Things I’ve learned
from planning my
first ever webinar

18 MAY 2020, by Laxmi Owczarek

Things I’ve learned from planning my first ever webinar: after-thoughts on ‘How to increase sales as a purpose-driven e-commerce’.

After-thoughts on ‘How to increase sales as a purpose-driven e-commerce’.

Even though it’s been a lot of hard work, and we didn’t have as much impact as I would have liked; I am happy to say that this was a successful event.

It wouldn’t have happened without our knowledgeable speakers, who so kindly donated their time. I would like to thank Anastasia from the Indie Communicator and Margarita from the Free From Festival for delivering great presentations. We would also like to thank our mentor Chris Averill for suggesting and pushing us to do this challenge. We wouldn’t have done it if it weren't for his suggestion.

The best part

All the positive feedback, and gratitude we have gotten from people who came! All the hard work paid off when hearing how much people enjoyed our webinar.

The hardest part

While promotion, especially content creation, is something I have a lot of interest in, it is not something I have done a lot of in the past. I have been to a couple of workshops, and have transferable skills I have learned in design, however, this is where my experience ends.

Out of the whole experience, the thing I have found most difficult and time-consuming was the event promotion.

My strategy plan included the following:

Here are my two cents on using these as a newbie at organising and promoting events

1. Organic reach through Social media.

I have been posting on Instagram and LinkedIn. I have also posted a little bit on Facebook, however considering this was more towards the end, and we have just made our Facebook page active I’m not really counting it. From my experience, and in this case, content creation was the least successful, as it was very time consuming, with next to no results. Looking back, around two to three quality posts would have sufficed. The actual post content should have been more focused on providing information and some value. Simply promoting the event did not work, it received little engagement and therefore reached fewer people.

I have also posted our Eventbrite link in different groups on Facebook and LinkedIn. While some of them received some lovely engagement, I am unsure whether many people signed up from those posts.

I have also created two events pages on LinkedIn and Facebook (which would link to our Eventbrite page). Facebook event page didn’t do anything for us, period. This is likely because we had just activated the page and had no audience on there.

We had a few people sign up through LinkedIn, thought. And, this was without any promotion of the LinkedIn Event page. Some people did come to the actual event, which makes me feel it would be worth spending more time promoting and even hosting the event on LinkedIn. Although this does depend on what the event is about.

2. Paid Advertising on LinkedIn and Facebook.

This did not work out for us at all on either platform. We had a substantial amount of views, but a small click-through rate to our Eventbrite page. While this could work, you probably need to work with much bigger budgets and commit more. The potential to target people based on different characteristics is huge, however, you need to know what you are doing as there are a lot of different options. In future, I will need to research these options better before spending money. Or, I will get someone else to do it.

Pre-event warm up - Dom's doing sit-ups in space. Second screenshot of our event - Dom

3. Direct Dialogue, AKA the cold calling and e-mailing.

This was one of the two successful methods for us. A lot of people who came were people from our network. We reached out to them through e-mail and messaging. These were people we have met through other events/connected in different circumstances. We have also tried cold calling and messaging people we haven’t met before. This didn’t really work out for us, however, I do know this tends to be a numbers game, and we haven’t reached out to that many people.

4. Networking in other events.

This was the second method that worked well for us. We went to small business networking events and simply chatted with people. It is very time consuming, however, nothing beats real connection and interest. When you put a face to a product or service, people can connect with it more and will care more. Moreover, it could also be the case of information overload that is ever-present on the internet. It is so hard for people to notice anything if it’s on-screen, however, if you let them know in person it is much more likely to grab their attention.

Promotion in its simplest terms is asking for someone’s attention or time, so offering something in return is important.

Final thoughts

If there is one thing I have learned is that you need to offer value to people. Promotion in its simplest terms is asking for someone’s attention or time, so offering something in return is important. Whether your value lies in entertainment, advice or information, make sure it’s there, and this is something that I should have considered more when promoting.

Secondly, it takes time, but it’s worth it to build your network. These people will be most interested in what you do, and the more value you offer to them the better, as they might just become your biggest ‘fans’ and you can both help each other in the future.

Overall, both me (Laxmi) and Dom had a blast throughout all of it. We were both nervous and never thought we would do something like this. It was a massive challenge for us from the beginning to the end but we have learned so much, and it was fun!

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