B2B Virtual Events: A Pro’s Guide to Planning and Promoting Your Webinars

March 15, 2023

ViB Editorial Team

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Many marketers are in information overload.

Yet we still need to learn and grow and further develop our skill sets in order to succeed at our jobs. That’s why educating people with quality content is more important than offering sheer volumes of information.

Though, when it comes to producing and promoting a high-quality webinar, that idea is sometimes easier said than done. 

What are the secrets to creating webinars that are valuable for audiences and for your company?

We spoke to Darius Eslami, then  a Marketing Programs Manager at VMware Carbon Black and now an Integrated Senior Marketing Manager at Mural. Together with Tom Riddle, Director of Survey and Research Solutions at ViB, Darius dove into these tips:

  • The reason quality trumps quantity

  • The ideal promotion time frame

  • How to communicate takeaways

  • Why you should never skip dry runs

  • Prep questions in advance

  • Mine data logs

Darius explored this topic with us over a conversation from our the Art and Science of Webinars, which is part of our webinar success series by ViB and its network of marketing experts.

Darius shares proven tactics for strategic webinar production and promotion learned over years of experience at virtual event management, at times producing up to three webinars a week.

Why quality is crucial for successful B2B webinars

When it comes to a B2B webinar marketing strategy, quality should always be the top priority.

Executing high-quality webinars provide your audience with valuable information, and it also establishes your brand as a credible source of knowledge—both so essential in B2B marketing.

And with virtual events having low barriers to entry, building that sense of trust with audiences is even more important than usual.

Darius’s tip #1: There’s no golden frequency, prioritize quality over quantity instead

When planning your webinars, it’s important to avoid the common pitfall of hosting too many webinars as it can lead to audience burnout and lack of interest.

Darius cautions that it’s easy to exhaust them with webinar fatigue.

Instead, focus your energy on selecting strategic topics that you promote to targeted audiences. 

Darius found success by engaging the right people with relevant topics that really resonated with them.

And in response, new audiences became hungrier for more content.

So don’t just rely on a set number of webinars a week. Instead, figure out what interests your addressable audience and develop quality content that’s worth their time.

Easily plan webinars, end-to-end, like Donoma

“ViB is the right balance. We provide the event messaging and then they go execute on it. All I did was show up and present and afterward ViB provided metrics and event data. It’s a win-win.”
 
– Parker Pearson, VP, Marketing & Business Development, Donoma Software

Nail the ideal timing and messaging for webinar promotion

Now that you’ve got a high-quality webinar to offer, when do you start promoting it?

Finding that sweet spot in time is crucial to getting attendees to sign up for B2B events.

Webinar promotion timing can impact a person’s ability and willingness to commit to an event, so it’s important to make sure that the promotion period aligns with the ideal time frame for attendees to plan and schedule their participation.

Darius’s tip #2: Aim for 3-4 weeks before the event for optimal sign-up rates

Darius suggests that a sweet spot for promoting webinars is about three to four weeks before the event.

This allows people enough time to plan and commit to attending, without the uncertainty that comes with a promotion too far in advance. Any further out can lead people to doubt their future schedules.

Darius’s tip #3: Be clear on your takeaways

When promoting your webinar, it’s essential to be clear on the event’s takeaways at every point of contact with your prospective audience.

This helps to set expectations for what the attendees will learn from your webinar and also makes them more likely to actually attend. Plus, if you clearly outline the main points of your webinar before it starts, viewers will be better prepared and more likely to enjoy it.

As Darius mentions, this information should be prominently displayed in

  • the subject line of emails

  • the title of the webinar

  • the abstract on the landing page

Take some time to plan for these components, even when you’re just beginning your search for virtual event topics. That alarity will smooth the development process for you too.

In many ways, clear takeaways can help in amplifying your value and reach, which is a key element in effective virtual event planning.

Psst, get event promotion examples in our tips and templates to write better B2B emails.

