 2019, we conducted research into the organisational and resourcing challenges that organisations face when it comes to planning a series and getting it off the ground.

So – is it worth going down the managed webinar path, or should you keep it all in-house?

Resources + Time – how much do you have?
Recent research suggests that most teams spend 3-4 weeks to manage their webinars from concept to delivery – this includes the length of time required to market the webinar and attract registrations, to identify and brief presenters, to create or adapt the content, and to deliver the webinar itself.

For most teams, webinars also require involvement from a number of team members during the launch, preparation and delivery of the webinar. Most rely on between two and four people, while 21% state that they require between five and ten resources.

The most common challenges, and how to overcome them

When it comes to webinars, most challenges can be dealt with, except for resources – it’s simple, if you don’t have them, you don’t have them.

One in five nominate ‘resourcing’ as their main hurdle when it comes to creating a webinar series; and it seems resourcing issues are compounded when webinar programs are managed entirely in-house. While around 32% use external providers to solve the problem, 22% tend to take a hybrid approach, involving a combination of in house and outsourced resources, to manage their webinars.

How to decide what’s right for you:

  • Download our Webinar Planning Checklist and identify all the roles and resources needed to execute your event.
  • Work out the times/hourly rate associated with each task – how much is your time worth?
  • Ask yourself – could my team be more useful focusing on other tasks? For example, the promotion of your event?

Tips for getting your webinar program off the ground:

  • Plan your content ahead of time – Content/webinar calendars should be an extension of other content you are creating
  • Don’t operate in silos: It’s important to get other teams involved so they can suggest topics and presenters and help share and promote your webinar content
  • Don’t reinvent the wheel – look at what content you already have available and make it digestible for the online environment – take a look at our content guide for more info
  • Analyse what will work for you – if you don’t have the resources, look for an external provider that can help

The advantages of outsourcing your webinar program:

  • It allows you focus on your marketing strategy – getting people to register can be very time consuming
  • The Presenter Experience – most managed providers will also take care of your presenter training, adding an extra layer of professionalism
  • The tech stuff – remove yourself from this as much as possible. A Managed Provider will look after all the tech details
  • Attendee Support – in a live event, anything can happen. Outsource any attendee support calls to your Managed Provider and let them deal with it
  • Peace of mind – some things should be left to the professionals, leaving you to put your feet up and watch!

 

How does a Managed Webinar Work? Here’s a quick overview of what your Managed Provider should take care of:

 

Click here to download a full copy of the research discussed in this post: The State of Webinar Marketing 2019, compiled in partnership with On24.

Best of luck in your programs!
Sara Drury

TAG: CPD webinar, online event, webinar, webinar engagement, webinar marketing, webinar tips, webinars conversion,

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