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Strategies for Hosting a Successful Live Stream Webinar in Singapore

1. Introduction to Live Stream Webinars

Live stream service webinars are best when kept interactive and audience-driven. This format typically consists of themed content that’s often being presented live by one or two presenters. The biggest aspect of these types of webinars is the interaction – over to the audience for questions, comments, likes, and more in an active Q&A portion. It can be tough reading and presenting at the same time, so overlaying your presentation on-camera minimizes the switching process done by the window while giving viewers a more personalized, human feel.

In the year 2020, live streaming Singapore webinars became a crucial form of communication in business. Below are some strategies for hosting a successful live stream webinar. As we see a trend moving towards online communication and digital-first engagement, there’s no better time than now to get hands-on and explore the wide range of features, including polling, Q&A, and breakout rooms. Let this be your practical guide to hosting live stream webinars like a pro with Teams.

1.1. Definition and Importance

Overall, the use of webinars has resulted in an increase in customer communications, customer intelligence, and loyalty to the brand. Such webinars are usually hosted live and later offered as on-demand content called evergreen content. It is found that while live webinars exhibit advantages such as a known start time that creates urgency, live question and answer sessions, and the excitement of real-time interaction and engagement, evergreen webinars can be offered more frequently and participants can attend them at a time that is convenient for them.

Webinars allow real-time communication between the company and its clients. This is a useful application specifically for companies which need to present various products to its many clients over a large geographical area. According to a survey conducted on marketing experts, it was found that virtual events, webinars, and webcasts had the highest demand generation effectiveness rating and as the third top-rated video content marketing used.

In the field of marketing, webinars are meetings that are attended by a specific group of online users. Over the years, the use of webinars as a marketing tool has been increasing rapidly. Many companies have been found to be using it effectively for a wide range of purposes, such as providing product demonstrations and sales presentations, holding partner events and internal training sessions, hosting corporate-led and speaker series events, offering newly launched training opportunities, or hosting multi-session virtual conferences.

1.2. Benefits for Businesses

Foro Company, a US event services company in the Northeast, decided to go down the route of live streaming due to the fact that it has the potential to create more leads than a comparable live event. Through live streaming, Foro was able to attract more attendees and interact more closely with them through the live and on-demand capabilities of the webinars. Major business technology industry trade association, the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA), also enjoyed such benefits. CompTIA has used webinars to create and leverage an impressive content library that enables association members to showcase their brands as thought leaders. The benefits for CompTIA did not stop there. The association also used webinars to sell training, conference passes, and more.

The unique selling point (USP) of live streaming webinars for businesses is the fact that it can cut down traveling and accommodation costs associated with both parties hosting or attending the event. It can also open up opportunities to reach out to and interact with a wider audience, including working professionals who previously couldn’t afford the time to attend the events in person. In addition, the increase in reach created through the live stream has the potential to translate to an increase in leads, which can heighten the chances for new sales and business growth. On a side note, live streaming seminars also offer successes in gathering data and feedback from the global audience. With the use of specific live chat features present in some live streaming platforms, webinars provide a compelling experience for participants to gather authentic feedback, cater to specific questions and concerns, and foster a connection of interest.

2. Understanding the Singapore Market

E-commerce sales are expected to grow from S$39.4 billion in 2017 to S$63 billion in 2022, at an estimated annual growth rate of 9.8%. The spending on streaming entertainment in 2020 stood at S$289 million and is expected to grow to S$362 million by 2024. These statistics show that the Singaporean market is tech and media-savvy and online 24/7. A digital strategy to include hosting an engaging and successful live stream webinar could prove beneficial for your business goals. Since the local population is only 5.7 million, Singapore is best to be used as a testing market for a larger-scale product launch for the Asia and Asia-Pacific region.

Singapore is known for its technical savvy and media consumption habits. The majority, or almost 80%, of the population is online. They are digitally connected from morning to evening, 24/7. Most of their online time is spent on mobile devices. Data consumption is mostly for video watching, second is social media, and third is games. Other lifestyle consumption online includes recipes and food delivery hunting, travel info and ticket buying, transportation booking, online shopping and fashion, movies, concerts, and events.

2.1. Overview of Digital Landscape

There are numerous Singapore-based companies that have expanded their business reach to other regions by using the digitalized eXP model, which incorporates the concepts of exhibition and online elements. However, success in the digital economy does not come by luck. Digital marketing activities during the eXP must be supervised in a comprehensive way, while online platform customer service must be on par with service levels in the physical environment. Additionally, the overall user experience must also be satisfactory. If the overall experiences of users are appealing and novel, they will be motivated to identify and engage with other different services before recommending your service to their acquaintances, which consequently results in positive word-of-mouth. On the contrary, if online marketing is over-aggressive and sensationalized, or if customers perceive a lack of personal attention, this might tank the brand of the company, which may even lead to backlash. As such, it is crucial for companies to determine the stakes in the digital world or in an eXP. For Asian companies, a permanent online business model will be more conducive to creating positive and profitable competition. The wisdom of Asian business operators in obtaining performance indicators such as repeat acquisitions of products and word-of-mouth recommendations cannot be underestimated, as they will help to grow their business in this increasingly digital and competitive environment.

