Melissa Data summarized the following tips from Eric Bensley, product marketer for Citrix Online, on how to put on a successful Web seminar.

  1. Promote with e-mail marketing. Build a database of customers and send them an e-mail before the event to show them — quickly and easily — what they can gain by attending.
  2. Profile your webinar registrants. Use the information you gathered in registration to understand who is attending your webinar and what they need. For instance, if this is their first webinar, you should spend a little time explaining what webinars are and how they work.
  3. Build attendance with reminder e-mails. Do you ever forget something you did weeks or months ago? Build reminders into your program and send regular e-mails to get people to the live event.
  4. Develop presenter interplay. One person pitching an idea the entire time loses attendees’ attention spans in about 10 to 15 minutes, according to Bensley. By having multiple speakers and people running Q&A, the whole event runs more smoothly.
  5. Present dynamic content. Use mutliple types of content to keep your audience engaged.
  6. Monitor your audience. You don’t have the advantage of seeing your audience during a webinar — they may wander away from their computers at any point without your notice. Take advantage of monitoring tools, so you can at least tell if they are doing something else on their computer and adjust your notes accordingly.
  7. Engage your audience. Include the audience in the presentation by planning pop-up polls and verbal questions to ask during the event, and providing Q&A opportunities at the end of the presentation.
  8. Qualify attendees with surveys. To determine which leads you need to follow up with, send a survey to help you understand their interest levels.
  9. Continue dialog with follow-up e-mails. You already know you have to reach out to your leads to get them to call you again. Offer a recording of the seminar, or any other relevant content. Follow up within a day of the seminar, while you still have their interest.
  10. Extend reach with recording. Offer a recording of the webinar on your Web site; send it to your prospects and your sales team. Make it available, even after the event, and extend your reach.