How to Plan the Perfect Webinar
Part 1: Scoping the minimum production requirements
In part one of this guide on how to plan the perfect webinar. First, we’re going to outline the minimum technical & production requirements for producing a webinar. In the part two we’ll cover the content and promotion aspects of webinars.
To be clear, we define a webinar as an information-sharing exercise, usually using PowerPoint slides with live video of the presenters. They’ll usually make use of a webinar platform like Zoom or WebEx and include some kind of audience interaction – usually through Q&A and polling. They’re often used as a lead-generation exercise and require attendees to register to access the content.
When you’re planning a webinar it pays to mitigate any potential tech issues at the planning stage. All communications professionals have stories of embarrassing hiccups (and nail-biting disasters) that could easily have been avoided with a bit of knowledge and advance planning. We recommend using the info below as a starting point for your pre-event checklist.
A strong, reliable internet connection is non-negotiable
If you haven’t got the basics, nothing else will work. If you’re using your own space, a venue or studio make sure the connection is good enough.
- Use a dedicated connection, not shared with any other resources (e.g. guest wi-fi).
- Ethernet not Wi-Fi wherever possible.
- Evaluate the connection prior to going live.
- Are bonded/backup/temporary connections available?
Get the network infrastructure right and you’ll feel happier that your live stream will run smoothly .
Choose locations and sets wisely
Making any production look good isn’t difficult for professional production crews, but there are limits.
- Lighting matters, dim/poor lighting will ruin any production. Add lighting if you need it.
- The more space available to position cameras the more flexibility your production crew will have to produce good shots. Small rooms, especially those with large tables, are limiting.
- Plan presenter positions. Desks are usually a bad idea but chairs are fine.
- Dedicated studios provide a controlled environment and a quicker turnaround – at a cost.
Audio is often overlooked
Great visuals are unwatchable if accompanied by bad audio.
- Soundcheck. Build this into your event plans, and soundcheck with stand-ins before guests arrive.
- Agree the method of communication between the vision mix and the sound tech so levels can be tweaked during the event if necessary.
- Beware of environmental interference – sirens, local noise even hard rain can be issues!
- Make sure your sound techs understand that the event is going out to an online audience and not just the room.
Plan and scale your production appropriately
For most corporate webinars 2 cameras are usually sufficient. One to perform close-ups, and one wide-shot of the set.
- Two camera angles combined with the usual graphics will give you a simple, polished, professional result.
- Remote contribution is simple but requires extra equipment and crew. Make sure the production team knows what’s required at the planning stage.
- All live broadcasts need some sort of graphics (opening slates, lower-thirds, etc). Make sure these are professionally produced.
- If your presenters are nervous you can pre-record some sections of the broadcast and play it out as part of the live broadcast.
We hope this was useful info. If you need a hand or just some advice then use the form below to get in touch. Or give us a call on +44 (0) 203 151 5870