Webinar Checklist

Webinar Checklist

Many of us held webinars before the pandemic hit. However, with the cancellation of live events and conferences, webinars have taken center stage in our outreach strategies. This has made many of us re-evaluate our webinar processes and look for ways to “up our game” in an effort to engage attendees, attract new business, and generate leads. Here is a webinar checklist to help you plan, promote, and present webinars that engage your targets.

Defining the webinar concept and framework

    • What is the target audience for this webinar?
    • What is the client issue or challenge it will solve?
    • Do you have any endgame goals or next-step actions you would like your audience to take?
    • Will this be a presentation, roundtable discussion, or panel format?
    • Does someone need to prepare questions ahead of time? Who?
    • Will you need to secure sponsors or an outside speaker?
    • Select the webinar length, day, and time.
    • Choose the correct webinar platform.
    • What metrics do you need to set and measure?
    • How often will you be sending out registration updates internally?
    • Will there be a slide deck used?
    • Will poll questions be used? If so, who will write them and launch them day of?
    • Will there be any handouts for the audience or to be included in the post-event email?
    • What, if any, follow up will take place days or weeks after the webinar? Who will be responsible?

Presenter/Panelist Prep Call(s)

    • Schedule an initial prep call with all the individuals involved to flush out the ideas and concepts of the webinar and get all the planning information needed. During this call, be sure to:
      • Schedule two future dry runs. It is much easier to coordinate multiple schedules over the phone, especially when you are working with outside presenters. Book these immediately, while everyone’s calendar is open.
      • Set the expectation that presenters need to login 15 minutes prior to the actual webinar to ensure audio is working correctly. Consider setting up a calendar appointment to remind everyone.
      • Schedule a 15 minute debrief immediately following the webinar.
      • Send out a recap of agreed upon timelines and action items.
    • Draft an overview of the webinar outline, and get approval from all parties.
    • Schedule a mid-way call (or dry run) with all the individuals involved to rehearse the content, discuss transitions, assess the progress of the slide deck and any handouts, and view the attendee list.
    • Schedule a week-of call (or final dry run) with all the individuals involved to discuss the event flow, practice their full presentation including transitions, finalize the slide deck, review the attendee list, and address questions.
      • Be sure to check the backgrounds, camera angles, lighting, and sound of all the panelists to make sure they all look and sound good.
    • Identify person(s) to help monitor the chat and Q&A boxes and answer questions so that the presenters can focus on their content.

Creating the copy for the invitation

    • Craft a title that speaks to the issue covered, target market, and the solution discussed.
    • Write a description of the webinar with a bulleted list of points to be discussed or what the audience will learn.
    • Will you be offering CPE for the webinar? How will you handle that?
    • Pull together biographies and headshots for all speaker(s) and panelists.

Building your list, registration, and emails

    • Identify your target list within your contact system.
    • Remove all contact with bounced or unsubscribed email addresses.
    • Request additional lists from sponsors or co-hosts, if applicable.
    • Determine what system you will use for registration.
    • Set up first email invitation at least one-month prior to the webinar, if not earlier.
    • Send additional invitations to your list once each week leading up to the webinar, alternating different days and times each week (be sure to suppress anyone who registers so they don’t receive future prompts).
    • Set up an email confirmation for registrants with webinar dial-in details to send immediately after they register.
    • Create two reminder emails for attendees with dial-in details to be sent the day before and two hours before the webinar starts.

Promoting your webinar

    • Build a web page on your site to showcase the webinar.
    • Announce the webinar internally, sharing the webinar page link and list with the firm. Ask staff to promote and conduct personal outreach (Makes a great touch point with clients!). Bonus: craft a pre-written email for them to use.
      • Prepare a pre-made social post for them to share on their social networks.
    • Promote webinar in internal and external newsletters.
    • Share webinar page link and/or registration page link with sponsors or co-hosts to promote.
    • Promote on the firm’s social media channels.
    • Leverage any digital advertising to push the invitation wider.
    • Share with any organizations that you partner with like associations or chambers to spread the word.
    • Have IT add a small banner about the webinar to the email signatures that links to the webinar page.
    • Create a hashtag for your webinar and encourage those promoting and attending to use the hashtag.

Day of the event

    • Send login information to presenters two hours before the event so they have it handy.
    • Send login information to all firm admins in case you have any attendees call last minute for dial-in information.
    • Arrive early so you are there before the first registrant.
    • Hit record and make sure it is recording before you start the presentation.
    • Welcome everyone. Announce that the webinar will be recorded and that attendees will receive a copy of the recording and materials after the webinar.
      • If you have a chat feature, every 15-20 minutes reiterate that the presentation is being recorded and attendees will receive links and materials afterwards.
    • Designate someone to live tweet during the presentation.
    • Allow about 10-15 minutes for questions at the end of the webinar.

Follow-up

    • Send a thank you email to all attendees with a link to the recorded webinar, any handouts, and the contact information for all presenters.
      • A good idea here is to insert a small banner promoting your next webinar in the bottom of the thank you email.
    • Send a copy of the thank you email and attendee list internally so everyone has a copy of the webinar link to share with clients who could not attend. Encourage follow-up with attendees.
    • Promote the webinar replay link on social media and in client newsletters.
    • Post the recording to your site, ideally on the webinar/events page, or leverage the content by embedding it with a short blog.
    • Plan your next webinar.

About Jennifer Cantero

Jennifer Cantero brings more than 20 years of business and marketing experience to her role as Director of Marketing and Sustainability at Sensiba San Filippo. She is SSF’s B Corp champion, who led the firm’s B Corporation certification process, resulting in SSF becoming the first California accounting firm certified as a B Corporation. Today, Jennifer leads SSF’s B Corp Practice assisting clients with their B Corp certification journeys and sustainability stories.

Jennifer Cantero on LinkedIn

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