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4 Big Webinar Hosting Mistakes to Avoid

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I lead the webinar program for our demo webinars, playbooks, expert series here at Unstack. And while running three back-to-back webinars, I made some big mistakes.

That sucks. But you know what the good part is? I learned from them. Here, I'm sharing my biggest, most frustrating flubs so you don't make the same mistakes. Here are four huge webinar hosting mistakes:

  1. Leaving webinar marketing to the last minute
  2. Not running through the webinar deck with the host
  3. Sharing Zoom webinar links on social
  4. Expecting all webinar registrants to attend

Let's go through each.

1. Leaving webinar marketing to the last minute

Major mistake here. We were running webinars weekly so it was hard to really hype one up at a time. The second we sent a tweet out about next week's, this week's was going live in an hour.

I learned that spacing for webinars is essential. This is not only to save your subscriber's inboxes, but also to save your sanity. You need a runway in order to truly promote and prepare for a webinar. And both promotion and preparation are key to hosting a successful webinar.

Our new webinar marketing playbook begins three full weeks before the webinar goes live. However, most people wait till 1-3 days before. But, awareness is key. Some people will not be ready to commit three weeks out to adding your event to their calendar.

2. Not running through the deck with the webinar host

I was busy; it was easier to collaborate on a Google Slide than jump on Zoom and run through everything. I learned my lesson on that one. When you don't take the time to run through the deck, your webinar presentation skills take a hit.

To course correct, we begin the slideshow three weeks before (alike the marketing). At the one-week point, I get on Zoom and run through the entire deck with the expert (for the expert series). This allows for editing and correcting what appears on screen.

For example, we'll cut slides if it prolongs a shorter topic and we'll enhance slides that do not include a key information that the expert wants to talk about or the webinar attendees need to know.

3. Sharing Zoom webinar links on social

Once more, a hard lesson I won't forget. Although we're a professional business and so are those within our email list, the Twitter world is apparently not. 

Now, we know never share the direct join link outside of the day-of email. This reduces the time for "Zoom-bombing."

4. Expecting all webinar registrants to attend

This ties into our longer marketing period. Some people will not show up. Now I know this.

But now that I'm not expecting everyone to attend, I can focus on reaching more people and engaging with registrants to encourage attendance.

Growing a larger list of attendees will be key, especially where a large benefit of the expert series is the fact that we offer a live Q&A.

To help with this, I also added an Add to Calendar link on the confirmation email. It's the main CTA, which get's really good click-rates. You can do that for free via AddEvent.com.


Learn from my webinar hosting mistakes

I hope you'll learn from me and avoid these mistakes so that you can host a great webinar. Have any great webinar hosting tips I need to know? Let me know on Twitter: @chriscardone_ & @unstackhq.