eLearning Strategies

10 Experts Discuss Trends: The rise of Webinars during and after the Covid-19 era

9 min

In the online business world, we often hear about “online workshops”, “live classes,” and “virtual training.” All are, in reality, alternative terms for webinars.

Webinars are the crown jewel 👑 of your sales funnel in many types of businesses. Like Online Courses, Webinars are a product that can be sold multiple times. And because of its video-based characteristics, a webinar offers enormous potential for reaching a broad audience.

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Some of the most significant advantages of a webinar are that it is cost-effective and less time-consuming than other media. Webinars are location flexible, allowing people from all over the world to attend and interact in real-time. Plus, it provides room for higher engagement and better relationship-building.

In recent years, we see virtual events such as webinars emerge as a top trend in e-learning and will probably continue to build up. The current quarantine situation has brought a tremendous increase in the number of people who use webinars as a teaching or cooperation tool.

So, where do we see webinars heading from now on?

We wanted to help you during those difficult times. We know that some of you may be new to the use of this powerful tool for education. This is why we reached out to ten webinar experts and asked them to share useful advice and insights on webinar training. Each of them shares something unique concerning successful webinar tactics.

So, here are what the experts told us. Feel free to navigate to each one of them, and then share your feedback with us!

The Digital Push: COVID-19’s Impact on Webinar Training

A lot of people now start to see the benefits of using an online tool instead of doing everything face-to-face. According to Melissa Hugel the Marketing Manager of Workcast:

According to the other experts also, webinars can save a whole lot of time to reach out to a group of people at one time. This is why webinar companies now set up discount programs for many schools to make their tools extra accessible.

We’re witnessing a dramatic shift in the way people consume content. More and more businesses are experiencing the immense benefits of a virtual environment. As more and more organizations make this shift, the services and technology will only continue to improve…

And Galina Yavorska the Marketing Manager of MyOwnConference thinks that this format will spread more into the sphere of education and training even after the quarantine and the pandemic end.

Also, Thibaut Davoult the Head of Growth of Livestorm emphasizes the impact of the crisis on distance learning, for example, in college distance learning programs.

Educators around the world have gained confidence and knowledge in doing online classes, and many will probably keep up with the practice once we get back to our normal lives…

What those experts have observed the last month is a dramatic increase in users who want to go online with webinars, either as businesses or individuals. But as it seems, the rising trend of webinars is here to stay, more than ever it was.

Read more on how remote work is changing and how to teach/train online:
Remote Training: The What, Why & How Behind It (Full Guide)
How to Teach Online & Earn Money in 2020: Definitive Guide
10 Tips for Working From Home During Uncertain Times

Expert Discussion on the Latest Trends in Webinar Training

The first rising trend in webinar training is series webinars. Omar Zenhom the CEO of WebinarNinja explains that series webinars consist of multiple sessions on different dates and times that aim to provide in-depth knowledge of a subject and tangible skills.

So, instead of teaching everything in one webinar, it is preferable to create a series of training sessions that will provide people with real value.

And Jamie Davidson, the Marketing Communications Manager of Vast Conference adds that:
“For smaller companies that may not have the bandwidth to host multiple live events, the recording function creates evergreen content that, for example, Human Resources can use to run weekly remote onboarding for new employees.”

Another rising trend is turning webinars into an engaging learning experience. Galina says that the focus in webinar training will have to be shifted towards interactive involvement.

Instead of trying to supply your event with as many people as possible, it would be better to think of how to win and retain their attention from the first moments of the webinar to the last ones…

You also might have seen the shift from Voice-over PowerPoints to a presentation with talking heads – that is, the essential human element being present (the actual human face). As Rob Bayuk says,

Seeing a real person keeps the listener engaged, as they came to hear from a person, not just a screen with text and disembodied voice. This becomes even more paramount to keep a learner ‘on-task’ and focused…

Maintaining audience engagement and focus is critical. Apart from the instructor’s presence, we must ensure that participants are offered regular opportunities to interact and engage with the content. This is why webinar experts are now trying to add as many features as possible into the webinar experience.

