Hosting webinars can be hard, especially the first time (believe us). It is crazy how often we repeat the same mistakes just because we don’t have internal checklists.
Sometimes those small mistakes can cost you a lot and completely ruin your efforts.
We decided to give the ultimate checklist to setting up a webinar. Be sure to check all these parameters before your start. You can thank us later ;)
Check your surroundings before going live with your webinar. This part is rather easy to fix if you plan enough ahead, and you'll really have only yourself to blame if things go wrong during your live webinar because of environmental factors.
The environment is the number one factor that people usually overlook. Pick a quiet meeting room to settle with your team (e.g if they have moderation roles).
Make sure you are confortable and that you will not be disturbed by external noises, people entering the room, etc.
For a really perfect webinar room, make sure it's well isolated from external noises. You don't want your webinar attendees to wonder about who they hear in the background or be disturbed by the noise from the street.
In video as in photography, lighting is everything.
It will impact how you look, the quality of the video, and how your company looks. The better the light, the more professional it will look.
Also, you don’t have to invest in fancy equipment. Just pick a room with enough natural light coming in. Make sure that the source of light is not behind you to avoid backlighting.
You have the first two steps checked? Great!
Now if you have a wall behind you with your brand on it (e.g stickers) then it’s even better. Your setting is your ally, it will help you promote your brand.
Actually any piece of advertising behind you can be a plus.
In a webinar, your background is almost like a second presenter: people will notice it a lot.
If you can, try to have some decorative elements. Bookshelves, a sofa with cushions, and any interesting decor will go a long way in making your webinar setup look more friendly to your audience. By the way, those are the exact decorative elements we choose for Livestorm webinars!
This is the most tricky part of the webinar setup. You should check this parameter early on.
In some companies, even startups, the network is so secure that it won’t let passed specific protocols for live streaming videos.
For example, if you are using Livestorm, our technology requires some specific router ports to be open. An easy way to check the quality of your network is to run a test of your internet connection: Tokbox Precall.
This will test everything, from webcam and microphone to your internet connection.
How does the connection look on all servers? All green? Then you're almost halfway there. Be sure to check the "Expected Call Quality" section, as it provides more in-depth analysis of your setup for a smoother webinar. You'll be able to see if your current connection can support HD webinar streaming or if you need to find a more reliable one.
If there are red crosses and it's apparent that you can't even access the servers to run your webinar, send the link to your IT team so they can open the ports you need on your network to host your webinar.
Everybody hates a bad Internet connexion. Especially when you’re live-streaming the webinar! Nothing is worse than having your bitrate drop, seeing participants complain that they can't see your presentation well or can't hear you well. Fortunately, you can also prepare for this by making sure your internet connection is stable and reliable throughout your webinar.
To prevent any issue:
No, IE11 is not a modern browser. Unfortunately. There’s two scenarios to consider:
You are the host or a co-host
Then you are probably going to stream either your webcam or your screen (or both!).
You need a browser that supports screen-sharing and is WebRTC compliant. Here’s the list:
Safari does not support screen-sharing and many video streams. IE, even Edge, does not support anything. Although, both could work using a third-party-plugin that embeds WebRTC. But as a rule of thumb, you should not use those browsers unless you absolutely have to (ie: beause of company policies).
You are an attendee
This is the safest place to be. Almost any browser will work. But, again, the safest list is:
We also support IE, Safari and Mobile on compatibility mode. This means your viewers will still get a 720p webinar stream, but the layout will be slightly different and the overall experience won't be as great as it would have been on the 3 browsers mentioned above.
PS: If you are not using Livestorm, and your current solution is a native app, then these issues don’t concern you.
Check your mic and camera. Just hop on a call with a teammate and see how it goes.
...And double check if you are using an external mic or camera.
Does your app requires any browser extension for screen-sharing? If yes, then download it before.
Btw Livestorm requires such an extension if you want to share your screen, you can find it here:
Unfortunately not all browsers and apps behave the same way. Here are a few tips before we start:
This is a tricky configuration. It forces you to stream your entire screen. As soon as you switch between apps (e.g Keynote, and Chrome), everybody will see your other apps while you transition between apps.
BUT there is a way. There’s always a way. This setup requires two computer screens (e.g laptop + external).
Let’s pretend I have a a demo and a keynote. Here's what you need:
Then the rest is pretty straightforward:
That’s it. No weird transition. Perfect webinar :)
Last small checks and you’re good to go. Those checks can avoid awkward moments:
Getting things right on your first webinar is never easy. Heck, sometimes things will go wrong even for experienced customers who have run dozens of webinars in the past. But using a complete webinar setup checklist will help prevent issues.
We hope this helped you. Let us know if you have any comments. If you think of something else we should add to our webinar setup checklist, please share!
In the meantime, keep on streaming :)