Let’s face it. There are probably a lot of webinars you’ve attended in which you were bored out of your mind. You probably got hooked on the topic and signed up only to have been disappointed with a 2-hour talk. Or maybe you’ve hosted webinars and received feedback that it was pretty dragging.
These past few years have seen a rise in the use of webinars as virtual events. Mainly because of its convenience as well as its capacity to have a wider audience reach. Making it a great internal tool for companies and a way to generate leads for marketers trying to find buyers of a product or service.
However, engaging the audience is vital for most online events to be successful. You could have all the best webinar funnels or webinar marketing strategies, but you will not meet the purpose if the audience is not engaging during the webinar.
There are different ways to make a webinar more engaging for the audience. And in this article, we talk about other forms and formats to make your audience more interested. If you don’t know what a webinar is, click here.
What Makes Content Engaging
While the delivery method of a webinar may differ from other types of presentations, the fundamental principles of engagement still apply.
Good content is engaging, well-organized, and relevant to the target audience. It should also be delivered in an exciting and informative way. Conversely, boring content is often repetitive, poorly structured, and fails to hold the audience’s attention. The best way to ensure that your webinar content is engaging is to put yourself in your audience’s shoes.
Ask yourself what they want to learn and how you can engagingly deliver that information. By taking the time to understand your audience’s needs, you can create content that will keep them coming back for more.
Benefits to Mixing Up Your Webinars
Like any other type of presentation, webinars can become stale if they are not regularly refreshed or evolved. And there are benefits to making your live webinar more exciting.
Increased Audience Engagement
As any presenter knows, engaging an audience can be challenging, especially when presenting online. That’s why it’s essential to experiment with different formats to find the one that best suits your topic and target audience.
For instance, a panel discussion can be a great way to get input from multiple experts on a given topic. Alternatively, a Q&A format can help to encourage audience participation and interaction. Another option is to use polls and surveys to get feedback from attendees in real-time. By trying out different formats, you can find the one that works best for you and your audience.
Different webinar formats can have other impacts on audiences. For example, a format with a panel of experts from different perspectives can leave listeners with a well-rounded view of the topic.
Ultimately, the key is experimenting with different formats and finding what works best for your audience and your topic. By trying out different approaches, you can ensure that your webinars leave a lasting impression on all who attend.
It keeps things interesting and allows you to cater to different learning styles. For example, if you typically use a PowerPoint presentation, mix things up by incorporating a video demonstration or panel discussion.
You can also switch length, content, and delivery style. By trying different webinar formats, you will create a more dynamic and engaging experience for your webinar attendees that they will look forward to in the future.
List of Eight Engaging Webinar Formats
Below, we’ll go over eight webinar formats and will help you pick the ideal format for you and your audience. Let’s begin.
Host an AMA (Ask me anything)
The Ask Me Anything webinar format is a great way to engage with your audience and allow them to ask you questions in real time. This format is ideal for providing helpful and actionable information and building relationships with your audience.
In an Ask Me Anything webinar, you will be the expert on the topic at hand, and your audience will be able to ask you questions directly. This format is also great for building rapport and trust with your audience, as they will see that you are open and transparent.
Overall, the Ask Me Anything webinar format is a great way to provide valuable information and build relationships with your audience.
Ideal for: People who are considered established resources and have a curious audience or are looking to build credibility with an audience by showcasing your openness to questions and vulnerability in a discussion setting.
Facilitate A Peer Exchange
A Peer Exchange is a type of panel discussion webinar format where you bring together a group of experts to discuss a topic. This webinar is ideal for providing an in-depth look at a particular subject.
In a Peer Exchange, each expert, ideally from within the same industry or thought, will have the opportunity to share their knowledge and experience with the group. This format is great for audience members who want to learn from multiple perspectives.
The Peer Exchange format is excellent for providing valuable information and insights from different industry experts.
Ideal for: Individuals who want to provide an in-depth look at a particular subject matter or when you want to showcase multiple experts in your field. It is excellent when you’d like the target audience to form their conclusions by listening to insight/facts/opinions from numerous sources in the same field.
Invite an Expert to a Masterclass
A masterclass is a webinar where you invite an expert to share their knowledge with your audience. This format is ideal for providing valuable and actionable information.
This type of webinar is great for audience members who want to learn from an expert in the field. In a masterclass, the expert will share their insights and experience on the topic. Additionally, this webinar can be recorded and used as a resource for future reference.
Overall, the Masterclass format is a great way to provide valuable information from an expert in the field.
