How to Consider Format Changes for Your Webinars

By Sharat Sharan, John Carucci

Companies are all over the place when it comes to webinar format, so think of it from the audience perspective. Some people are engaging with webinars because of the content, and they know out of the gate that this is going to be ongoing.

If that is the case, you should probably create a predictable format and stick with it so people know exactly what they are going to get when they tune into the webinar.

Many companies use webinars for marketing purposes. In that case, you’re adjusting the format to the message that you want to push out that particular time. Sometimes the topic will lend itself to a product demo. Sometimes it lends itself to having an analyst on the call, if it’s a thought-leadership message you want to showcase.

Other times, you may want to bring in your CEO or leadership team for some type of announcement. You will typically adjust the format to the content you’re presenting. When it comes to marketing webinars, the content and the scope of what you want to communicate will typically vary, and thus the format will change accordingly.

You want to maintain a predictable format because you want to begin shaping preferences. You need to stay consistent in order to do that. That doesn’t mean you cannot modify it when it’s really necessary. How much you can actually change it depends on the temperament of the audience.

For example, if you change the discussion from a panel to an interview format, that seems reasonable, but it’s not as reasonable to abruptly change from a weekly panel to a single speaker. But overall, you want to shape a webinar into something people will tune into, so you need to build in a certain level of predictability.

If you’re doing a regularly scheduled webinar, say once a month, you may not want to make any dramatic changes from time to time, unless you’re getting a really clear signal that change is required. Instead, look at trend lines little by little and then make changes as needed to optimize your webcast results.