An expert webinar may be most suitable for organisations preparing to launch a specific initiative, a report or have an expert to offer an analysis on a current societal situation. It is often a discussion with a moderator or interviewer together with one or two experts who are offering their views on the subject.
Seven steps to organise an expert webinar
Step 1: Remember that any event is not a stand-alone work or a goal in itself. You need to understand and define the scope of the event and how it plays into both internal goals and external trends. Do you have specific expertise to share? Did you recently produce a report that is relevant to discuss in front of a broader audience? Consider why you are holding the event, and what the next steps could be. How does it correspond to your internal timelines and goals?
Based on this, set up an indicative timeline as well as a clear theme for the event. Timing, how long the event should be, number of speakers and how much time they will each get, are all important questions.
Step 2: After you have set the theme and the overall scope of the event, you need to identify and invite speakers. This may be a combination of internal speakers you wish to market more broadly, and external experts. It is a good idea to have a moderator in mind at this stage already, as it may be of interest for the people receiving the invitation to speak to or evaluate the chosen moderator.
Give your speakers information on the set up. Will it be livestreamed? Will the webinar be recorded and shared afterwards as well?
Step 3: Prepare the speakers and the moderator and/or interviewer properly. This means sharing information on the other participants so they know whether they will be discussing with someone else or only the interviewer. Share information on the expected number of participants. Inform them whether it be recorded for posterity or later viewing.
Step 4: Market and advocate the event to the right stakeholders and potential participants.
This can be done through your own social media channels, newsletters, etc. Participants can also be asked to indicate on their own channels that they will participate. Depending on your timeframe and budget, you should consider paid advertisements for the event in different relevant fora and building online ad campaigns on social media.
Step 5: During the event, ensure that the audience, whether participating in the room or online, has the opportunity to ask questions. Different platforms offer different options for this. A dedicated person should be given the responsibility of looking through the incoming questions and handing them to the moderator. This is especially important for events with a large audience, since the discussion moderator may need to focus on the speakers. Some platforms also allow you to hold live opinion polls with audience input during the debate.
Step 6: After the event, it is important to follow-up with relevant participants and, if applicable, audience members. For example, you should consider having a final report to share, a summary with key takeaways to post on social media and/or a recording of the live stream available for viewing, depending on the previously agreed setup.
Step 7: How should you move forward with your overall strategy? Talk to us about organising your event by contacting [email protected]