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Best Practices for Making Your Webinar a Success After the Event

Webinars are a cost-effective alternative to in-person meetings, allowing companies to expand their reach, target more people more often, and deliver a compelling, fully branded experience. But to make your webinar a success, you must follow-up with participants, just as you would after an in-person event. That will allow you to take full advantage of the meeting itself, as well as leverage web conferencing technology to deliver certain benefits an in-person event can't match.On Thursday May 13 at 2pm ET, I will be participating in a Webinar on this topic. We'll be highlighting best practices for making your Webinar a success after the event is over; to join us, please register here.

Meanwhile, here are some tips to get you started:

* Follow up promptly. Send personalized follow-up emails to attendees within a day of the event. Reiterate your best-practices recommendations, and be sure to send attendees any promised collateral, including copies of the presentations, the link to the recorded session, articles or book excerpts, etc.

* Record your event for future use. One of the biggest advantages of web conferencing software is that it allows you to record the live event, including audio, slide presentations, Q&A sessions, and polling results. You can then leverage that recording in a number of ways, delivering maximum ROI for your webinar investment.

* Don't forget to follow up with those people who couldn't make the live event. Offer a link to the recorded session, as well as any relevant documentation and contact information. Make sure to include them in any future webinar invitations, too.

* Capture the same registration information for viewing the recorded session as you did for the live event; you want to qualify these leads just as you would any others.

* Measure your event's success. Track the number of registrants and the attendance rate, and compare them to past events or pre-determined targets to gauge success. If your event was an exercise in lead generation, track how many qualified leads came out of it. If your event was a training session, follow up with attendees to determine how well they are leveraging that education.

* Review responses to polling questions to determine the general character of the audience, learn where their interests lie, and identify any gaps in the content of the webinar itself. This will help you develop more relevant webinars in the future.

* Suggest attendees continue to follow you on Twitter. Remind them of the hash tag (such as #Acme) and encourage them to continue tweeting about what they learned or any questions they may still have. Then, make sure to tweet often to keep the conversation going.