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Glossary

Live webinar

Live webinars are interactive webinars that occur in real-time for a live audience.

What is a live webinar?

Live webinars are webinars that occur in real-time. They can be seminars, classes, interviews, or discussions that are broadcasted to a live audience online. These events are interactive and the audience can see and hear everything that occurs as it happens

Benefits of live webinars

Since the webinar is live, these kinds of webinars can be very engaging. Audience members can interact with presenters through the webinar software by chatting, asking questions, and answering polls. Presenters can respond to viewers, and even shape their presentations in real-time. The interactivity of live webinars creates an instant feedback loop for hosts, letting them know if participants are interested.

Live webinars can also help make hosts more relatable. Since the audiences see the action as it is happening, it is possible to feel more connected to presenters. Authenticity is highlighted when hosting live webinars.

How to promote a live webinar

Promoting a live webinar involves:

  • Building a landing page to capture registrants
  • Customizing emails around the event: registration confirmation, reminders, follow-ups, and more

Building a landing page

The landing page hosts the description of the event and registration form. The registration form acts as a gate for the webinar, disallowing access until the registrants provide information. This data is then stored in the webinar dashboard The landing page is also where the design and branding can be changed.

Elements like the email subject, button text, and CTA’s can be adjusted as needed. Some software allows for HTML customization, which allows a user to build email templates from scratch and adapt them with their own branding and design.

Customizing automated emails around a live webinar

Automated emails allow organizers to send important information to registrants without having to manually send email campaigns. Key automated emails around webinars include event registration confirmation, event reminders, and follow up emails. Generally, these can be adapted for attendees and registrants who didn’t show up. Follow up emails usually contain the presentation slides or recording of the event

How to host a live webinar

Hosting a live webinar involves:

  • Creating a new webinar
  • Adding contributors like team members and guest speakers

Creating a new webinar

Creating a live webinar occurs in the webinar dashboard. Settings allow users to plan multiple sessions of a single webinar. Hosts can make changes to the webinar room and add integrations.

Adding contributors

Members of a team can be invited to moderate a webinar by interacting with attendees and answering questions in the chat tab. And guest speakers from external organizations can be added to the webinar at this stage.

How to watch a live webinar

Attendees need to register on the webinar registration page. Then, at the date and time of the presentation, registrants will be contacted with a link to the live webinar. These links are most often emailed and will direct the registrant to the webinar they have signed up for.

The links are often made for individual use, only usable by those who have registered for the webinar and cannot be shared. Some webinars are not gated and can be accessed by anyone. If the live webinar has been recorded, all registrants can expect a copy of the recording, even if they were unable to make it to the live stream version of the event.

Connecting streaming platforms

In certain cases, it may be necessary to embed the webinar technology into a different streaming platform. This can occur when a live webinar needs many presenters, or if organizers want to host a public event that is visible on social media. In most cases, this can be done through an RTMP injection. For RTMP streams to work, the source encoder needs to be compatible with RTMP streaming.

RTMP is designed to promote persistent, low-latency connections which makes it a solid option for video streaming. Social media providers like Facebook, YouTube, and Twitch accept RTMP streams.

Steaming via RTMP can be impacted by firewalls, and not all webinar software allows it. Keep in mind that when streaming to a different platform, the real-time engagement of the audience may be limited. Viewers will no longer be able to ask questions directly on the webinar platform. Actions taken by the presenters may experience a delay in being broadcasted to their audiences. The ability to record the webinar may also be lost.

Automation and Live Webinars

Even though a live webinar is happening “in the moment”, there are some automations that can be programmed beforehand. These automations can make a presentation more streamlined, and take some pressure off of the hosts and moderators. The time that the webinar will begin or end, page redirects, and even playing videos at a specific time can be automated. Additional automations include sending polls or chat messages. Some automated webinars are built to simulate a live event without the actual presence of a person to host it live.

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