(e) Online Marketing: Males and females in Singapore use various social media platforms. For example, females choose Instagram, while males prefer YouTube. However, Facebook remains the most popular choice. Marketers need to utilize the different platforms to connect with their audience. Meanwhile, nearly 40% of Singaporeans have shopped online. Statistics show that brand awareness, product introduction, special offers, and discounts are reasons that attract users. As such, it’s important for businesses to establish a strong online presence.

(d) Social Media Usage: Singapore has one of the highest social penetration rates amongst Asians. As of 2018, 4.7 million active social users are active, with the average person spending about two hours on social media.

(c) Video Streaming: Nearly 4 in 10 Singaporean online users consume videos each day. However, time spent on the web by viewers declined by about five minutes. Nonetheless, television streaming remains prevalent with the top 20 OTT services being Netflix, Viu, Amazon Prime Video, and others.

(b) E-commerce: Singapore internet users are fast adopters of emerging technologies. Most of these individuals have at least one active social media account. Mobile continues to be at the forefront of the e-commerce ecosystem, with 15% higher purchase through mobile devices.

(a) Internet Usage: As of end 2017, the internet penetration rate stood at 78.2%. A variety of platforms are used by Singapore users, with Google emerging as their preferred search engine, and users spending up to seven hours on the web daily.

Singapore has a highly digitalized environment that is easily accessible by all. Some key statistics include:

  1. Overview of Digital Landscape

2.2. Trends in Live Streaming

There are numerous reasons for the overall increase in live streaming use and, in particular, the surge in business activities. Employees or stakeholders from various sites worldwide can assemble at a single instant in the virtual area to pick up relevant skills and knowledge. Technologies have improved over the past few years, making it possible for live streaming to become a popular means of obtaining myriad knowledge and skills to improve one’s own repertoire of activities. With the rise in popularity of online university programs, it is observed that the demand for live streaming has intensified. Despite attending an online university program, students also expect to take pleasure in the same learning experience that they would in regular physical learning sites.

Live streaming can be classified under webinars. A webinar is synonymous with business for most businesses in Singapore. The increase in time constraints is a driving force for this trend as it allows participants to take part in a session on the move. Participation can be customized to the participant’s needs, whether it is for a short time to listen to the key speakers or for a longer time to participate in discussions and sessions. Studies have shown that integrating live streaming has far-reaching implications and is becoming a popular medium for organizations in Singapore. Throughout the past decade, there has been a significant increase in and acceptance of live streaming and, in particular, the role they perform in businesses has flourished.

3. Key Components of a Successful Live Stream Webinar

Traditional exhibitions, conferences, and seminars require substantial physical space and all stakeholders to be present at the same place and time. For seminars usually conducted in a lecture room, advance booking may be required and spouses/attendees may also be required to travel to the venue. In some conferences, the lecture rooms may be overcrowded, causing serious disappointment to latecomers. With the proliferation of smartphones, live streaming that offers multicast capability has shown all attendees a better-decentralized network environment for uninterrupted video streaming. Moreover, services like Zoom have facilitated Q&A, chat, and multi-polling during webinars so that the feeling of presence can be experienced by remote audiences.

Singapore is often at the forefront in deploying state-of-the-art information technology in exhibitions, conferences, and seminars. With its high penetration of broadband internet and mobile devices, a large proportion of the residents have been using online platforms for learning and business transactions. Building off the back of these technological advancements, it is time to bring the experience of attending and hosting business seminars to the next level so that people can avoid the pain of traveling through a busy downtown, the hassle of finding parking, and the nuisance of being stuck in traffic jams. If you are planning for your next professional live stream webinar, here is what you need to do.

3.1. Technical Requirements

The following sections provide a practical, step-by-step guide to the preparation of a live web streaming event. Although some of the recommendations may be new to academics who organize public lectures or conference presentations, much of the advice is conventional. Underlying everything is a commitment to the highest technical and visual quality, which in turn maximizes the potential of the event in reaching and attracting the widest possible audience of distance learners and academics who may later use the resource in their teaching medium. Use the resources identified here to prepare your web streaming events. After following these suggestions, you are less likely to be disappointed by the result, more likely to seek innovative solutions, and ultimately be persuaded of the benefits of providing these learning opportunities. Four underlying principles are presented first, and then the ‘technical roadmap’ is progressively described.

