Best Practices for Interactive Webinars

Last update: 2024-02-05

When running virtual events, whether aimed at a small or large audience, it’s critical that things go as planned. With various steps required to plan and execute an event, from preparation, promotion, delivery, and follow-up, it can sometimes feel like a lot.

To help with that, we’ve compiled a list of best practices that can aid in planning, designing, and producing successful and engaging webinars. These tips will help you get the nost out of Interactive Webinars powered by Adobe Connect.

Pre-event Preparation

Creating an Event

  • Create a sample Interactive Webinar (IW) and clone it every time, to avoid starting from scratch.

  • Reuse Adobe Connect rooms if delivering the same content again later. Navigate to Clear content from pods from the Pods menu to clear chat history, and poll/quiz results from the last session. This just clears the content of the room. All the data from previous sessions will continue to be available in Marketo Engage.

  • Avoid scheduling back-to-back sessions. Ensure you have at least 30 minutes of prep time before the start of your webinar. This will allow you to upload any last-minute presentation changes, adjust your microphone and camera, and get any new presenters comfortable with the interface.

  • Assign roles to your team members. Add them as Co-hosts and Presenters. Hosts and Presenters can enter the room before participants.

Promoting Your Event

  • Set up a registration form and a Landing Page in Marketo for your webinar.

  • Keep the registration form simple. To maximize registrations, only ask necessary questions. Each input field on a registration form acts as an incremental barrier to completion.

  • Design your registration form once and try to reuse it across webinars to keep the outline consistent.

  • Send emails to your target audience. The email should briefly highlight the key value proposition. Use relevant tokens to store the event details so it can be reused across multiple email campaigns. Make use of calendar tokens for date and time of the event, as well as sharing the webinar Joining URL post-registration.

  • Set follow-up invite emails. Experiment with the email subject line (e.g., “Don’t Miss Out,” or “Seats Are Filling Up”).

  • Use your website/blog, social media, paid advertising, and partner promotions to reach a wider audience and drive registrations.

  • Send reminder emails to registered invitees 2-3 days before the webinar and on the day of the event to make sure they don’t forget about it and are able to attend.

Designing a Room

  • Create a “lobby” layout that the participants see when entering the event prior to its start. Use this lobby to provide participants with relevant information, such as marketing collaterals. Get your audience engaged with ice breaker games or chatting with peers. Play suitable background music to help avoid conspicuous silence. Polls and Chat can be used to gather more data about the participants like their demographics or expectations from the session.

  • Use layouts to structure and add motion to a session. For example, a room can have these layouts: lobby, agenda and speaker introduction, Single speaker presentation, Panel discussions, Breakouts, Q & A, Wrap Up.

  • Plan for interactions to increase engagement. Polls, Q & A, Chat, and Quiz can help increase engagement, while at the same time generate first-party data.

  • If you are expecting a large turnout, it may be useful to have a few co-hosts take the responsibility of answering questions on the Q&A pod. You can even allocate different topic areas for specific co-hosts, if need be.

  • Upload content to a Share Pod instead of screen sharing, whenever possible. Supported file types that can be shared and presented in a Share Pod include: PPT, PPTX, PDF, MP3, MP4, JPG, PNG, POD (for custom pods) and compressed packages (ZIP) containing valid content. The content will persist within the room and be readily available. This will also reduce the internet bandwidth required to share the screen.

  • If you’re anticipating over 100 participants, consider switching from an open dialog (Chat pod) to a moderated one (Q&A pod). With larger audiences, a lively chat can be difficult for a host to monitor.

  • Add a Files pod on the last layout to share any files (e.g., brochures, whitepapers) that you want participants to download.

  • Use a Web Links pod to share any URLs with participants. You can also push these links to attendees to have them launch in a browser for everyone. This can be useful if you want to launch a feedback survey, product trial signup, or a registration form for the next event towards the end of a session.

  • Set a room background from the Room Preferences to add personality to your room. This can be wallpaper with your brand logo. Use the alignment options to align the logo with a corner.

  • Enable the recording reminder in the Room Preferences if you intend to record the session. The reminder will show up 5 minutes into the meeting if the recording has not been started.

