10 Tips to Host a Successful Video Seminar

How to create a successful virtual event

(Image: Thinkstock)

Question: Name one tip for creating a successful virtual event or seminar.

Start the Seminar Strong
“Why does every webinar seem to start with “Um, hi everyone…can you hear me? I guess we’ll get started…”? You’ll immediately win over your audience if you launch right in with a great story, a hot tip or a really energetic introduction of your topic. Grab the participants right away and they’ll stick with you.”

- Lindsey Pollak | Career Expert & LinkedIn Spokesperson, Lindsey Pollak
Practice With the Technology
“Getting to know the technology platform you’ll be using to host and deliver the event is crucial to its success. Even with team members on hand to help facilitate, being able to competently use the platform to run the event will give you the confidence and reassurance that you’re as prepared as you can be, not only with the content of the seminar itself, but with the technology side too.”

- Lea Woodward | Founder, Inspiring Ventures
Keep Up With Customer Service
“Make sure everyone involved knows where they can get support. Whether that’s a client, sponsor, team member, hotel staff, or speaker, ensure that everyone knows where their questions can be answered. You’ll not only field people in the right direction but give a sense of peace that if a question does come up, your team is ready and able to handle it.”

- Kelly Azevedo | Founder, She’s Got Systems
Understand Your Target Viewer
“Take the time to hammer out who your ideal participant is. This will allow you to focus your marketing efforts and ensure that the attendees you assemble are able to work well together and get the greatest benefits out of the event.”

- Alexandra Levit | President and Founder, Inspiration at Work

Think About the End Goal

“Always keep the goal or reason why you’re running this virtual event or seminar at the top of your mind. This will help you reverse engineer the content, speakers, branding, and presentations that will reap the biggest rewards for you and your attendees.”

- Nathalie Lussier | Creator, The Website Checkup Tool
Enable Audience Participation
“One problem with virtual events is that people tune out and get bored since they don’t feel involved. Enable audience participation by hosting live chats where viewers can chat in their questions to the speaker. We run these with Her Campus alums so they can give advice to current HCers and everyone feels engaged and involved since they can ask their own questions.”

- Stephanie Kaplan | Co-Founder, CEO and Editor-in-Chief, Her Campus Media
Engage With Games
“There are two challenges when hosting a virtual event — getting people to show up and getting them to participate once they are there. ‘Edutaining’ your participants with a fun, on-brand challenge and rewarding them with prizes is a great way to pull off a successful virtual event that your attendees won’t stop buzzing about.”

- Melissa Cassera | President and CEO, Cassera Communications
Jump Into Joint Ventures
“Find people who are already marketing to your target market and incentivize them to market your event. They already have a relationship with your target market and those are more likely to attend your event with a recommendation than if you contact them cold. Use leverage and find a way to get others to support you. You can pay them on sales and costs you nothing out of pocket.”

- Louis Lautman | Founder, Supreme Outsourcing
Be Incredibly Thorough
“In order for your event to be successful, you need to walk your attendees through the process from A to Z. If possible, provide a demonstration video about how to access the event. Consider using a service like Jing, as it will walk you through what you need to include in your video to make your virtual event user-friendly and easy to access.”

- Andrew Schrage | Co-Owner, Money Crashers Personal Finance
Write Out a Script
“Even if you don’t expect to stick to it, write a script out for the event. Practice with that script so that you sound polished and professional. How you sound is a big factor in how successful an event you can put on — how many people are still listening at the end of your talk.”

- Thursday Bram | Consultant, Hyper Modern Consulting
The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, the YEC recently launched #StartupLab, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses via live video chats, an expert content library and email lessons.

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