Webinar Dry Run: Getting Ready for Your Event [Checklist]

Learn why a webinar dry run is so crucial to the success of your live event, and get practical tips for hosting a practice session beforehand with Livestorm.

Published on October 24, 2023 • About 7 min. read
woman hosting a webinar dry run

Hosting a successful online event requires precise planning. Recruiting great speakers and choosing compelling topics are just the first steps. To maximize the event's value and avoid technical glitches, plan a webinar practice session.

By the end of this guide, you’ll know exactly how to plan and carry out a webinar dry run. Then you'll have confidence in both the setup and the lineup—so you can focus on hosting an engaging and valuable event for your audience.


Everything you need to promote your webinars and increase attendance.

What is a webinar dry run?

A webinar dry run is a practice session or a rehearsal for an online event. It happens beforehand, allowing participants to test the platform, discuss the flow, and plan audience interaction.

Why you should always do a dry run webinar

Identify potential tech issues

When you use powerful software to livestream events, you're unlikely to run into technical problems. The key is ensuring participants follow the recommended setup and check connection speeds in advance.

If you do a dry run, webinar issues will be easy to detect and resolve before the live event. Then you won't have to worry about connectivity or speed during the panel or roundtable.

Practice the agenda or script

Depending on the type of webinar you’re hosting, it may have a detailed script or a rough sketch. But either way, the content shouldn't be completely unplanned.

By going over the webinar agenda in advance, you can make sure presenters know the flow, format, and timing. Then everyone can be prepared to deliver as much value as possible during the actual event.

Prepare to engage the audience

The agenda is one of the most compelling parts of any online event. But for most webinars, audience interaction is just as important, if not more important.

During a webinar practice run, you can test engagement tools and plan how to interact. In addition to built-in chat, polls, and questions, Livestorm integrations let you connect your existing live chat tools.

Checklist for a webinar dry run

Use this webinar dry run checklist as a guide for planning a successful online event. With this list, you can make the rehearsal as efficient and effective as possible.

Get familiar with the webinar platform

Are you hosting a webinar with Livestorm for the first time? Are your panelists new to the platform? Either way, a practice session allows everyone to see how the platform works and get familiar with the interface.

In most cases, you’ll find Livestorm easy to use. As browser-based webinar software, it doesn’t require hosts, guests, or viewers to download an app. With a test session, you can make everyone feel at ease quickly.

Before the rehearsal

  1. Schedule a practice session in the webinar platform you’ll use for the live event.
  2. Invite all participants, including co-hosts, speakers, and moderators.
  3. Prepare a script, storyboard, or outline for the webinar, including timeframes.
  4. Encourage everyone to test connectivity and review technical specifications.

During the dry run

  1. Cover basic platform controls so everyone can navigate easily.
  2. Discuss the webinar agenda, including which speaker will cover each part.
  3. Review engagement options so everyone can interact with the audience.
  4. Consider virtual backgrounds and branding to give the event a distinct look.
  5. Talk about event management, including how to handle technical or viewer issues.

After the test session

  1. Share the recording with participants so they can spot and fix problems.
  2. Follow up on any issues or questions that came up during the practice round.
  3. Check in with participants at least one day before the event to ensure they’re ready.
  4. Encourage participants to join the webinar room 15 minutes before the start time.

Webinar dry run agenda

Save time by using this agenda as a dry run template. Here’s how to use Livestorm to manage a webinar rehearsal.

Duplicate the event and invite participants

Rather than launching the live event you’ve scheduled in Livestorm, duplicate the webinar. That way you can carry over the settings and practice with speakers without inviting any attendees.

schedule a webinar dry run with Livestorm

Make sure to invite co-hosts, speakers, and moderators to the rehearsal. Note that you can invite internal team members or external guest speakers.

Share recommended setup details

When you use Livestorm to host webinars, participants access both the live event and the rehearsal from a browser. For optimal quality, presenters should livestream using the most up-to-date version of Chrome.

webinar internet connectivity test

It's also critical for all participants to do a connectivity test. This quick test shows whether you have any issues so you can either address them or rest assured that you can participate without a problem.

