Organising a Webinar

Webinars are short web-based seminars, either live or on-demand, usually transmitting audio and video over the web. As a type of digital event, they are a great way to generate value at a relatively low cost (mainly due to no travelling involved).

These are a good and relatively quick opportunity to share IFLA’s Professional Units work and calls to action, reaching out and engaging with individuals located anywhere in the world, particularly those who may not be able to attend in person events, like the WLIC.

Organising a webinar: Checklist and tips for Professional Units [PDF]:

Some key steps are required to ensure quality and engagement with your webinars:

Before the webinar:

  • Propose the topic/content and the intended audience (very important) and discuss with your team (some units launch open calls to ask for topics and then select the most voted! – See the NPSIG call)
  • Search, propose and agree on possible speakers and roles (introduction, speakers, moderator, communications, technology)
  • Define a tentative date (this could then be adjusted according to speakers’ availability). Ideally there should be a month between the save the date and the webinar. However, since the webinars are recorded, if our main objective is not specifically to have people connect live, two or three weeks (at a fast pace) is also feasible.
  • Involve your Information Coordinator and coordinate with him/her the promotion of the event
  • Chose the tool to be used: Zoom and  YouTube Live, are good options. Zoom has a maximum of people connected at the same time (100) so it is good if we don’t expect a lot of people. A regular number of attendees is around 50. Using Zoom you can also play videos, if some of the speakers are not able to speak live. Benefits of YouTube Live are that is more open, and people can access directly from your channel. You can also embed the YouTube video in the event page, for example. Both options offer the possibility to connect remote speakers, share slides, chat functionality and recording.
  • Create a flyer with the title, speakers, hashtags and the information to connect
  • Create an event page in your Professional Unit's webpage announcing the webinar
  • Create a news item in the Professional Unit's webpage announcing the webinar
  • If your Professional Unit has social media, share Facebook and Twitter posts announcing the webinar (Also an event can be created in Facebook announcing the webinar for people to sign up)
  • Send announcements to mailing lists, and ask people to spread the news (IFLA-L + thematic and/or regional, according to the topic)
  • Provide guidelines to speakers: content, template, slides, copyright considerations, language, time available, type of connection, software/system to be used, with/without camera, etc.
  • Produce a script/bullet points + slide deck in each language:
    • Produce a script/bullet points of your interventions, including an introduction of the webinar and speakers, invitation for questions and answers, and closing
    • Prepare your slides for the introduction, presentations, questions and answers, and closing (you can include also a slide with quick instructions to set up the audio and mic)
    • Make sure to receive the speakers’ slides (check for copyright issues – we are in a way responsible for what is in their slides as well)
    • Translate slides and script if the webinar is in different languages
  • Send reminders closer to the date in social media and mailing lists
  • Prepare at least 3 seed questions in case there aren't any questions from the audience (if the webinar is in different languages, these should be different in each of them)
  • Ensure the technology/space needed for you to host the webinar is available (computer, working internet, good mic and camera, and a quiet room)
  • Do a run-through to make sure everyone is comfortable with the system and their role

On that day and during the webinar:

  • Connect at least half an hour earlier with speakers to test audio and camera (it is very important to have good internet connection, good mic/audio and make sure the camera is set up correctly, if needed)
  • Have one member of the team dedicated to making sure the system works and troubleshooting before and during the webinar
  • Make sure there is another person there to moderate the chat and monitor social media in case there are questions
  • Share the link to the webinar right before it starts in social media inviting people to connect
  • Start the webinar on time and make sure it is recording.
  • Welcome people, answer questions in the chat, and help people to connect.
  • Have a slide at the beginning with instructions to connect the audio (it is the most common problem)
  • Mute everyone’s mic until it is moment for them to speak or to participate in the questions and answers. Remind them to use the “raise hand” and chat options until the Q&A.

After the webinar:

  • Download the video recording of the webinar (this step is not needed if you are using YouTube Live).
  • Review and edit the video after the event, trim beginning and end if needed (If you have a YouTube channel, this can be done after uploading it to YouTube).
  • Upload the video to your Professional Unit’s YouTube/Vimeo channel or contact IFLA’s communications team to explore other options to make it available online, make sure to add metadata and use the flyer as thumbnail.
  • Link recording, slides and script in the website event and news piece.
  • Create a new publication with the webinar title, resources and description. When creating a new publication, you can use the publication type “Webinar” and this new section will appear listed in your publications page.
  • Share materials in mailing lists and social media.
  • Thank guest speakers and share materials with them too.

Last update: 10 December 2019