Ideal for: When you have a super experienced/successful/talented resource person, willing to open up their story, experiences, and techniques that helped them reach their level of success.
Hands-on Online Workshop
An online workshop is a webinar where you provide a hands-on, interactive experience for your target audience.
You will guide your audience through a particular topic or activity in an online workshop. This type of webinar is great for audience members who want to learn by doing. Additionally, this webinar can be recorded and used as a resource for future reference.
Overall, the Online Workshop format is a great way to provide valuable information and an interactive experience for your audience.
Ideal for: People who want to provide a hands-on, interactive experience for your audience. It is recommended when your goal is to teach the audience how to do something or complete a task.
A talk show or podcast is a type of interview webinar where you talk to an expert on a particular topic, ranging from personal to professional questions.
You know how it is with talk shows, you have a host, and you introduce a guest where the guest will be asked pre-seeded or on-the-spot questions. It is trendy as many individuals love watching talk shows.
Overall, the Talk Show or Podcast format is a great way to provide valuable information from an expert in the field without sounding too serious or casual. Your audience will enjoy a lighthearted discussion.
It is different from a masterclass because of the presence of a show host to moderate the questions, whereas a masterclass can be run only by one person and is more structured.
Ideal for: Individuals who want to interview an expert on a particular topic. It is great when your goal is to showcase an expert’s knowledge and experience in a specific subject.
Online Conference with Breakout Rooms
A conference is a type of webinar where you have multiple speakers presenting on different topics.
With the best webinar software applications, it’s now possible to have breakout rooms within the main webinar, just like if you went to a physical face-to-face conference. You can also have mini panel discussions within the smaller breakout rooms. This type of webinar is great for audience members who want to learn from multiple experts in the field.
Overall, the Conference format is a great way to provide valuable information from multiple experts in the field, offers excellent flexibility, and will be able to cater to a broad audience with a variety of topics.
Ideal for: Multiple speakers who want to present different topics. It is great when your goal is to showcase an expert’s knowledge and experience on a particular subject. Still, at the same time, giving the audience flexibility to participate in the topics they are interested in.
This webinar usually has a facilitator, a pain, and some challenging questions. It involves generating ideas from the audience about how to solve a case.
In a case study, you will discuss a particular problem and how you solve a problem. However, the more critical aspect is the exercise of the audience’s mental capacity for problem-solving.
Overall, the Case Study format is a great way to provide valuable information through a participating cognitive experience.
Ideal for: People who need to solve a problem. It is great when your goal is to highlight learning and best practices from companies or individuals that have experienced a relatable challenge.
In an expert debate webinar, the host usually invites two experts with opposing views to debate on a topic. These experts can be from inside or outside of the organization.
In an expert debate, the host usually invites two experts with opposing views to debate on a topic. This type of webinar is great for audience members who want to learn from experts in the field. Additionally, this webinar can be recorded and used as a resource for future reference.
Overall, the Expert Debate format is a great way to provide valuable information from experts in the field from polarizing points of view.
Ideal for: Individuals who want to broaden perspectives on their audience by presenting alternate points of view.
Extra Ideas To Make Webinars More Engaging
Consider the webinar format as the overall show and flow of things that need to happen. As you go through the webinar, adding a few audience-engaging activities can still help an online event maintain interest in the topic.
These ideas can be inserted during the talk or by taking breaks in between subjects:
- Digital Polls: A Digital poll is a great webinar tool for when you want to get immediate feedback from the webinar audience. Usually, you can use an app, website, or even a chat box to get responses from your audience.
- Quizzes: Quizzes are great when you want to test the knowledge of your audience or even just for fun.
- Raffle Draw: A bit old school but a raffle draw with a decent prize is always worth sitting through a webinar.
- Freebies at the end of the webinar: A little something to make the audience remember you. It could be an e-book, a digital copy of slides, or even a coupon code.
And much more. You won’t have a shortage of ideas to keep your audience engaged.
There are many ways to make virtual events like webinars enjoyable and boost audience engagement. Ultimately we recommend boiling down to your key learning objectives and your resources, whether expert, human, or software, to help guide you towards which format best fits your audience.
But if you can’t choose which webinar formats to start with, we highly recommend trying out the Peer Exchange or panel discussions, running an online workshop, and tackling a case study.
These three are among the most preferred formats due to their ease of implementation and audience engagement. Keep trying and experimenting until you achieve your evergreen webinar goals.
Make sure to try out these formats for your future webinars.