Today’s communication landscape is overrun with options, but one that continually stands above the rest is the webcast, also known as a webinar. While this tool has become incredibly common in the workforce, it might be best known for the technical difficulties it tends to cause moderators.
The most frequently reported issues with webcasts are generally network-related glitches, such as bad connectivity, poor video quality, buffering and stalling. While these issues cause major frustrations, there are some simple fixes and preventative actions that you can take to ensure smooth sailing in the future.
1. Test Your Webinar Technology
The most important thing to do prior to your webcast is to make sure all your equipment is functioning properly and your backend systems are running smoothly. It’s important to check your network infrastructure and make sure your uplink speed has at least 30-40 percent higher output speed than what you actually intend to broadcast. This will ensure that there are no buffering or loading issues during the webcast.
If you do run into technical difficulties of any kind during the webinar, make sure to verbally alert the audience. If the issues cannot be quickly addressed during the webinar, send out an email with information on when it will be up and running again or an alternate new time and day that the webcast will be presented.
2. Set Your System up for Webinar Success
This is where we get into the nitty gritty technical side of a webcasting. We encourage you to work with your IT department to determine if your system is set up for a successful webcast in the first place. For instance, do you have quality A/V equipment, encoders, updated software, proper programing and a functional streaming support infrastructure?
Without quality infrastructure, you won’t be able to host a successful webinar. Knowing your system and its capabilities is paramount to running a smooth webinar and avoiding system issues day-of.
3. Make Sure You Have the Personal Bandwidth for the Webinar
According to our recent survey on video conferencing habits, 71 percent of employees have already attended at least one webcast for their job. As the popularity for webcasts and webinars grows, it is important to do research and see what your customers respond to best. There are also many forms of webinars, which can include live video, recorded video or a voiceover with slides. Depending on your audience, you will need to decide the best format and prepare accordingly.
Producing a webinar involves educating the public on a relevant topic, creating a presentation, ensuring all the technical equipment is running smoothly and following up with viewers to get feedback. Webinars are usually well-received if care and precision are a part of the creation process. Make sure you have the bandwidth in your schedule to assemble the right team of professionals to a produce a successful webinar. If done well, a webinar is a great piece of content that consumers enjoy interacting with.
At the end of the day it isn’t a matter of if, but how you should be utilizing webinars. Webinars are popular and they have a long life span. With a little research, the right preparation, and quality technology, you can make a webcast that won’t glitch, stick, or buffer and your customers will truly appreciate that.