  • Enable the Host and Presenter area and set it up with relevant pods. This area is only visible to hosts and presenters and can be used to collaborate backstage. Some pods to include here would be:

    • Engagement Dashboard to monitor participant engagement in real time. Click here to watch a short video on how to use the Engagement dashboard.
    • Chat Pod to allow private conversations between presentation team members.
    • Note Pod to post reminder messages, questions for the presenter, or standard question responses that you can copy and paste for rapid answers to common queries.
  • Custom Pods are third party apps which can be used to extend the functionality of an Adobe Connect room. Custom Pods can be downloaded from apps.adobeconnect.com as .pod or .zip files which can then be shared in the Share pod.

    • Some popular custom pods are Countdown Timer, Clock, Rock Paper Scissors, Word Cloud, Titler.
    • Click here to watch a short video on how to use custom pods.

Privacy: To keep the participant information confidential, check the settings below:

  • Activity Ticker: Activity Ticker displays information about who is speaking at the moment and alerts when attendees join/leave the room. The activity ticker can be removed by unchecking “Show activity ticker” under the “Menu bar” section in Room Preferences.

  • Q&A Pod: The name of participant who submitted the question and the name of the host/presenter who answered can both be hidden. This can be achieved by unchecking the Privacy options under the “Q&A Pod” section in Room Preferences.

  • Chat Panel: Chat Panel is a chat area which is not part of session recordings. So, if you do not want chats to appear in recordings, use the Chat Panel instead of Chat Pod. Click here to read more about using Chat Panel.

  • Private Chat: Turn off private chat to prevent participants from being able to ping another participant. This can be achieved by unchecking “Allow participants to chat privately” under the “Chat” section in Room Preferences.

  • Attendee Pod: Move the Attendees pod to the Host and Presenter area.

Delivery

  • Perform a few dry runs to test your audio/video setup and to get acquainted with Adobe Connect if you haven’t used it before. Don’t forget to include your presenters and co-hosts as well when you rehearse.

  • Ask hosts and presenters to arrive at least 30 minutes prior to start time and make sure everything is working correctly.

    • Decide who will moderate the Q&A and Chat pods.
    • Populate the Q&A and Chat Pods with any seed questions/chat.
  • Have programs that you’re screen-sharing open to the appropriate window and ready to demonstrate. Avoid launching and logging in to programs while screen-sharing.

  • Participants can enter the room 15 min prior to the scheduled start. Switch to the lobby layout 15 min before the scheduled start for participants who arrive early.

  • Use the Host and Presenter Area as a backstage area to coordinate privately. Click here to watch a short video on the Host and Presenter area.

  • Use the Prepare Mode to make any last-minute changes privately. Click here to watch a short video on Prepare Mode.

  • Use the Engagement Dashboard to keep a tab on participant interest levels. Jump to a poll, ask a agree/disagree question, seed a question in the Chat pod, or use the Word Cloud custom pod to elicit responses from participants and increase engagement levels.

  • Keep a tab on the presenter chat (Chat pod in Host and Presenter area) to continually coordinate with your team.

Post-Delivery

  • Once the webinar has been delivered, the engagement data along with the recording will be made available in Marketo Engage generally within 1 to 2 hours. Validate the recording and confirm whether the complete webinar video output has been appropriately captured so the same can be used to share with the audience as well as track on-demand webinar data.

  • Create Nurture Campaigns to further qualify the attendee leads based on their engagement using Interactive Webinars filters/triggers and have Thank You/Missed You Campaigns to provide more information from the event, the recording link, event statistics, and future events to urge the No-Shows to connect back with the organization. Activities for No-Shows visiting the recording can be tracked as a part of On-Demand Webinars and further Nurture Campaigns can be created for No-Shows through On-Demand Webinars filters/triggers.

  • Use the Activity Log Data for each member in the Members Tab to look at the engagement activities performed by different attendees during the webinar.

  • Download the recording and publish it to various landing pages, microsites, or portals for a wider audience reach.

  • Use the dashboard to obtain an aggregated view of the webinar performance in terms of Program Status, Attendance distribution, poll responses, file downloads, and link clicks. Identify the positive and improvement areas during the webinar and ensure the lessons can be used in the next webinar.

On this page