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RingCentral Webinar best practices

Last updated on May 3, 2023
RingCentral Webinar allows you to run stress-free internal and external webinars such as town halls, all-hands, training sessions, demos, and more.
In this article, we've provided some tips to help you plan for, deliver, and measure the success of your RingCentral Webinar.
To get the most out of your webinar experience, we recommend viewing the webinar video tutorials in the Resource Center section of the RingCentral app for desktop and web. You can also check out our how-to videos and print a to-do checklist to help guide you through each task.
Plan it
Schedule it
Rehearse it
Run it
Review it

Plan it!

Plan it weeks before the webinar.
The planning stage is important to your event’s success, and we suggest you begin planning at least two to three weeks before your webinar so it all runs smoothly.
Here’s a best practices guide to remember during the planning stage to help you host a compelling webinar:
  • Make your device webinar-ready: You can only host RingCentral Webinars on the RingCentral desktop and web app. Before planning your event, set up your RingCentral app and optimize your network. Install the RingCentral app on your device, and ensure your device meets the minimum system and network requirements.
Note: If you’re a company admin with users assigned with Webinar licenses, check your RingCentral Webinar security settings in the Admin Portal.
  • Determine what webinar type you need: Identify if you’re scheduling a webinar with or without registration, depending on the webinar topic and audience you’re hosting. To generate leads for marketing needs, you’ll want to use registration.
  • Create an agenda: Plan your event’s topic, choose your speakers and panelists, and set a date, time, and duration for your event. Discuss your event’s purpose with your panelists in advance so they can produce relevant content to engage your audience.
  • Select your format: Decide how you want to deliver your webinar - you can host a webinar with one or multiple panelists, an interview format, a panel discussion format, an all-hands format, or a presentation/demo format. The format you decide on will help you format your outline for creating your webinar’s content.
  • Determine your webinar team: Choose who will moderate your webinar as cohosts. You can delegate tasks to them, such as introducing the speakers, facilitating or moderating the Q&A session, running the polls, controlling the presentation, and closing the webinar.
  • Delegate company-level marketing tasks: If you are an IT or company admin, assign admin role(s) to member(s) of your company so they can set up the registration formautomated emails, and third-party integration settings on your behalf. Allow these delegated people to set up your company’s RingCentral Webinar for Marketo integration and map data with Marketo.

Schedule it!

Schedule your webinar weeks before your proposed date.
Note: If this isn’t your first time scheduling a webinar, save yourself time and effort by duplicating a webinar from your past or upcoming webinars. Doing this brings over all settings from that old webinar to your new one, and you can adjust those as needed.
  • Configure the webinar’s settings: If you schedule a webinar with registration, you must ensure your registration form, automated emails, and third-party configurations are clear and compelling. Ensure that all cards contain a green checkmark at the upper left. The green checkmark will appear if you’ve completed configuring the settings on a particular card.
Note: If the date, time, or agenda of your webinar without registration changes, you can update the event details using the RingCentral app and your calendar app. You can change your event details at any time but we recommend you finish setup and prep no later than a week prior to the event to avoid last-minute hiccups.
  • Engage your audience: Since your audience will have view-only access during the webinar, increase audience engagement by enabling Q&A sessions and polls.
  • Invite people: Invite your cohosts and panelists, then send the invites to your attendees. If you require registration, open the registration, and share the registration link with your potential attendees.
  • Manage invitations: Your invitations may get buried in your panelists’ and attendees’ inboxes. You can always resend the invitation to your participants at any time.

Rehearse it!

