Put away the ibuprofen. You are planning a webinar on Session — there will be no planning headaches in sight.

Whether this is your first webinar, or want to brush up on best practices — we've got you covered with this handy checklist for hosting your first Sessions event.

Step 1: Set up your webinar Session

It seems getting started is the biggest challenge because a webinar is a blank canvas waiting for your event planning flair. Consider the following tips to get going: 

Add your logo so attendees can instantly recognize the webinar

Effective corporate logos can have a significant positive effect on customer commitment to a brand — and even on company performance.

As someone scrolls through their email looking for your webinar invitation, your logo can stand out and give your webinar the professional edge needed to increase attendees.

When you add your logo, make sure it is white on a transparent background, so it blends seamlessly into your Session webinar.

Infuse the webinar set with your brand color

No matter what type of brand you have, it should be infused into the DNA of your webinar set. Your brand color instantly communicates your brand personality. Colors also have the power to influence human emotions, so use them thoughtfully.

To do this in Session, change the room and stage background color to your brand color.

Use music to set the tone for your audience

Music is another powerful way to set the tone for your webinar. It can be used to influence attendees’ emotions, so be intentional about your music selection.

For example, if your webinar is about a new product launch, consider an upbeat song to get attendees excited. If your webinar is about a sensitive topic, you might want to use a softer, more calming playlist.

Music can also serve as a cue for what comes next. Consider adding music to the Session stage to:

  • Welcome attendees
  • Introduce speakers
  • Create energy during
  • End on a high note

Adjust name labels 

Instead of leaving your attendees to play “Who’s Who?”, update the name labels for everyone in your webinar. This small detail has a giant impact on the professionalism of your webinar, and it’s not a time-consuming task.

Choose a background image for the virtual room

Humans are visual by nature, so make your webinar room visually appealing by adding a background image or uploading brand photos. Taking a few minutes to do this makes a big difference in the overall look and feel of the event.

Looking for inspiration? SentiSum, a customer conversation analysis company would change their background photo for each podcast they would host to match the personality of their guest. 

Make welcome and agenda items available for attendees

One of the easiest ways to lose attendees interest in an event or meeting is to have them unaware of what to expect. With that in mind, help your attendees feel at ease by adding your welcome and agenda items to the lobby editor with an image. This way, people can follow along and know what to expect. Plus, it will reduce the number of questions you get during the webinar. It’s a win-win.

Send the co-host link to your team

Imagine how chaotic a webinar day would be if the only person who could manage the webinar was unreachable.

Help yourself — and your team — rest easy by sending the co-host link to your team. That way, there is a backup plan in case of a last-minute mishap.

Remind speakers to use Session’s fun features

Session webinars are interactive by design.

Before the webinar begins, encourage speakers to use emoji reactions and confetti on stage to nonverbally communicate with their audience. This helps attendees feel more engaged with the presentation and connected to the speaker.

Step 2: Run your Session

Who else holds their breath when the stakes are high? 🙋🏽‍♀️

Webinar day can have that effect on event organizers. Instead of turning blue, take a cleansing breath in. Okay, now, exhale. By following tips from Steps 1 and 2, you will run a seamless event for your community.

Add suspense with delayed gratification

The first few minutes of your webinar are crucial because that’s when people decide if they should stay or leave. Here’s how to prevent drop-offs and increase engagement:

  • Let music play as people arrive
  • Remain off stage for the first 3-5 minutes
  • Open Q&A ahead of time to start populating the queue with questions
  • Drop resources or a screenshot of the agenda in the chat for people to view as they wait

    By opening the floor to questions right off the bat, attendees will feel encouraged to participate, and you will also get a feel for what they want to learn.

Mingle with attendees in the chat

While waiting, warm up by also asking where people are tuning in from. This serves a few purposes:

  • Build rapport that helps attendees ease into the conversation
  • Let attendees know you’re interested in them as individuals
  • Begin crafting answers to their questions so you can address them during the webinar or, if time doesn’t allow, follow up afterward.

If you notice attendees asking the same questions, highlight the answers to the trending questions in chat so people feel involved and everyone can see the answer.

Not only will your team save precious time, but your audience will also have access to questions and answers that give them more value from the webinar.

Teach attendees to use Session’s interactive features

As Session is designed with interactivity in mind, attendees, speakers, and hosts can use Session’s many features to make the experience a delight for everyone.

For example, have you attended a virtual event where someone says something profound and you want to give them a pat on the back, but you don’t want to disrupt the flow of the webinar? 

Session’s reactions let even the most reserved users participate without funneling the spotlight on themselves.

From the stage, ask everyone to use emojis and confetti (when using Session’s workshop theme) to interact and engage with speakers and content throughout the session. 

If you are screen sharing, invite people to draw and interact on screen by selecting the pen tool in the top left of the screen share.

Leave attendees feeling excited about their experience

The last few minutes of your webinar are crucial because that is when people decide how to rate your webinar and how they talk about it within their network.

At the end of the webinar, clear all speakers off stage and let the music resume automatically. Instead of ending the event abruptly, let the music continue as people say goodbye in the chat and leave.

Step 3: After your Session

The follow-up is a crucial step in extending the life of your event. Your job as an event host doesn’t end after the conclusion of your event. In fact, that is when your job really starts.

As soon as your event is over, follow up with your team, your attendees, and yourself.

Extend your webinar’s impact by using insights from event data

Session’s post-event analytics make it simple to identify your most engaged attendees and most engaging content. Use your event analytics to:

  • Reward or send shout-outs to webinar attendees who interacted the most
  • Pinpoint the event’s most captivating moments by finding when emoji reactions and chat messages were at their highest

The data can lead you to ideas for future events and content. You can potentially use content from the activity spikes to create highlight video clips.

Make the event available for people after the event

One of the perks of using Session for your webinar is your access to the recording after the event. Besides being a data-packed resource for your team, it also gives you more opportunities to engage with your audience.

First, share the history link with your team. By having post-event access to the link with the recording and engagement analytics, your team can:

  • Review the event and analytics
  • Repurpose the content for distribution on other channels
  • Identify lessons that will help improve the quality of future events

Next, since not everyone can attend live events, share the event link via email with attendees and those who registered but could not attend. The Session link includes the recording without engagement analytics.

To edit the recording, download the video and publish it on Streamable and YouTube. This will ensure you have ready-made content for future blog posts, articles, and social media posts. This way, your audience can access it however convenient for them.

Mine the chat and Q&A for topics that spark engagement

Event follow-up is not a one-time thing, continue to follow up with your audience long after your event ends. Consider scouting the chat and Q&A for trending topics that were engagement hotspots. 

By repurposing your event content, you can extend the life of your event, generate leads from those who tuned in, and even increase sales.

Duplicate your event with one click in Session

No need to start from scratch.

The push of a button saves you precious minutes and effort because you can copy everything into your next event. Then, include the link in your promotional emails and social posts to start collecting signups for your next one.

Session makes it easy to deliver an engaging webinar every time

With these tips (and the downloadable checklist), you can turn your webinars into powerful opportunities to forge deeper connections with your audience.

Interested in using Session for your next webinar? Save your spot on the Session waitlist today.