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Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Host A Webinar

An Example of a Web Conference. Source Wikipedia
A Webinar, sometimes called a web conference or web meeting, can be a delightful entree to your upcoming Adventure Retreat. Here are a few things to consider:
  1. Find a webinar provider. There are many free providers out there who offer upgrades if you want more features. Find the one that works best for you. Keep in mind that some may require you and/or your participants to download software. So choose a more popular webinar provider so many of your participants already have the software, if necessary. Some people are reluctant to download software to their computer in order to participate in a webinar.
  2. Get webinar training yourself first. Find out what a webinar is and what it is not and know how to use the software and features. Practice. Features of most webinars include a white board, live audio and video, slideshows, polls, and text messaging or chats. You don't have to use all the features just because they are there. But do know your capabilities and how they work. 
  3. Get a helper. You will want someone to handle technical issues like advancing slides, monitoring noise and moderating social media and conversation. And a helper to handle participant confusion like a web address where they find more information, a problem downloading files and inappropriate interruptions. 
  4. Understand hashtags and how they work. Create a hashtag for your webinar so participants can continue to ask questions and generate interest about your upcoming adventure. The theme for your upcoming adventure is often a good hashtag. i.e. #TheRestOfYourLife or #LifeIsABeach or #BiggerFishToFry. Monitor tweets with that hashtag for days after your webinar
  5. Have an written agenda for your webinar and share that agenda beforehand. Your webinar agenda must relate to your Adventure Retreat offering. Share tidbits in your webinar that will be explored more thoroughly in your adventure. If your agenda does not directly lead into your retreat, you'll just confuse folks about what they need to do next if they liked what they heard on the webinar. 
  6. Keep your content simple. Less is more. Remember your webinar participants may be distracted by all they are seeing and all the options they have to participate. So content must be direct (have a take-charge presence), simple (3 agenda items is enough) and jargon-free so international participants are not confused by your language. 
  7. Have references for your participants like links to your last retreat, your adventure venue, more information about your theme and books and other materials that would be helpful to access before your adventure retreat offering. Be sure these references are part of your slides or downloadable. You can get stuck repeating url's as participants come and go or do not hear your clearly.
  8. Have some informative and interesting poll questions for your participants. Ask meaningful questions, not questions just to ask questions or to use all the technical bells and whistles a webinar can offer. Place your polls strategically to lead your participants through the decision of whether or not to join you on retreat.
  9. Invite your participants to join you on your upcoming outing. Make it formal, clear and with sincerity. Provide ONE link to all the information they need to sign up easily.
  10. Say Thank You to everyone who joined your webinar whether or not they register for your outing. Sincere thanks will generate followers. Many folks will follow your webinars several times before they join you on retreat.
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