Many of us have heard the phrase “The Early Bird Catches The Worm.” The first time I heard this phrase was during my early childhood. It never occurred to me that this was anything less than the typical wisdom conjured and delivered by my Grandma Elsie. Of course, I was otherwise schooled during my college years where I learned this phrase in its written version was first recorded by John Ray A collection of English proverbs 1670, 1678. Although John Ray probably never imagined this phrase being applied to a virtual world, this wisdom is worth passing along, especially as it relates to webinars.
Since the meaning of the phrase is “success comes to those who prepare well and put in effort,” you may feel the phrase is very didactic in nature. However, if you apply the phrase to your own environment from a conceptual perspective you can probably imagine how your prep work and can make or break an event. If you think back to a webinar or virtual event you really enjoyed, chances are the team behind the scenes also subscribes to this thought process.
Many clients I have worked with over the years have said “Kimberli I have attended many virtual meetings and have presented 10 or 12 times. I don’t think I need much practice.” Oh contrar my darling. I have been presenting online for nearly 12 years and I personally can’t practice enough.
A best practice for organizing a webinar or large scale event is to build a backward timeline. If you choose a date to “Go Live” approximately 6-8 weeks into the future this will typically allow enough time to build in all of the preparatory components necessary for an event that ends in success! An example of a timeline might look like this:
- 6-8 weeks prior to Go Live – Choose title, choose presenters, choose virtual platform, configure meeting room, begin writing content, begin marketing
- 4-6 weeks prior to Go Live – Begin content design and determine tools of engagement
- 2-4 weeks prior to Go Live – Presenter prep and necessary training
- 2 weeks prior to Go Live – Technical Check
- 2 weeks prior to Go Live – 1st Dry run
- 1 week prior to Go Live – 2nd Dry run
- 1-3 days prior to Go Live – Full Dress Rehearsal
- Go Live Date
The time variance will depend upon how many presenters you have, how comfortable they are with the chosen platform and their availability (consider they may be located in different time zones). There are also many other moving parts, not listed above, to building a timeline and a proper event architecture.
Join me in being the Early Bird That Catches The Webinar Worm for events that end in SUCCESS! Consider following us on Twitter @kimberliallen and/or LinkedIn.