So, you’ve collected audience registrations on your landing page and have a great turnout on the actual day of the webinar.
Congratulations! Now comes another hard part though: keeping the audience around for the entire duration of the presentation.
If your presentation is high-quality and you come across as engaging, you will already have done most of the work here, but there are still some audience members who might grow bored or uninterested after some time.
Your first impulse upon hearing this may be to say: “Who cares about them, though? If they’re not interested, they’re not interested!” While there is truth in this, it’s also true that your job as a webinar host is to try to provide a great experience for al lthe audience members, regardless of their attention span or energy level.
Sure, some people may still leave early, it’s only to be expected, but you should still make a determined effort to try and keep as many people around as possible.
Keep in mind that your success here will have knock-on effects in the future, since satisfied audience members may mention your presentation to their peers and invite them to attend too, while unsatisfied viewers will do the exact opposite.
So, how to keep as many viewers around as possible once the event is underway? One possible solution which has had significant success for a number of webinars is to use participation bonuses.
The theory behind these is fairly straightforward: you encourage attendees to stick around by promising rewards for participation at the end.
The best part is that these “rewards” (which generally have quite a lot of value for audience members) may cost very little for you and your team to give away. Here are a few ideas for effective and easy-to-apply participation rewards:
Access To The Final Q&A
This is so commonplace that many would not even consider it a bonus, per se.
Technically though, it acts as one, since only viewers dedicated enough to follow through the talk will have the privilege of asking direct questions to the team. And, hey, if everyone else is using it, it must have some value, right?
Documents And Printables
Another common reward for participation is the uploading of useful documents and files after the main talk is over. The standard example would be a distribution of the slide deck or a summary of the main points to the audience members still around at the end.
You can also be more creative though, rewarding faithful viewers with infographics and participation certificates.
Another bonus currently gaining popularity in the webinar world is the “teaser” for your next topic of discussion. Rather than flat-out announcing the following webinar, you could reward viewers of your current talk by hinting at topics to be covered in the future, making them part of an “inner circle” of informed people significantly earlier than your general announcement.
This has the added benefit of creating a community spirit among the core audience, potentially kick-starting a multiplier effect among the viewers.
This bonus system takes inspiration from the world of eLearning, by providing a slight gamification of the webinar interface.
Gamification refers to using practices generally seen in games (such as progress bars or trophies) in other aspects of real life.
In the context of your webinar, this could take the form of unlocking achievements for participation, or for asking a certain number of relevant questions.
If eLearning taught us anything, gamification is excellent at keeping viewers coming back for more, so it would be a great bonus for your more dedicated attendees.