by Jeff Civillico, Las Vegas headliner, live/hybrid/virtual emcee & corporate entertainer
The invitations are scattered throughout your email inbox, LinkedIn messages and Slack channels. Reminders continue to go off on Facebook, and the notifications are piling up on Twitter. That’s right, I’m talking about webinars. Invitations for upcoming webinars are just about everywhere these days, and as a virtual event emcee, I can’t say I’m surprised!
When the world went virtual all those months ago, so did the way most people consumed content. Without conferences to attend or workshops to frequent, webinars became the ultimate knowledge share throughout the pandemic. However, it’s important to note that just like coronavirus itself, webinars have evolved since the start of the pandemic.
Take a look at the 2021 definition of webinar and how a virtual event emcee is leading the change.
The Rise of Online Workshops and Virtual Training
In a traditional sense, a webinar is simply a seminar conducted on the web—hence why it’s called a webinar. Back in the days of dial-up internet, a webinar consisted of a few PowerPoint slides and a voice-over… which is a very far cry from the advanced video walls and visual effects we see in webinars today!
Of course, webinars have evolved a ton since their inception in the early 1990s. However, their biggest leap arguably occurred during the COVID-19 pandemic. With stay-at-home mandates issued across the globe, webinars became a necessary means to share information and engage with employees and clients alike. Suddenly, we started to hear all about online workshops and virtual training, which are really just fancy names for good ol’ fashioned webinars.
In fact, recent data reveals that the adoption of webinars skyrocketed over the last year. Use of webinars increased by a whopping 162 percent and attendance nearly quadrupled to more than 60 million people—that’s the equivalent of the entire country of Italy! In total, audiences engaged with more than 61 million hours of content, a jump of more than 300 percent from the year prior. If you’re not into webinars yet, these stats suggest you should be!
What the New Era of Webinars Means for Events
Companies across all industries, from healthcare to technology, are rapidly pivoting towards digital-first engagement with webinars. This new era of webinars places them smack in the middle of the marketing and sales cycle, which is fitting when you consider why webinar technology was introduced in the first place.
Webinars were meant to be a business tool, specifically developed to provide multimedia streams. And today, webinars have become the ultimate business tool for modern businesses.
- One webinar can secure a business with more than 500 leads.
- 60 percent of businesses construct their webinar to convert users into paying customers.
- 83 percent of marketers agree that webinars are effective sales tools.
- 42 percent of marketers plan on using webinars in their sales strategy for 2021.
The new era of webinar events is no longer about informing, it’s about engaging and (more importantly) selling. Even if people sign up for a webinar and don’t attend, a business still receives their email address for marketing retargeting. But let’s be real: Every company wants to be selling to real people in their digital audience, not just pitching to a lead in their inbox.
Fortunately, a virtual event emcee can help turn event no-shows into recurring customers. By bringing high-energy and big laughs to a webinar crowd, a virtual event emcee can lead the new era of webinars into success.
How a Virtual Event Emcee Redefines Webinars
Webinars are now an integral part of thousands of companies’ marketing strategies. For example, real estate businesses are harnessing webinar events to encourage consumers to sign commercial and residential leases. Instead of simply tapping through photos on a screen, a virtual event emcee can engage the audience in a live question-and-answer through the chatroom. They can also initiate banter between presenters to truly bring out the best in selected properties.
Another example of modern webinars are fundraising events. Now more than ever, non-profit companies have pivoted to digital platforms with a virtual emcee at the helm. While a virtual event emcee can help educate the crowd, they specifically engage and inspire participants to help open their hearts to the fundraiser at hand. With laughter as an icebreaker, participants can let their guard down and enjoy the non-profit event.
Even more, a virtual event emcee can drastically enhance the production and quality of a modern webinar event. With years of experience as a professional emcee paired with a robust knowledge of the backend of virtual events, an emcee can help make the event more interactive and exciting. Plus, their hosting and producing capabilities take a ton of pressure off the shoulders of those planning the event.
Wow a Webinar Audience with a Virtual Event Emcee
What do you say, are you ready to wow your webinar audience with a virtual event emcee? I certainly hope so! But before you rush ahead and select just any professional emcee, it’s important to look for an entertainer fit for a webinar event. There are several nuances with virtual events that can only be learned through trial and error (… says the guy with more than 200 virtual events in the past year under his belt).
After all of my virtual event emcee and webinar experience, I can highlight these elements as the most important characteristics for a successful web event host:
- Comfortability in the front of the camera
- Use of a home studio for smaller, intimate events
- Use of professional studio for larger corporate events
- Experience navigating multiple virtual events platform
- Ability to engage audience members through a chat stream
- Flexibility to pivot dialogue and entertainment schedule quickly
- Experience interviewing and conversing with high-profile guests
In other words, you’re looking for a virtual event emcee that knows all the ropes and can sweep in to instantly elevate your webinar event.
Elevate Your Next Webinar with a Professional Emcee
The verdict is in and the studies are clear: Webinars are the way of the future and a virtual event emcee should be your partner. Virtual event emcees can kick your virtual event up a notch, will know their way around the next evolution of webinars—and can help you and your team learn the ropes if necessary.
Jeff Civillico headlined on the Las Vegas Strip with Caesars Entertainment at The LINQ, The Flamingo and The Paris resorts. His family-friendly “Comedy in Action” show was voted “Best of Las Vegas” three years in a row by the Las Vegas Review Journal; he was named “Entertainer of the Year” by Vegas Inc.; and he was honored by his fans with a 5-star rating on Yelp, Ticketmaster and Google. He now takes his renowned clean comedy show to live, virtual and hybrid corporate events and conferences nationwide. He also serves as a host, emcee and keynote speaker and is the founder of his national nonprofit Win-Win Entertainment. For more info, visit jeffcivillico.com