Blog January 2020
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How do Webinars benefit your non-profit association and how to best execute for success!

 

Have you ever wondered if spending the time and effort in planning webinars for your association is worth your efforts?  The simple answer is YES! 

Some of those benefits include:

  • Keeping your members engaged
  • A tool to gather your members from around the world to distribute information while saving travel costs and/or educational materials
  • Providing your members with an easy way to earn CEU credits
  • Recordings of your webinars can be made available for future ongoing access
  • A way to collect member funding to improve your ROI

Now that we’ve established some of the benefits, let’s discuss how to make the most of your webinars - it’s all in the preparation!

The key to a successfully executed webinar is how well the presenters or panelists have been prepared. At McKenna Management, we play a key role in preparing and ensuring our associations’ webinars are properly staffed for flawless execution on the day of the webinar.  We ensure every webinar is staffed with the following key participants:

Organizer
The organizer’s role is to schedule the webinar ensuring all participants have confirmed and committed to the set date and time of the webinar.  The organizer also runs a practice session to train the moderator and presenter(s) with key features of the webinar tool being used and runs through how the webinar will be executed during the live webinar. The Organizer is also ready to assist the moderator, panelist, or attendees with any technical issues during the live webinar.  McKenna Management handles organizer responsibilities for our client associations.

Moderator
The role of the moderator is to be the presenter(s) right-hand person.  This role should be filled by someone familiar with the material being presented so they can easily step in and assist the presenter, if needed.  We ask moderators to welcome attendees, introduce the presenters, assist during the question and answer section, and thank the audience at the end of the presentation.

Panelist(s)/Presenter(s)
The role of the panelist/presenter is to focus on the presentation itself.  They will prepare the PowerPoint presentation and/or any handout materials they would like to share with attendees.  If multiple presenters are scheduled to present, they will work together to finalize their sections of the presentation and practice on their own to ensure they time themselves to end the webinar on time.

In addition to defining roles and the preparation steps outlined above, don’t forget to properly market your webinars. 

An important step to a successful webinar is communicating the webinar details to drive your registrations. Having a solid communication strategy leading up to the webinar date is just as important as preparing your Organizer, Moderator, and Presenters.

Your communications should include an introduction email, reminder emails, and a thank you email.  If providing CEU credits, the thank you email should include link to the evaluation and next steps for your attendees to claim their CEU credits.

Finally, in order to determine the success of your webinar, you should ask attendees to complete a survey (a link to the survey is typically included within the thank you email).  What questions should you include in a survey?  Typically, you want to ask how the presenters and moderators performed, whether the presentation cover the materials expected, and topics attendees would like to see covered in future webinars. This information can be used to assess the quality of the webinar and to plan future ones.

As a Program Coordinator at McKenna Management, I’ve been managing our clients’ webinars for the past 7 months, and I can say from firsthand experience, if the above process is followed and everyone is prepared, your webinars should be a success!


Ana Mattson is a Program Coordinator at McKenna Management, Inc. She brings over 20 years of marketing and event operations to her role. A few of her many accomplishments include leading the implementation of a high profile, award winning website campaign, project leadership in e-mail and direct mail, successfully handling all aspects of data management and cross-channel execution, providing instrumental support in two client transition projects and managing an event campaign for a Fortune 500 company.  Ana is experienced at implementing tools and improving processes resulting in cost and time savings and improving client ROI.  Ana has a Computer Programming and Systems Analysis Certificate from Northeastern University and a Marketing Cloud Email Specialist Certification, Salesforce.