Using a prep session with your presentation team lets you rehearse the event agenda and familiarize yourselves with webinar tools. You can set up handoff cues, make adjustments before you go live with your audience, and assess how long each presenter needs to deliver their presentation.
As soon as you start a webinar, it will always begin with a prep session and will not go live until you click the Go Live button. You can host as many rehearsals as you want before event day by running a prep session. When you start the prep session, your cohosts and panelists will receive an email that you’ve started it, and they can join the prep session.
Here’s what you need to prepare for days before your event: 
  • Prepare your space: Make your space conducive for a webinar whether you’re hosting the webinar from home or the office. Find out if your panelists will be joining from a conference space or home, and inform them if they need to set up a virtual background or theme for their presentation.
  • Introduce the features and controls: RingCentral Webinar features may be new to some users. During a prep session, you can always run down all features in the RingCentral Webinar.
Note: If your panelist(s) use RingCentral Rooms, walk them through the Rooms features such as controlling cameras and joining using Rooms.
  • Orient your panelists: If you plan to mute and turn off videos of your speakers when they join, let them know you’ll do so. Determine handoff cues to know when to start sharing the presentation, turn on/off video or audio, and switch layouts.
  • Set up your virtual stage: Set up your virtual background if needed. We recommend that each speaker use the same background, such as your company logo or something muted and non-distracting. Determine which layout you want to use to highlight cohosts or panelists when they are speaking. 
    • The gallery view will allow attendees to see all panelists and is helpful for Q&A sessions and transitioning to a panel discussion. Meanwhile, filmstrip and active speaker views let attendees see the speaker and presentation in one window, which is helpful for presentations.
  • Make your speakers look and sound good: Check everyone’s equipment. Remind them to use high-quality, noise-reducing headsets to eliminate echo. Adjust audio and video settings and test their quality to ensure your attendees won’t have problems listening to the speakers and viewing the presentations.
  • Practice your handoff cues: Do a dry run of the event with the screen share presentation, Q&A, and polls. Use the agreed-upon handoff cues and the chat feature to ensure smooth segment transitions. Remind your speakers of any time restrictions, and remind your cohosts who will answer which questions and which questions you might want to answer offline.
Note: If you or your speakers are presenting video, follow the instructions recommended for RingCentral Video meetings.
  • Create a few back pocket questions: Prepare two to four questions to pull “out of your back pocket” to get Q&A rolling. Often, having prepared questions spark audience participation, ultimately eliminating any dead air.

Run it!

The day of your webinar will culminate all your planning and preparation efforts. Here’s what you need to do to make sure your webinar will be a success:
  • Run the final prep session: Start the final prep session with your cohosts and panelists. Review the agenda, presentation order, agreed-upon verbal or chat handoff cues, and your Q&A or poll session flow. Reviewing the webinar controls again and checking if anyone has any last-minute questions about them will be beneficial. You can also change panelist or cohost roles if necessary. 
Note: If your panelists and cohosts have issues joining, this is the time to handle the issue. If a panelist/cohost hasn’t joined yet, click the webinar information icon at the lower left and click the Resend invite icon beside the name to send them an instant email reminder.
  • Ready all devices for go live: Test connections and technical functionalities with your presentation team. Confirm everyone has a stable internet connection, conduct a sound check, check video connections, and close unnecessary apps or browser tabs that could slow down your device.
  • Go live: Start the webinar by clicking Go Live. If you can’t start the webinar, your cohost can start it on your behalf. After going live, all attendees waiting in the lobby will join and see the webinar stage. Going live is irreversible; only press Go Live if you’re ready to accept attendees.
  • Introduce the features and controls: Some of your attendees may not be familiar with the RingCentral Webinar’s features. Spend a few seconds or minutes explaining the in-webinar controls attendees can do during the webinar.
  • Use the chat: Use the chat feature to handle any technical issues behind the scenes. Only the host, cohosts, and panelists can read the chat.
  • Keep it going: During video events, there will always be a few seconds delay between what’s being broadcasted and what your attendees view on their screens. Keep the delay in mind and wait a few seconds for your attendees to engage during Q&A sessions and polls, but not too long to create dead air.
  • Conclude the event: Once your webinar has concluded, end the webinar for your attendees and start a debrief session with your cohosts and panelists.

Review it!

When your webinar ends, you can debrief with your cohosts and panelists. Take as long as you need to discuss the success of your event and begin planning for your next one. You'll need to end your session to review your event’s engagement data.
Here’s everything left to wrap up your webinar:
  • Debrief and discuss: Exchange views about the event and ask the group what did and what didn’t go well during the webinar. Discuss what you would do differently in the next webinar, which of the attendees’ questions were left unanswered, and who will address the attendees’ follow-up questions.
  • Share the recording: If you enabled recording during the webinar, share the webinar recording with your attendees. The recording will always be available to anyone with access until you turn off recording sharing.
  • Pull the reports and evaluate: An hour after your webinar ends, you’ll receive an email reminder to check your engagement data and a link to access the webinar dashboard in the RingCentral app. You can pull your webinar attendance, Q&A, and polling reports from here. Use these reports to study engagement and response rates.
  • Share the reports: Send the Q&A report to the panelist(s) who agreed to address attendees’ follow-up questions.
  • View and pull registrations: Pull the registrations report if you scheduled a webinar with registration. Compare your registration numbers against the people who attended and note which social media platform performed better to reach the most registrations for your future use. You can easily use the downloadable CSV file format to gather registrant information for your marketing leads.
  • View a comprehensive report: If you need a thorough rundown of your webinar, use the RingCentral Analytics Portal. Here, you can view the entire webinar team’s connection time during the webinar, whether they experienced connection issues, and more.
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