The Ultimate Live Webinar Checklist for 2024

June 17, 2024

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Lisa Marinelli


Let’s say you have a great webinar game plan, a solid goal in mind, and panelists in place. All that’s left to do is get people to attend and go live.

It can be tricky to pull off a smooth and successful live event, but we’re here to make it easier with this webinar checklist. Whether you’re using Wistia Live or another live streaming platform, this checklist will guide you through everything from prepping and promoting to going live and making the recording available on demand — and more.

Let’s make your live event a smashing success!

Still looking for a live streaming platform? We think you’ll like Wistia Live. It’s built into our video marketing platform, so you’ll get to do all things webinars in one spot. Check it out!

Five weeks before the webinar

Five weeks may seem like a long time, but take it from us: They’ll fly by fast. So now would be a good time to start laying the groundwork. Here’s what you need to do:

Create an event in your live streaming platform

  • Give your event a title.
  • Decide on the date/time you want to go live.
  • Figure out how long your event will be.
  • Write up an event description.
If you’re using Wistia Live, you can use our AI event description feature. Just summarize your event, select your brand voice, and sit back as the tool spins up a catchy description of your webinar.
  • Decide if you want to enable a registration form for your event or have folks join with just their names.
  • Customize your registration page to match your brand (if your streaming platform allows it).
  • Share the panelist link with your panelists.
  • Share the host link with your co-host (if you have one).

Put together a promotion strategy

You should start promoting your event two to four weeks beforehand — and don’t stop until the big day.

  • Create compelling copy that covers all the essentials.
  • Create design assets.
  • Decide where to promote your webinar. (We’ve got some ideas!)
  • If you’re co-marketing, make sure you and your webinar partner are on similar promotion schedules to create the most impact.

You’ll want to adjust your promotion schedule depending on your registration goal and target audience. If your goal is high registration while targeting a net new audience, you should give yourself a larger promotion window of four weeks ahead of your event. On the other hand, if your goal is to obtain registrations from an audience that is familiar with your brand, two weeks is sufficient.

Wistia Live’s registration analytics show you which channels bring in the most registrations. You can use this info to identify where to spend the most time promoting your event.

Three weeks before the webinar

Now it’s time to start preparing your presentation.

Develop the webinar content

  • Create an outline of your talking points.
  • Put together the first draft of the slide deck (if you’re using one).
    • When designing your slides, avoid placing important info where the closed captions may cover it. Also, keep in mind that sometimes when a presenter shares their screen, their webcam image — though smaller now — may stay on the screen and block one area (the bottom right corner, for example). So be sure to keep any important info clear of that spot on your slides, too!
    • Make your slides accessible by using high-contrast colors.
  • Make a list of videos you may want to share during the webinar.
With Wistia Live, you can play back any video in your Wistia library without sharing your screen. The best way to have your videos on deck and ready to share during your presentation is by adding them to your event room.

Decide where you’re hosting the webinar

Get Inspired
Feel like binge-watching a branded series? Check out our series Fix My Setup for tips and best practices for creating the most optimal webinar setup!

Decide where you’ll be distributing the live stream

  • Find out what distribution options your live streaming platform offers (for example, does it let you embed the stream on your site or simulcast to social channels?).
  • Make a list of the places where you’ll be distributing your live stream and note how and when to set up each one.

One week before the webinar

Let’s get some things in order and make sure your co-presenters feel good about everything!

“One week before the webinar, it’s important to make sure all your materials are ready to go. If you’re hosting a co-marketing webinar or inviting panelists to participate in your presentation, it’s a great idea to share a copy of the presentation with them so they can feel totally comfortable before the dry run.”
Jean Merlain
Product Marketing Manager, Wistia

Prepare the videos and resources you want to share during your presentation

  • Sharing polls during your webinar? Add the poll questions to your live event ahead of time.
  • Review the list of videos you put together to make sure you’ve got all the right videos lined up.
  • Put together a list of resources you want to share with your audience.
  • Create a run of show doc that outlines when you want to play each video or share relevant resources during your event.

Host a webinar dry run

  • Set up a new live event just for your dry run.
  • Share the panelist link with your co-presenters.
  • Check your audio and video quality.
  • Check your internet connection.
  • Make sure you (and your co-presenters) have screen sharing set up.
  • Practice moving panelists on and off the stage.
  • Run through the deck and ask your co-presenters for feedback on the content flow.
  • If you’re sharing videos during your event, make sure the video playback is great.
    • Remove any email capture forms or calls to action from your videos so that they play uninterrupted.
  • Make sure there’s enough time for a Q&A session at the end of your presentation (at least 15 minutes).

