what makes a webinar successful? 

Paul Coyle, Director, Entrepreneurial Mindset Network, France.

This article was first published in 2020 in the Entrepreneurial Mindset Network eZINE Volume 3 no 2 

In this article, Paul Coyle reflects on his experience moderating an online webinar just as countries throughout Europe first started to go into lock down…

On 26th March a  CREATIVE SKILLS conference was scheduled to be held in Brussels but due to the Coronavirus crisis, the planned event was unable to go ahead. However, instead of cancelling, the organisers of the event, the British Council, worked with the speakers and myself to devise a replacement 4 hour webinar. 

Like so many people have had to do since then, we all quickly learned how to plan and run an online event, using video conferencing software that was new to us and all the time working with the aim of engaging participants in an online environment.

Our efforts paid off and the webinar was a great success, with over 70 online participants. As the moderator for the event, I was delighted by the positive feedback, with one participant writing “Wow, amazing conference with lot of interesting organisations and very stimulating contributions.” 

Image credit: Pixabay

Some of the things that I think made the event successful and which I would recommend to anybody else organising an online event are:

  • a tightly structures agenda for the day with timetabled slots, each with clear themes and purposes
  • short presentations by the speakers for no more than 10 minutes maximum
  • strict moderation, ensuring that the event always kept to time
  • good technical support for the organisers, moderator, speakers and attendees
  • and a rehearsal for speakers a few days before the event 

The webinar presented the outcomes of two projects:

The ASAP project looking at the changes in the competences and skills required in the publishing sector http://www.erasmus-asap.eu

The Live Skills project, involving vocational education and training in the Audiovisual and Live Performance sectors https://www.live-skills.eu ◼️