Customize branding and backgrounds

One of the easiest ways to improve your webinar is to customize the look of the presentation. Decide on these options during the dry run of your webinar to avoid having to make any last-minute decisions:

  • Improve brand awareness by adding branding to the presentation. You can add logos and color schemes via Livestorm's custom design plugin.
  • Create a cohesive look by encouraging presenters to choose backgrounds. Presenters can blur backgrounds, choose virtual backgrounds, or choose designs from Livestorm's library.
A virtual background tool as part of your webcam test

Test audio, video, and screen sharing

When presenters enter the practice event room, start by testing some of the essential tools. Have everyone check:

  • Audio, using the microphone they plan to speak into during the live event
  • Video, streaming from their built-in webcam or external camera
  • Screen sharing, including sharing a window, a tab, or the entire screen

Pay attention to presenters' lighting and sound quality. If you notice background noise or low lighting, encourage presenters to make changes before the webinar.

Walk through the webinar platform

Next, get presenters familiar with your webinar plateform by explaining some of the basic controls. Show presenters how to:

  • Mute and unmute themselves
  • Invite others to speak
  • Share resources and links with attendees
  • Participate in the audience chat
  • Chat with moderators behind the scenes
  • Request help during the live event

Go through the event script

Once presenters are comfortable with how your plateform works, run through the webinar together. Start by explaining the format and the timing. Then go through the script.

In most cases, you'll begin by providing some opening remarks and briefly introducing each speaker. Depending on the format you've chosen, you might:

  • Allow each speaker to share their part of the presentation.
  • Ask a question and allow each guest speaker to respond.
  • Prompt guests to respond to each others' remarks.

Allow presenters to test out their slides during the rehearsal. Make sure everyone has the right amount of time and adjust the structure as necessary.

Discuss audience interaction

Once you've worked out the details of the presentation, discuss viewer interaction. With an all-in-one video engagement platform like Livestorm, you have several tools for making webinars interactive. Before the actual event, be sure to explore:

  • What to say in your welcome message. How can you get viewers to engage right when they enter the webinar room?
  • How to manage live chat with the audience. Who will answer questions and comments?
  • Which seed questions to use for Q&A. How can you encourage the audience to interact?
  • How and when to poll attendees. When is the ideal time to ask viewers to weigh in?
Livestorm event room engagement tools

Remember, you can draft elements like polls during the rehearsal. Then you can publish these drafts during the live event.

Agree on calls to action

Ideally, by the end of the webinar, you'll have piqued viewers’ interest and made them want to learn more. To get them to take next steps, plan to add relevant calls-to-action (CTAs) at the end of the presentation.

The easiest way to share external resources is to add links in the chat. However, you can also share exclusive resources for viewers to download directly from the webinar.

Upload any handouts or video files to Livestorm before the event to avoid any lag time. Then you can share them at the right moment at the end of the event.

Follow up before the webinar

A successful practice run should make everyone feel confident about the live event. However, speakers may think of questions afterward or need to do more preparation before the panel.

To avoid any issues during the event itself, share the rehearsal recording and answer any questions at least a day before the webinar. Encourage speakers to join the event room 15 minutes beforehand so you can start on time.


Everything you need to promote your webinars and increase attendance.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who should attend the dry run?‍

Everyone who plans to participate in the webinar should attend the practice session. In other words, invite the host, all guest speakers, and any team members who plan to participate.

It’s also a good idea to invite moderators. In many cases, moderators will be members of your team who are already familiar with Livestorm. By inviting them, you can ensure they know about any potential moderation or engagement concerns.

How far in advance should you schedule a webinar dry run?

As a general rule, plan to schedule any webinar practice run about one week before the live event. If you schedule it much further in advance, participants may not retain the technical information.

And if you schedule it too close to the event, you may not have time to resolve any issues that you discover. If you practice the live webinar a week in advance, you'll still have time to fix any problems.

What should you prepare before launching the practice session?

Have a plan in place before starting the rehearsal. Map out the structure of the webinar, masterclass, or panel discussion. If you plan to present slides, have the deck ready to show.

Remember that the practice run shouldn't be the first planning session for the webinar. Consider it a dress rehearsal instead of a brainstorming session.