Have your panelists help spread the word

  • Put together some promotional copy with links to the registration page.
  • Ask your panelists to share the promotional copy with their followers on social.

Three days before the webinar

The webinar’s right around the corner, so it’s time to dot your i’s and cross your t’s!

  • Email your email base to remind them about the event and get more folks to register.
  • Finalize your webinar content.
  • Lock in your webinar location.

Day of the webinar

The big day is finally here! Take a deep breath. You’ve got only a few things left to do before going live.

Remind your registrants about your webinar

  • Email them a reminder with a link to the live event.

Get your location ready

  • Check your setup.
    • Check all the wiring and equipment settings.
    • See if your wireless internet connection is strong and stable enough.
      • If possible, use a wired ethernet connection to get the fastest and most stable connection.
  • Make sure the room’s quiet and there are no distractions.
  • Face a light source.
  • Set your webcam at eye level.
  • Clean up your digital background.
  • Clean up your webcam background.

Connect to each social channel you’ll be simulcasting on

  • Grab the stream key and RTMP URL from each social channel and plug them into your streaming platform.

Join the event room 15–20 minutes before the scheduled time

  • Join as a host.
    • Check the audio and video quality.
    • Check your slides.
    • Make sure the video playback is great.
  • Have your co-host (if you have one) and panelists join 15–20 minutes prior, too.
    • Check in with everyone to make sure they’re ready for showtime.
      • Ask them to check their audio and video quality.

During the webinar

Follow these best practices to keep your live stream rolling.

Go live five minutes before the scheduled time.

  • Play a countdown timer on the screen for the early birds.
  • If you’re streaming your event to your site or social media platforms, check all the feeds.
    • For Instagram, go back to Instagram and activate the live stream.
  • At the scheduled start time, show the title slide for a few minutes to let folks trickle in and settle in.
  • While you wait, ask your attendees ice-breaking questions in the chat.
    • Try asking where they’re logging in from. (This is the most popular question to ask.)
    • You could also ask what they’re most excited to learn about.

Start your presentation with housekeeping items

  • Remind your audience that the webinar is being recorded and let them know that you’ll share the recording and slides later.
  • Encourage the audience to drop their questions in the Q&A feature during the presentation and let them know you’ll have time at the end to answer them.
  • If it fits the nature of your webinar, encourage everyone to share live updates on social media during the presentation.

Engage with your audience

  • Pay attention to what your attendees are saying in the chat.
  • Remember to share all the links, poll questions, and videos you’ve put together for this webinar.
No need to remember to hit record with Wistia Live. Your webinar is automatically recorded the moment you go live!

After the webinar

Phew, the event is over! But the fun doesn’t stop here. Now it’s time to turn your webinar into a gift that keeps on giving. Clean up your recording, make it available on demand, and repurpose it into various marketing assets.

Review your event analytics

  • Find out when your audience was most engaged during your presentation and when they were not engaged.
    • Use these findings to improve your webinar strategy.

Polish up your webinar recording

  • Generate a transcript for your recording and turn it into captions.
  • Customize the video player to match your brand.
  • Add chapters to make it easy for your audience to navigate through the content.
    • If you’re using Wistia’s video editor, it’ll automatically generate chapters for you, and you can adjust them to your liking.
  • Add a lead generation form to your video so you can collect email addresses and other information from your on-demand audience.

Share the webinar recording

  • Embed the recording on your site.
    • You can create a page or Channel for your on-demand webinar recordings.
  • Share the recording on your social channels.

Send follow-up emails

  • Email your attendees.
    • Thank them for tuning in.
    • Include a link to the on-demand recording.
    • Include your presentation slides.
  • Email the registrants who didn’t attend the webinar.
    • Include a link to the on-demand recording.

Turn the most engaging moments of your webinar into social media clips

  • Adjust the video layout to fit each social channel you’re using.
    • For TikTok, YouTube Shorts, or Instagram, set your clip to a 9:16 vertical layout.
With Wistia’s video editor, you can use AI to pull the most engaging clips. And you can easily resize your videos for social media with a single click!

Turn the webinar content into an evergreen blog post

  • Summarize the key takeaways.
  • Embed the on-demand recording in the blog post and gate it with a lead capture form to keep generating leads.

Take your webinar game to the next level

Now with this checklist, hosting a successful webinar will always be a breeze. Want more tips and insights? We’ve got a few resources to check out:

June 17, 2024

Topic tags

Lisa Marinelli


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