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The success of webinars and online events is all about great content

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Ben Steenstra Ben Steenstra
30-10-2020 6 mins read

During the transition from offline to online events, traditional events organizers often forget some basic rules of the game. For online events such as webinars and seminars, it's all about the quality and substance of the presentations. It's much less about the presentation of the whole.

how-to-make-online-events-successful

Commercial and poor speakers are something that can be quickly punished with the result that fewer and fewer visitors come to the next online events.

Traditional event organizers can learn something from online events

Many larger and smaller offline events are financed with sponsorship money from companies that like to promote themselves. Of course, there is nothing wrong with that, but at online events, this can cause a lot of annoyance.

The reason for this is that the motivation to go to an offline event is different from an online event such as a webinar.

An offline event is visited because someone:

  • can take a break during the boss's time.
  • multiple speakers can be heard.
  • new contacts can be made.

If there is an occasional commercial story or if a speaker is not the best presenter, you will stay at the event, but take a drink or something to eat. This works very differently at an online event, webinar, or seminar.

An online event is visited because someone:

  • wants to learn something very specific.
  • would like to spend half an hour or a maximum of an hour.
  • knows that with 1 press of a button he can leave the event and continue his own work.

The latter is very different from an offline event because you have to drive all the way back home.

A big difference is that for an offline event you might consider taking a full day while for a webinar you take an average of 40 minutes. Read these tips about hosting a webinar.

Why is the content of a webinar and seminar so important?

The secret of a good webinar and seminar is that the presentation and content must be more than attractive, entertaining, and substantive. This is mainly because it is so easy to leave the broadcast. As soon as it is no longer of interest to the viewer, it drops out.

Of course, this should also apply to offline events, but, as described above, different rules and motivations apply there.

Is the end near for sponsored events?

Of course, there will always be a win-win for both event organizers and sponsors to work together. But to maintain this collaboration, two things will have to change drastically. Namely:

  1. The online event organizer must offer an environment where the sponsor can tell his story in a shorter period of time, without detracting from the event theme.

  2. In general, the sponsor will have to come up with a much better and more substantive story than the commercial claptrap they used to get away with.

enough-is-enough-so-turn-it-off

If they don't, the viewer loses interest and the collaboration is doomed to fail in two ways. But traditional event organizers can truly benefit from online events.

Why is commerce a taboo at webinars and seminars?

In the 1980s, television stations were focused on advertising. They were all looking for a balance between commerce and entertainment or news. In the years that followed, some channels lost this balance, and as a result platforms such as YouTube achieved their first successes.

By now we have gotten used to the fact that when a film or documentary is just getting interesting, a commercial message has to be shown first. Also, YouTube has started to do this. For the more active among us we use this advertising time for a small sanitary stop or to grab a drink. Others use this time to have a look on Facebook or Instagram.

But if we have the choice to watch a film without advertising for a few euros a month, we choose to do so en masse. The result? The unprecedented success of NetFlix who realized early on that commercial stories are taboo when it comes to entertainment or inspiration.

In webinars, focus on content and not on tricks

Of course, it is nice to sit at the table with 10 people and to see everyone on screen. It's also fun to make funny sounds, let flying logos go around, and use nice other visual effects. As long as the sponsor pays, anything is possible.

But this is all still the history of the traditional event organizers. It's mainly about interesting content at online events. Not only about the cool features.

An offline show or event is often about spectacle. At online events like webinars and seminars, you want to learn something. Period. Because of the ease of access to this online phenomenon, people even want to pay quite a lot for it, provided that things are said that are really informative.

As an event organizer, you can think and believe that tricks and effects and other side effects make sense, but then you have to become a TV producer.

Online events work differently and attract a different audience. The one with the most audience wins. Not only the favor of the viewers but also the favor of the sponsors. And that is exactly what many traditional event organizers have to learn from them. Content first. The result is visitors and visitors generate income.

It's all about doing for online events

Many event organizers think that an online event, webinar, or seminar, just like an offline event, is quite a hassle. Searching for a location, decorating, creating a theme, guest speakers, a good sound system, and catering are just a few of the things that make an event to succeed or fail. The rules of an online event are different.

An online event is all about doing, doing and one more time doing. Preferably every day. With just the focus on the content of the theme. If you get visitors for your online event with that and can find more and more visitors every day, the rest comes naturally and success is a guarantee and decoration an afterthought.

Author Bio: Ben Steenstra is Co-founder of TheONE and writes on various topics such as SEO, Strategy, Marketing, and Communication. Because of his Neuro-Semantics background, he also writes about Coaching and mental disorders.

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