3.1. Technical Requirements

Although details may sound daunting, the logistics of live stream webinars are quite consistent, although in professional meets with live audiences today, oral presentations are predominantly expected of presenters. The main sections of ‘nontechnical’ recommendations are first addressed. These are necessary as predominantly the developers of high-tech presentations are not the lecturers who use them. Secondly, software which can be used with addictive audiences is recommended, and particular suggestions are made. The best advice is to spend more time rehearsing than concerning technical detail.

3.2. Content Planning and Delivery

Joint webinars involving two or more speakers require a formalized structure where time is allocated to the various speakers to avoid a guest “butting in” to disrupt the main speaker while their audio is being transmitted. Avoid making the entire session too monotonous. Usage of different activities and meeting other presenters would help to keep it lively and vibrant. Always encourage the audience to ask questions because your purpose is to address their specific needs. At the end of each activity, you should ask for their queries related to the content of the topic. It would be beneficial to have a helper to moderate the questions and filter out the more recommended ones, as well as to summarize the question properly so that you can understand and accordingly answer the question.

The task for a live stream webinar presenter involves more than just speaking clearly and fluently, but also involves presentation skills, multitasking during the live stream, handling technical malfunctions, drawing the audience to your topic, and engaging the audience so that you address the needs of the majority as much as possible. An important skill in delivering quality webinars is presenter multitasking. Multiple tasks that a live stream presenter often needs to juggle include monitoring the audience chat, managing their presentation folders and materials, controlling the webcam, and conveying the presentation message. A good presenter demonstrates a high degree of control over these tasks.

4. Promotion and Audience Engagement Strategies

Share content before the webinar: For individuals who have already registered for your event, it will be beneficial if you can share some materials prior to the webinar. These materials can include a brief agenda of what the event is going to be about, speaker biographies, or even a post demonstrating the availability of special promotions to those who have already signed up. Leading sharing platforms include Facebook, Twitter, and even LinkedIn. Depending on how your audience plans to engage, it is important to gauge their interests and anticipate what other information they would like to see during the presentation period.

Build an email list: Prior to promoting your webinar, it would be useful for you to create a simple landing page with an email opt-in placeholder. Usually, interested individuals would consider this action to receive notifications on any changes on the details of your webinar. After considering your webinar details, you can then send them a “Save the Date” email to promote the specifics of the event. Consider using tools such as MailChimp, ActiveCampaign, or even Aweber to help create an email list that is not only well-organized but legally obtained due to the new PDPA Compliance regulations.

Once you have prepared for the technology needed for the webinar and have decided which platform best suits your needs, it is then time to gather an audience. More than just getting them to register, there are a few ways for you to stay engaged with them before and during the webinar to:

4.1. Marketing Channels

Social Media Marketing Description: Promote your live stream webinar on social media platforms and video hosting platforms like YouTube, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Cost: Free or fees to advertise your posting. Effort: Single effort. Skill: Basic to intermediate level of skills. Results: Using social media is excellent for content sharing and we should utilize all the platforms we have access to.

Personalized Email Marketing Description: Reach out to your database with personalized email marketing infused with video. Cost: Varies with the technology selected for email marketing. Effort: Single effort. Skill: Basic to intermediate level of skills. Results: This offers higher engagement as it is personalized and most likely sent to a database you have spent time nurturing.

Workaround for Restricted Content Description: If you’re broadcasting a live webinar on a paid content platform like Facebook Live or Instagram Live, you can make your content restricted by providing links only to your paying customers. Cost: Free for those promoting through platforms that require subscriptions to view content. Effort: Single effort. Skill: Intermediate level of skills. Results: High engagement as this will help you reach a larger audience on platforms that have promoted/paid content functionality.

Broadcast Your Webinar Description: For those who are already using our Watch Live feature or who use LinkedIn Live offering, a workaround will be to use tools like OBS (Open Broadcaster Software) or Elgato to broadcast your Zoom webinar directly to LinkedIn. Cost: Free for those with existing broadcasting tools. Effort: Single effort. Skill: Intermediate level of skills. Results: High engagement as broadcasting directly to LinkedIn can help you reach a larger audience on LinkedIn.

To share your live stream webinar with the world, the following is a list of advertising channels and marketing tactics you can explore and execute:

4.2. Interactive Features

Let’s have three tables of audiences here. Team A, your argument is. Team B, your argument is. Yes, and… Cost factor: The more interactive features you would like to implement on the live meeting platform, the costlier the live meeting platform will be to license. Additionally, organizing interactive functions like group work or tabletop discussions can create work overheads for the presenters or a need for additional resource facilitators on board. Participants’ Considerations: The audiences attending the webinar might be accustomed/digital native to the functionalities that the live meeting platform provides. However, if the organizer presents an essay/presentation that shows unfamiliarity with the online tools at hand, not only will the participant engagement drop, but it may also leave a negative impression of the expert as well.

