10 Steps to success – your headache free guide to Webcasting
Webcasting is a great way to get your message out to a wide audience. According to Principal Analyst at Frost & Sullivan the Enterprise Video Webcasting market will grow to $500M by 2017. The technology of webcasting software and hardware has developed at a rapid rate and the sophistication and quality that can be achieved is far superior to the dull powerpoint presentations you will have seen in the past.
Companies are now looking for video webcasting platforms that manage the complete process of creation, capture, ingest, encoding/transcoding, management and delivery of video webcasts.
Our guide to headache free webcasting will help you plan for webcasting success!
Step 1: Set your purpose and objectives.
What are you hoping to achieve? Who are you targeting? Why should they attend? What type of session will it be? E.g.:
• Product launch
• Live product demo
• Company town hall
• Investor relations
• Panel and news update
• Event and conference
• Focus group
Step 2: Select a partner.
It’s important to assess your needs before committing. Webcasting providers offer various technologies, cater to different audiences and provide varying levels of support. Do they offer a free initial consultation? Can they provide a bespoke service? Look out for essential services such as event registration, surveys and live polls, and web archiving.
Step 3: Organise your location and equipment.
What cameras will you need, such as webcam or HD video cameras? Don’t forget the camera operator! Double check your internet bandwidth – you’ll need a minimum of 5mb upload speed for live streaming.
(Ask Dreamtek about our sound engineers, cameramen, multiple camera HD, central London studios, vision mixers, custom backgrounds, lower thirds, edited online editions, intro stings and on-screen graphics.)
Step 4: Set up registration and email communications.
Make sure it’s fast and simple. Do participants need to download software or check their broadband requirements? (Did you know that Adobe Connect manages this for you? It also tracks clicks from email campaigns and registrations. There’s no need to download software, and it can be accessed from mobile devices.)
Step 5: Define your marketing strategy.
Who is your target audience? It’s vital to have relevant, up-to-date contacts in your database or partner with someone who does, such as magazine publishers or press associations.
Who will your speakers be and will you need a moderator? Ideal presenters are customers or industry experts. Choose hosts who are credible and your audience will be eager to learn from.
How many registrations and participants do you want? Define clear goals and have realistic expectations.
Will you have Q&A and run polls? Decide on the structure and format of your session.
What content will you use? Video, slides, audio … what materials will you present during the event and will you make them available afterwards?
What do you want the outcome of the event to be? Define your call to action. Would you like participants to download a free trial, attend a follow-up meeting or take advantage of a special offer?
Step 6: Choose speakers and your presentation schedule.
Once you’ve decided on an event topic, you can set the agenda. Brief the speakers on the topic and your expectations, and prepare them for likely questions. Be sure to obtain permission for any presentation material you want to post online after the event.
Step 7: Prepare presentation materials.
Plan your content. Will you include slides, video clips and a video feed of the presenter? Gather presentations and any other materials from speakers, and make sure all content is engaging, clear and not too long. Will any of it send people to sleep? Consider …:
• Firing up your session with video
• Talking about hot topics – not sales pitches
• Encouraging viewers to comment or tweet during the webcast
Step 8: Have a practice run or test session.
Arrange a practice run with speakers. Advise them on what to wear, and how to sit/behave naturally in front of the camera. If you are filming in a studio, arrive at least an hour earlier to set up and test equipment. Test, test and test again – are the chat boxes working? Is the internet bandwidth sufficient? Set up a holding screen that announces when the webinar will start.
Step 9: Ensure it runs smoothly on the day.
Consider every aspect of your format. You’ll need to manage Q&A, chat windows, polls and measure engagement. (Did you know that Dreamtek can provide a dedicated connectionist to deal with this, and free you up to focus on your audience and content?)
Step 10: Make content available on-line.
Decide how you want to present content after the event. Will it be publicly available on-demand or locked down to require password authorisation?
Consider how to use content as a marketing tool:
• Send out a follow-up to attendees and non-attendees
• Offer a downloadable guide
• Broadcast on-demand content via social media, YouTube or on your website
• Direct viewers to your blog or encourage them to follow you on social media sites like Twitter or Facebook
• Communicate your next event
Best of luck and happy webcasting! If you want to find out more download our complete video webcasting guide.