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How to Manage Webinar Questions in an Event with 1,000+ Attendees


According to our 2020 Webinar Benchmarks Report, 41% of all webinars in 2019 hosted at least 100 attendees. And while that’s a lot of curious professionals and audience interaction, that attendance rate is about to boom in 2020 given the massive shift from physical to digital events in the wake of COVID-19.

As a consequence, webinar practitioners are moving away from the question of “How do I drive more registrations and attendance?” to “How can I manage this influx of attendees and their waves of questions?”

The Attendee Boom

We recently had to figure out how to answer this question ourselves during a recent edition of our Webinar Best Practices Series. The event, focused on how marketers can pivot from physical events to digital, saw registration increase by more than 300% our average monthly goals for the series.

To put this in perspective, ON24’s Webinar Best Practices Series generated about 1,500  registrants on average before the COVID-19 outbreak and we’d normally see about a 25% live attendee conversion rate. The particular webinar being discussed here, How to Bring Physical Events into the Digital World, had 4,682 registrants the day of the live event and a 51% conversion rate with a total of 652 questions. WHEW!

How We Organized for Audience Success

We anticipated a high turn out, but nothing like what we saw.

Our response to this exponential increase in registration was to prepare for an all hands on deck Q&A session during the live airing, consisting of three SDRs and five people from the marketing team.

The questions that came through were categorized in folders as follows:

SDR Folder

    • Any questions showing interest in purchasing or asking for a price quote was added to this folder where SDRs responded by asking if they’d like to speak to a rep and getting their contact info to schedule them right away.

Marketing Folder

    • Between sorting through all of the questions, a team of five would answer as many questions as possible relating to the general product capabilities, marketing best practices and directing said attendee to the resource that could help answer their questions.

Tech Q’s

    • This folder is dedicated to any technical difficulties the audience is having. These were positioned as high-priority and the team would work diligently to alleviate as many tech issues as possible so individuals can enjoy the experience.

Granted, not all questions were answered. After all, there were only eight of us against 653 questions. But to make sure attendees got the answers they sought, our team hosted an office hour follow-up webinar. During this event, our speaker, Mark Bornstein, and two other guests answered FAQs.

In sum, if your webinar program is facing a potential flood of attendees and anticipates a lot of questions, just remember to sit down, catch your breath and organize. Set up a meeting with your sales and marketing peers and create a plan before the event. Good luck!