There’s an easy way to get guaranteed (and targeted) leads to your webinars, on repeat.

Never neglect the prep

We know it’s tempting to skip that time-consuming dry run, especially when you’re on a mad dash to iron out issues.

But practice makes perfect, which will make a huge impact each moving part in your webinar.

Darius’s tip #4: Always conduct at least one dry run before the event

Conducting dry runs before a webinar is an essential step for ensuring a smooth and successful event. But if you need more convincing, here are the biggest reasons why:

  • Work out any kinks or technical issues

  • Test the flow and pacing of your presentation

  • Identify areas in your materal that need improvement before the live event

  • Build confidence in the speakers

  • Triple check if you have enough time to interact with your audience.  

On that last point, Darius points out how it’s so important to make time for Q&A during a webinar. This interaction time allows attendees to ask questions and gain more in-depth knowledge about the topic being discussed. Conversely, you gain more data about your consumers.

Practice sessions can help you adjust for time constraints, and even identify potential questions that may arise during the live event and give you a chance to come up with well-informed answers.

He recommends setting aside at least five, if not ten minutes for questions. 

Tom’s bonus tip #5: Prepare questions ahead

Also in this episode, Tom adds his thoughts about Q&As. Having a chatty audience isn’t a gurantee, so preparing realistic questions and answering them live can help provide valuable info or even encourage organic conversations.

As Tom further suggests, one way to develop authentic and informative questions is to ask your salespeople.

They get asked questions every day. Sales representatives have direct interactions with potential customers and can provide valuable insight into the questions and concerns that they hear most often.

Additionally, they can offer some intel on the most popular topics among your target audience, giving you a better idea of what your attendees are interested in learning more about.

🔍 How are B2B marketers approaching generative AI, lead generation and marketing budget allocation today? Check out our latest B2B marketing trends report for the latest stats and strategies you need to know.

Thumbnail of ViB B2B Marketing Trends Report

Discover the latest trends and statistics — and the key actions B2B marketers and leaders need to take today. 

Conduct a post-mortem review

How you end it all is critical. Always conduct a virtual event post-mortem review, typically with the following elements:

  1. Attendance: The number of attendees, as well as demographic data such as job titles, company size, and location.

  2. Engagement: Data on engagement during the event, such as chat activity, Q&A participation, and poll results.

  3. Technology: Information about any technical issues that occurred during the event, such as connectivity or platform issues, and how they were resolved.

  4. Feedback: Attendee feedback on the event, including both qualitative and quantitative data. This can include survey results, comments from chat logs, and feedback from social media.

  5. Success Metrics: Measurement of the overall success of the event, such as demand generation, conversions, and other key performance indicators (KPIs)

  6. Lessons Learned: An analysis of what worked well, what didn’t, and what can be improved for future virtual events.

  7. Recommendations: Actionable recommendations for improving future virtual events and increasing repeatability in your strategy, such as changes to the content, technology, or promotional strategy.

  8. Follow-up: The follow-up plan for engaging with attendees after the event and any activities planned to ensure the objectives of the virtual event are met after the event is finished.

Tom’s bonus tip #6: Mine logs

Mining logs from your virtual events can be an incredibly valuable zero and first-party data resource for understanding how your audience interacts with your webinars.

By analyzing these logs, you can identify key takeaways from your webinars, and extract important information about the interests, pain points, and questions of your attendees. This can help you to craft better content, be more focused on your target audience’s interests, and find ways to make your content even more valuable and optimized for conversions.

Plan your virtual event strategy with ViB experts

Creating and promoting high-quality webinars takes careful planning and execution of multiple parts at a go. That’s why many B2B marketers get help from virtual event solution providers like ViB.

At ViB, we understand the challenges of virtual event management. Our comprehensive portfolio of event marketing services include:

Get more tips by listening to the entire episode, Production and Promotion with Darius Eslami, or get a free consultation with us to discover our community-based approach to virtual events.

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