One last webinar trend for 2020 is that users tend to be more and more concerned about their online privacy and security. Therefore, Galina adds that it is crucial to select webinar platforms that care about the personal data of their clients and webinar attendees (for example, they should choose GDPR compliant webinar tools).

Advice from Experts on How to Move Offline Training into a Webinar Format

#1 Know your goal and choose the right webinar platform

There are many webinar platforms out there. Each one of them goes with specific features and capabilities. Depending on what you want to achieve, you must choose a platform tailored to your needs.

Take the time to do your research. Are you looking for two-way engagement with a small audience? Or are you addressing a broader audience? Your audience’s size can define the tool you’ll use. Another factor that will help you decide is your budget. It will help narrow down your prospective pool of platforms.
Once you have decided what exactly you want from a webinar platform, you don’t have to do anything else but try it.

The biggest tip we can give someone to move their offline training into a webinar format is just to start trying and run a dry-test to see if everything works the way you’ve planned it to work… – Stefan Treuren

While searching for the right platform you should also ask specific questions to yourself, as Stella Mikraki the Senior Growth Marketing Manager of LearnWorlds says:

Do you want to educate your customers or attract new leads or qualify prospects? Do you want this webinar to be your flagship product?….Depending on your strategy, sometimes it’s best to do a pre-recorded webinar instead of a live webinar. Or create a live webinar to direct people to your premium training which is locked behind a paywall available to members only. – Stella Mikraki

#2 Adapt your lessons to the online world

The training we do offline consists of specific content. A big mistake to do is to dump our content into a PowerPoint and deliver it to our audience. We must have a plan instead and put ourselves in our students’ shoes.

We aren’t thinking creatively enough about how to deliver the content effectively. We know MOOCs, and asynchronous online courses can suffer from low completion rates, so figuring out how to evolve content delivery is key… – Rob Bayuk

Figuring out how to evolve content delivery is indeed crucial. It takes a cohesive plan for how to go online and clarity among ourselves about what we want learners to achieve. This may include using specific learning tactics or breaking training into smaller sessions over a few days. Also, any course provider needs to ensure that their content is easily accessible by all involved parties across every possible device.

This monumental challenge can be easily solved by using cloud-based content collaboration tools. They allow you not only to share a link to course materials but also to update what you offer with new versions of existing content — without changing the URL to the file.

#3 Be prepared for each session

How can we be best prepared for a webinar? Three experts suggest:

Get comfortable:

Get comfortable with your webinar software. To practice, there is nothing better than doing dry runs for a few sessions, just get a colleague or friend to attend and give feedback for a mock lesson… – Thibaut Davoult


Ensure you have practiced walking through the several stages. Upload your files before the training starts and get your speaker notes ready in the meeting room… – Oliver Verstraeten the Co-founder of Vectera

Make a plan:

Make a good plan, what you want to show or tell, and what you want your viewers to have learned from your webinar and write out how you want to get to that point, so during your webinar you know exactly what to say at what moment… – Stefan Treuren

#4 Keep people engaged

Online teaching is somewhat different from face-to-face teaching. Keeping students’ interest high is difficult. High-end webinar productions are now achievable with the right tools that help shorten the distance between learner-instructor and always keep participants engaged.

Teachers must keep on teaching even though they feel ‘alone’, and every few minutes to use an interactive tool, such as polls, multiple-choice questions, quizzes, or games. These will keep students vigilant and help the teacher evaluate their understanding… – Eyal Levy Co-founder and CEO of Unicko Virtual Classroom

Follow specific tactics to increase engagement during webinar training such as:

And after the webinar, send additional resources to keep that engagement up and going:

Make your students feel part of a community. Share worksheets and notes following the live webinar, exercises or links to additional resources or more advanced training, and have your students interact in a group, like the built-in community inside any LearnWorlds school. – Stella Mikraki

Some of the webinar platforms come with those features and others with some of those. Anyway, we believe that mixing up the content types and delivery strategies is what keeps people engaged.

