Many of us secretly fear that technology will let us down on vital occasions – when presenting some important news to the company, for example via webcasting. But there are some simple steps that can help ensure that your presentation runs smoothly. Every year, webcasts become more and more prevalent in business communications. They are a valuable tool for engaging internal and external audiences and conveying important company announcements or initiatives.
So, what is a webcast? It’s essentially a broadcast of video, audio or both over the internet and is often used for presentations and company announcements – any time, in fact, that you want to have one-to-many communication with tens or even thousands of attendees without worrying about travel or logistics.
Webcasts for businesses typically fall into two categories: managed and self-service. For a managed webcast, the service provider handles everything from logistics, filming, broadcasting and more. Self-service webcasting, on the other hand, offers individuals or businesses access to enterprise-grade webcasting, publishing, editing and analytics tools so they can host their own webcasts using their existing technology infrastructure.
Until comparatively recently, webcasting has typically been both expensive and complex. Professionally managed webcasts can look like TV productions, with satellite trucks, camera crews and a full production staff. Today, however there is an alternative. High-quality self-service webcasting is now a reality. As technology has evolved, it’s now much easier for people to both host and join webcasts from anywhere and on any device. And, once finished, the webcast can be available immediately for publication for on-demand viewing. Built-in editing tools are available to crop video, audio or PowerPoint slides and additional slides and video clips can be uploaded after your webcast has ended.
The right webcasting technology turns existing video and audio infrastructure into broadcasting equipment quickly and easily. With time at a premium in today’s business world, webcasting has become a strategic way to connect with a range of external and internal stakeholders simultaneously. By following some simple tips, you’ll be well on your way to hosting a first-class webcast:
Promote it in Advance
It may sound simple, but if no one is clear about the topic, date, time and why they should log on and what they need to do to connect, all the passion and effort you put in won’t matter.
Make It Simple to Connect
If entering the webcast is difficult, your meeting may be delayed and potentially start off on the wrong foot. Use a platform that allows easy registration and log-in page that prompts your attendees to join via email or calendar reminder.
Don’t Waste Time
As with any event, virtual or otherwise, often there are late arrivals. It’s important to be courteous both to those who have joined early, as well as those who are on time and start your meeting promptly. Time is money on large webcasts. We always recommend recording your webcasts so that you can easily send it out to participants and invitees afterwards.
Include Branding & Professional Visuals
Research shows that visuals are processed 60,000 times faster in the brain than text. Getting your point across via engaging images, presentation slides or video can increase the speed and quality of the message delivered – plus, about 60 percent of the population learns best through visuals, demonstrating the transformative power that they can have on your webcasts.
Don’t Forget to Collect Data Pre, Live and Post Event
One of the most important keys to any successful webcast is the data and analytics you collect pre, live and post event. Collecting information can start as soon as you build a registration page for the webcast, enabling you to gain a better understanding of where your traffic is coming from, and tailor your content to specific audience groups.
When looking for a webcasting solution, you should ensure that the data you collect post-event can seamlessly integrate with your existing CRM system, which will allow you to follow up on leads or questions asked through the presentation.
Consider Leveraging a Professional Operator to Assist with Your Webcast
Leveraging Operator-assisted capabilities gives you the added confidence and comfort that your webcast event is being monitored and managed by a live operator. For large events, an operator can also enhance control and productivity.
It may sound obvious, but an amazing presentation, with top content and visuals, can be far less effective if the speaker lacks animation. Be energetic and emphasise key points.
In summary, while much of the above is common sense, for those who are new to webcasting it may not be so apparent and even seasoned users sometimes forget some key points. The first hurdle to get over is the fear of using technology such as webcasting, but with millions of companies across the globe now using it successfully to cut down on travel time and costs, it can be a very useful tool indeed.
Guest Blog by Lyndsay Cook, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Demand Generation at PGi.