What is a webinar? What are the elements and types of a webinar

28 November, 2020
7 min

Webinar or online seminar is a kind of web conference, online meetings or presentations via the Internet.


Webinars first appeared in the late 1990s. Today, this is one of the most progressive driving forces of information. We will explain in this article how to take advantage of interactivity and instant feedback webinars.

The use of webinars for attracting target audiences became popular about seven years ago. A recent poll showed that webinars continue to gain popularity nowadays among influencers, marketers, teachers, and opinion leaders.

webinars

In this article we will consider

  • What is a webinar?
  • Webinar elements
  • Webinar types
  • How to choose a software for webinars?
online webinar

What is a webinar?

Webinars are an online meeting that involves two parties: a speaker (host) and an audience. The purpose of webinars is to teach something or to inform listeners about something. The most important advantage is that everything happens in real time and the host has the opportunity to receive instant feedback from the participants. This way, he not only covers a preconceived subject, but literally communicates with his audience.

Why do webinars gain more popularity compared to physical seminars?

A number of obvious advantages of webinars are:

  • There is no need to set up a physical space for the event. Remember the last time you set up a meeting with your affiliate colleagues and how much it cost to the company! 
  • If webinars are free, it potentially increases the number of visitors. Webinars are a powerful advertising tool, an excellent way to make a statement.
  • Participants can spend 2-3 hours of their free time on the Webinar without having to travel, rent, move and eat. Besides, life and work take up enough time, most people just aren’t ready to sacrifice their free time to go to a seminar.

Webinar elements

The main elements of online webinar are:

  • The audience and speaker meet in real-time.
  • Viewers are invited to register in advance and join the event room with a unique participation link.
  • Interaction.
  • The virtual room has a live chat. Questions can be asked during the interview, and the presenter can provide an opportunity for the participant to ask the question with a voice.
  • Web service provides real-time video organizer.
  • Slides/presentation, infographics or video file demonstration. 
  • The platform interface includes the display of visual material on a topic to enhance perception.
  • Any webinar is impossible without a software, web-platform which provides technical realization of the event. This is the site through which communication between the organizer and the participants takes place.
  • E-mail notifications.
  • The web chain of letters is hard to overestimate. E-mail reminders are often a decisive factor for clicking on a link. First comes the registration letter, then-a few letters with reminders and optionally a letter with a link to the webinar record.
online webinars

In the Webinar Room, the guest sees a small window from the organizer’s video and a free field on the screen for the display of materials. The room interface also has the live chat option. In this section you can contact the conference organizer and other participants. 

At the end of the webinar participants receive a file with presentation and video recording of the event.

Webinar types

Webinars can be divided into several types by type of communication. The levels of different degrees of engagement helps achieve different goals.

1) Educational webinar

It is generally based on the structure of the material presented. Because of the simplicity of the organization, it is the educational webinar that is most popular. The goal of webinars is to educate the audience.

This kind of webinar allows you to demonstrate your experience and competence in the field, increasing the trust of the audience. Educational webinars provide maximum flexibility, as you can invite a group of experts to your team.

2) Question-and-answer 

These webinars are as interactive as possible. Webinar will be conducted mainly on the basis of requests received from the audience. From the point of view of content, these webinars are much simpler, require only a small amount of prior preparation and serve as an excellent way to strengthen your expertise in the industry. It is not possible to promote services or products in this type of webinar.

3) Discussion

The Webinar is a group of experts meeting to discuss a certain topic, which is decided beforehand. On this type of webinar, the moderator usually conducts a discussion and the participants present their ideas on the topic.

In this form, the audience can get an idea of your authority in the chosen area. One of the great benefits here is that you can use the popularity to increase the number of registrations.

4) Master class

The Master class uses the functionality of displaying the screen to participants in a discussion. You can guide the audience step-by-step towards what needs to be done, help the guests to master the new technology. With the master class, viewers can follow you at every stage of the class.

5) Webinar meeting

This event is slightly different from the others and is held in order to bring together a group of people from different geographical areas in one place at the same time. Companies practice separate teams and employ many staff remotely. Webinar tools can be used for internal web conferences.

webinar meeting

How long does the webinar last?

On average, the duration of the webinar is about one hour. But surely you can change the duration of the event according to your goals and the theme of the particular webinar. Psychologists say that when interacting with an object, attention can be saved up to 15 to 20 minutes. Therefore, we recommend you to make your event as interactive as possible. At the end of the event you should devote about 20 minutes for questions from the participants.

What is the best time to plan the webinar?

10-11 am and 20-21 pm are the best time to hold such events. Person wakes up in the morning, has not yet been dragged into the midst of domestic tasks, brain activity at high altitude, mood positive! Evening hours are usually free after work.

What would you need for webinars?

To start holding webinars, stick to the scenario and set of simple rules. This will help you to succeed.

For webinars you will need:

  • quiet, bright room
  • computer with Internet access
  • microphone (if not integrated)
  • webcam (if not embedded).

Remember, high-quality equipment, ironed shirt and clean background are only parts of the success. You will need to prepare yourself seriously, to have an expert in the chosen topic and to get ready to answer any question from the audience. If you’re really prepared, the only thing that can stop you from holding the webinar successfully is the low-quality platform on which you’re going to do it.

webinar

Choosing a platform for webinar

Depending on the chosen service for the webinar, the set of functions of the webinar room may include:

  • Boarding page with registration form
  • Reminders for participants
  • Live on Youtube, Facebook and other platforms
  • Text chat
  • Questionnaires and poles
  • File Demonstration: Presentations and Media Files
  • Webinar recording
  • Questions and answers 
  • Sending invitations directly from the webinar room
  • Possible participation of several presenters
  • Working on a virtual board.

Most services, like a Proficonf, have the same functionality and allow you to display the host’s screen, presentations, videos, different files, and give access to live chat for participants. Each service shows video from the host.

The stability of the service is characterized by the absence of interference in the transmission, uninterrupted connection during the whole webinar and good image quality. A pleasant addition to the basic functionality of web-based platforms is automated sending of invitations, registration of guests, management of participants of the event. 

When selecting a platform, find out if the service provides:

  • 24/7 technical support
  • mandatory software installation 
  • ability to send invitations and reminders to guests of the webinar
  • various elements of an interactives
  • event recording feature
  • page of the participants’ redirection after the webinar.

Run a webinar on each of the services you like in test mode. Testing the stability of the application will tell you which platform to choose.

Our recommendations for beginners in webinars

A set of simple rules that will help you succeed:

  • Start the webinar on time. No five-minute wait for the late. People like constancy and appreciate punctuality, even if they’re used to being a little late;
  • Create a chain of five letters for your webinar (registration, 24 hours before, 15 minutes before, already started+link, letter after+useful files and links), this is an underestimated source of guaranteed visits;
  • The presentation is your best friend. Help yourself and your guests to better absorb the material, create a memorable and simple presentation. Save the file for download after the event;
  • The script will help you to stick to the correct webinar schedule. Without a “plan of action”, you simply risk confusing or delaying the event;
  • Start and finish the webinar to the benefit of the listener (gifts, promo codes, stocks, novelties, bonuses). This is a mandatory segment, students have to be rewarded.
webinar online

In conclusion, we can say that you will find webinars very useful when it comes to displaying products or expertise. They can be an excellent tool for your business, since they hardly require investment. We wish you success, inspiration and may online be with you!

Register with Proficonf, host webinars and video conferences and enjoy high quality.

You can also use the Proficonf platform to run the webinar on Youtube and Facebook via Live streaming without using any additional programs.

Daria Afanasieva