Learning can be fun, and with so much rich imagery, photos, and data at our disposal, we must think more creatively in how we package and deliver this content. The ability to integrate rich content alongside a “live” video presentation makes the content and the message stand-out even more… – Rob Bayuk

And engagement is key:

The more engaged they are during your training, the more value they will get out of it, and the more credibility you and your organization will gain… – Omar Zenhom

What to Avoid While Delivering Training via Webinars

The reason why webinar training needs a thorough design is that online training pushes people’s expectations higher.

People generally perceive their time online as more valuable than their time in person. We’ll attend a full-day conference in person, and not think much about whether the organizers are making every minute count. But an all-day online event really has to deliver. The bar is higher. – Omar Zenhom

So, what is the best advice we got on what to avoid in webinar training?

Be careful of everyone sharing their video

I would advise to entirely forget about having the whole classroom share their webcam during the online lesson, especially for classrooms with more than ten students. We’ve already seen many failed records where a student didn’t realize their webcam was on… – Thibaut Davoult

Don’t overload your slides

Don’t overload your slides with information – no one is going to engage with a wall of text on a slide. There is only so much the human brain can take it at one time. – Melissa Hugel

Moderate your audience

When 100 people get connected to the event with their webcams and microphones on, it will be tough to work in such a format. Everyone will be willing to do something, and even if you force mute everyone, the visual noise will remain. Thus, it is better when the moderator invites attendees to speak one by one, and only when it is essential. – Galina Yavorska

What Do Experts Teach Us?

Now that we have seen all experts’ opinions on webinar training, we can infer that webinars aren’t plug-and-play solutions. There has to be a strategy behind it. Designing learning goals and following ongoing assessment practices will help you achieve better learning results.

The Covid-19 crisis has sparked a sudden and unexpected surge of online webinars. Experts expect this change to last long term – or at least in some sort of blended learning combining offline training with online workshops.

For a webinar to be successful, we must come up with solutions that keep people engaged in the process. Calling people to interact with the content, and you are essential parts of a webinar. Furthermore, there are specific things to avoid during webinars.

Further things to read:
The Ultimate Guide on Creating Webinars & Live Classes
How to Organize Your Online Courses Using Storyboards
Customer Education: The What, Why & How Behind It [Guide]

How to Promote Your Webinar

If you want to charge your webinar, hence provide a product, determine the costs of webinar production. Then, calculate the amount of time it takes you to create the webinar content and measure how many participants you expect to have in your webinar to come up with the final price. If you want to promote your webinar effectively follow some of the tactics below:

Create a spot-on sales pitch: Come up with a sales pitch that sounds natural, letting words speak from your heart. When you are genuinely trying to help people, they feel it and will sign up for the event with no further question.

Give a short description in your pitch: Explain the 4Ws – What, Who, When, Where.
Create scarcity with the availability of seats to urge more people to enter.

Run Facebook ads: Promote your webinar through Facebook or Instagram ads and send out the invitation link to people who are more likely to be interested in it.

Come up with a lead magnet: Create a pop-form that offers a short free webinar, an ebook, or a coaching session with you to entice them to subscribe. Then, you can send them a welcoming email and two or three more webinar reminder emails along the way.

Create a strong webinar landing page: Creating a winning landing page that can host your webinar registration page and your ‘Thank You’ page or confirmation page is the best thing you can do to promote it.

To get your webinar landing page right, clearly explain when the webinar will take place, what the topic of the session is going to be, who will be presenting, how to register for the event, and what people can gain from attending it. The more specific you define your title, the better.

When done right, a webinar can be an extremely effective tool for you to train either students or potential customers.

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Course Designer & Content Creator at LearnWorlds

Anthea is a Course designer and Content Creator for the LearnWorlds team. She holds years of experience in instructional design and teaching. With a Master of Education (M.Ed.) focused in Modern Teaching Methods & ICT (Information & Communications Technology), she supplements her knowledge with practical experience in E-Learning and Educational Technology.