What I Learned From Talking To 100s of Attendees Of My Webinar
Updated: Apr 21
Insights From My Experience Of Running A Product Management Webinar
Have you ever attended a webinar? I’m sure you have.
How about hosting a webinar? Or have you wondered whether hosting a webinar is worth your time? Will it help your goals?
I hosted a webinar a few months ago. I used that opportunity to reach out to 140 attendees individually after the webinar to get their feedback. My outreach became user research in the behaviors of webinar attendees.
Although I got limited feedback on my webinar presentation, my primary research taught me about people’s engagement with webinars.
Thumbnail thanks to Craiyon.
The Webinar: Hopes And Attendance
I accepted to host the webinar via Product School to improve my presenting skills and credibility as a product leader. I also hoped to make a few professional connections for future product consulting prospects at Spark Creative Technologies.
How was the attendance? There are about 167 attendees shown in the RSVP list if you check out the event today. But, the event showed around 140 attendees on the day of the event. So, I realized a few people registered and viewed the webinar recording after the event. In total, I reached out to 129 people. Of those, 16 were 1st-degree connections, 23 were 2nd-degree connections, and 87 were 3rd-degree connections. I did not reach out to attendees who were event organizers.
Reaching Out To Attendees
I wanted feedback from the webinar attendees. I wanted to know what parts of it were valuable to them. Did they gain a better understanding of customer experience from it? My second goal was to offer help through product coaching or consulting for their needs. I hoped those who found value in the webinar might also seek my business services.
I had no way to identify who had attended the webinar. I could only see who had registered for it. I did not know who had registered for the webinar but did not attend. So, I reached out not only to the webinar attendees but also everyone who had registered but did not attend.
I sent a message to everyone who registered to attend the webinar to ask for feedback and see if there is anything I can help them with. I messaged my first-degree connections to thank them for attending the webinar. I sent an add request with a personalized note to second or third-degree connections who attended my webinar. I added a personalized message.
Hi! Thanks for RSVPing and (likely) attending my webinar this week with Product School on Tips to Measure and Improve Customer Experience as a PM. I wanted to connect with you for your feedback on what you liked or didn’t. Also, see if I can help in any way with your PM interests?
A Few People Responded To The Outreach
I opened each person’s LinkedIn profile to check their response.
Out of 16 1st-degree connections, only one responded.
I sent 110 add requests. 56 attendees accepted it, and 71 did not. Not bad.
Some responded with feedback on my webinar. Out of the 56 who accepted, only 19 people responded on their own. I assumed they had missed my initial personalized note in the invite. I realized I needed to write more appealing and engaging messages if I wanted more people to respond based only on my first add request. So, I sent a follow-up message/reminder to the rest.
I followed up with 30 people among the 56. My follow-up also showed my commitment to hearing their opinions. After this follow-up, four more people responded. Here is the message I sent as a follow-up.
Thanks for accepting my add request and for RSVPing and (likely) attending my recent webinar. It is important for me to know I’m providing value through such a talk as I plan to iterate and present PM tips again at a different forum. I wanted to ask for your feedback - what did you like or didn’t like in my presentation? How would you suggest I improve on the content and the delivery? Overall, I am guessing the topic of customer experience in Product Management was important for you, even if you couldn’t attend the webinar this time. Is there anything I can help with?
Some Offered Their Feedback On The Webinar
Out of the 24 total responses from existing and new connections, 5 said they had not watched it. 10 people were gracious enough to offer me constructive feedback. Amongst them, only 2 gave detailed feedback.
I visualized it as a funnel using the waterfall chart type, starting with everyone who had registered. The funnel chart ends at the stage of a business prospect. The diagram below using SankeyMATIC shows the sequence of steps for each cohort.
Did I Get Prospective Clients For My Business From The Webinar?
Three people showed interest in getting on a call about Spark Creative Technologies. But, these sales calls did not result in any paying customers. In the long run, I hope to generate more sales prospects from webinars. But, I’ve realized the prospects will not be from the event attendees. Instead, having a speaking engagement boosts my credibility as an expert and will attract prospects.
Did The Webinar Help Increase Awareness On Linkedin?
I posted about the webinar 3 times on LinkedIn and once through my email newsletter. Those posts gained 5,476 impressions, including duplicate impressions across the posts.
There were only 167 attendees to the webinar. So, the bigger boost in awareness was likely through the posts about me speaking at a webinar, as those posts got up to 5,476 impressions.
By hosting a webinar via Product School, I boosted my credibility in measuring and improving customer experience as a Product Manager. Not only with those who attended the webinar but those who got the invite or saw it on their LinkedIn feed.
Observations, Feedback, and Forming a Point of View
I inferred some of these points based on the above primary research. Unfortunately, most people who registered did not attend the webinar. Those who attended the webinar were likely not focused on the webinar. Most of the attendees joined while multi-tasking, their interest deviating to other tasks like social media or work.
I compared the response rate to my messages vs the impressions of my posts about the webinar above. It suggests I got more engagement from LinkedIn posts than from the webinar.
Most people I presented to didn’t become clients. Although I understood the probability would be low, it was one of my optimistic outcomes.
On the Positive Side
I could identify ways to improve on this presentation, and it helped me when I presented this information at the userpilot’s product drive summit conference.
Feedback from the webinar
Here is some of the feedback I received from attendees on the webinar.
I particularly liked the fact that you explained the approaches with your examples. They were nuanced and fit well with the approaches, which were simple to follow and understand.
I found your presentation focused on specific areas of product management.
You could share your tips with clarity.
Your talk was very clear and to the point.. and no jargon, so very easy for a person like me outside your field to understand and feel like I learned something!
On the delivery, adding a bit of wit (through memes or otherwise) and a bit of voice modulation could further enhance the presentation.
What I feel could have been improved was storytelling instead of reading the content on the slide.
Lessons Learned From Hosting A Webinar
I should cast a wider net to increase the number of people attending my webinar. I also need to share the invites and posts on multiple platforms. This will help me attract a bigger audience.
I must work on my presentation skills to keep a large chunk of that audience engaged through the webinar. I have to find ways to package my content better.
I also need to write more compelling messages to increase the responses from people.
I should not go into webinars expecting immediate ROI, such as paying clients. It is better to focus on imparting information and building my reputation as an expert in the field. I should treat this as “Awareness” and credibility building. Awareness in the AIDA marketing model is top of the funnel and does not provide immediate results. In the same way, I should plan for this to provide long-term results, not expect results in the short-term.