Discussion Time. Please submit your answers to the questions in breakout room 1, and poll questions in breakout room 2 on the chat. Thanks. Team Debates (Split audiences into teams for debating topics/virtual hand for voting audience members)

Any questions for Mr. Smith? Either send me a virtual hand, or type them in the chat. Group Workshop (Breakout rooms set up for audience to discuss together/table discuss participants. Generic model for groupwork workshop/activity. More amongst users, but not all created equal.)

Would like to ask Question 1 at 14th Minute. Audience please post your questions on the chat. Q&A Webinar (Regular intervals for Q&A during speaker’s presentation Q&A session, audience is encouraged to participate in the discussion.)

Level of Interaction Desired output Passive Live Webcast (Audience requests for clarification before given time slots which are typically at the start/end of presentations Q&A session, simple 1-way broadcasting of speakers on selected topics/contributions or timeframe, suited for large groups.)

The interactive features available can depend on the live meeting platform that you are using. Ideally, you would want interactive features like chat, Q&A, polls, virtual hand raising to be readily available for you to use straight off the shelf with little technical setup. If additional features like breakout rooms/group work functions, gamification or real-time interpretation between languages are available, that would be even better. Once you have a visual overview of the features available, you can decide the level of online engagement that you would like to have during your webinar. Do you want the audience to be passively listening to the presentation while being able to pose questions, or do you want to involve them in one-on-one dialogues, tabletop discussions, debates, etc?

5. Case Studies and Best Practices

Lastly, the importance of recording the session and making the video available was stressed. This helps brand the company as an expert in the field and also drives more traffic to subscribe to future sessions or follow up on what was pitched. Polls and tracking questions in the live stream were also found useful. Note that while some hesitation might be felt concerning the poll’s relevance to the business, a degree of leeway can be taken with the responses. These latter items are also lead generation tools, which helps measure the quality of the event attendees.

It may sometimes be difficult to translate traditional face-to-face events like seminars or conferences into webinars, but most of the best practices translate directly. Proven engagement strategies include offering interactive elements like Q&A sections, interesting speakers, and the promise of fresh news or high-value information. Demonstrating new tools and technology often weighed in the decision of the type of live stream in Singapore. Promoting the event heavily to bring in existing fans as well as new prospects who might not have attended the physical version was also deemed crucial.

5.1. Successful Live Stream Webinars in Singapore

Singapore is a country known for speedy connectivity, ultimately harboring a private efficient workforce. If you’re doing a live webinar or streaming a live event, make sure both you and your panelists have a strong internet connection. The worst-case scenario is running a watchable webinar with less than ideal standard definition video broadcasting. At worst, a Singaporean audience is expecting high-quality video in full HD with little to no latency risk. Make sure you have great upload speeds and, if you need to borrow a connection, call your ISP a good few days in advance to request a one-time speed boost.

If you’ve decided to host a live stream or on-demand webinar, it’s likely because of the approachability, accessibility, and attendance data. Singaporeans love educational, hands-on learning experiences. A webinar that is promotional or too general in subject matter will not have high attendance. Before committing to a complex digital marketing strategy, make sure your digital event is one that people would actually want to attend. The content needs to cater to the prerequisites of the audience, who may not be tuned in fully.

5.2. Lessons Learned and Recommendations

Recommendation: 2. Teacher centeredness will not work. They have to bring in real world relevance of the content to capture the attention of the participants. Computer literacy, in this regard for the trainer, becomes very important.

Lesson learned: 2. Creating a balance between ‘covered’ and ‘discovered’ curriculum requires planning and skills in facilitating discussions and encouraging participants to raise issues arising in the course content.

Recommendation: 1. The general principle of any kind of instruction, including computer-based or delivery of content asynchronously, would still apply to the delivery of content via live webinar. It will be good for the trainees to have in mind that creating shared meanings and the process of negotiating this meaning among themselves remains the same. Laptops have been shared with trainees if they do not have personal ones to facilitate hands-on interaction. A conducive environment and appropriate desk chair to sit on would be helpful in keeping focus.

Lesson learned: 1. Holding the interest of the participants is a major challenge. This means conveying the content such that it grabs their interest.

Drawing from the experience and reflections of the trainers, and the limited input from the trainees, as well as the observations of the trainer’s assistant, some lessons learned are summarized as follows. The recommendations made are also informed by the initial intention to scale up webinars as the recommended modality for conducting short courses and training programs.

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