By Mitra Sorrells Posted March 12, 2013, 7:45 AM EDT
1. Start small
Don’t think “all or nothing.” Many companies doing elaborate Webcasts today began by streaming just one session a few years ago.
2. Ensure the audio is loud and clear
If online attendees can’t understand the speakers, they will tune out.
3. Support HTML5
It generally provides the fastest download across all mobile platforms, and mobile usage continues to grow.
4. Develop goals first, content and structure second
For Webcasts done in conjunction with an in-person event, consider these questions: Are you trying to provide online attendees with a comprehensive experience that is nearly identical to the in-person event? Or are you trying to pique interest so participants will attend in person next year? Will all of the online content be generated from the in-person event, or will some content be created exclusively for the Webcast? What topics will be the most appealing to online attendees? Will the entire Webcast be live, or will some sessions be prerecorded and followed by a live Q&A session?
5. Keep online participants engaged
Try activities such as trivia games, virtual scavenger hunts, badge contests, Q&A opportunities, and polls. The engagement helps keep attendees tuned in and can provide measurable data for planners, sponsors, and exhibitors.
6. Determine the life span of the content
Record the Webcast if you intend to make it available on demand (part of the trend to use event content as a tool for year-round engagement). Consider whether there will be a fee for access and how you will promote that content to new audiences.
7. Target your marketing
If you have a large number of in-person and virtual attendees, consider creating separate marketing and communications strategies to meet their unique needs.
8. Time it wisely
Select a time of day that works for the majority of potential attendees.
9. Provide training
Speakers will be most effective if they are comfortable engaging with attendees and using Webcasting tools. If you have a virtual exhibit hall, train vendors how to set up virtual booths and respond to inquiries from online participants.
10. Learn from others
Participate in a Webcast before you produce one yourself. Take advantage of the advice and training provided by many Webcasting companies.