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Finding Your Perfect Webinar Format

Harness the potential of webinars with our comprehensive guide to 18 highly engaging webinar formats. Discover how each format can help you captivate your audience, build brand reputation, and drive conversions throughout the buyer's journey.
June 2, 2023

Webinars offer companies tremendous opportunities to build their reputation and their relationship with customers. However, as you start to plan your webinar, you will quickly discover that there are numerous format options for planning successful webinars, depending upon your goals for the session. We will explore some of the most popular webinar formats, what they entail, and some scenarios when you might want to use them.

18 of the Best Webinar Formats

The webinar format you select will tremendously impact the tone of your session and the type of audience you attract. Different webinar formats will specialize in covering different types of content and thus engaging people at different points in the buyer's journey.

Read and Learn: How to Add Energy, Impact, and Results at Every Stage of Your Webinar

To decide the optimal webinar format for your upcoming session, you will want first to determine the goal you have for the webinar. Knowing what you want to accomplish can help you narrow down the audience you want to target and, therefore the type of webinar that will interest them the most. Here is what you need to know about some of the popular webinar formats.

1. The top trends webinar

Top trends webinars take listeners through the latest information in your industry. For example, you might host a webinar on the top trends in SEO, focusing on the latest strategies and technology in optimizing content for SEO.

This type of webinar works well at the top-of-the-funnel position because it focuses on education and interesting people who want to learn more about your industry. It helps to establish your brand, as the sponsor of the webinar, and as a leader in your industry.

2. The interview webinar

An interview webinar also works well at the top of the funnel, but this type of webinar will focus on one key person, typically someone famous in your industry, and ask them questions. You will have prepared interview questions that will get the conversation flowing and interest your target audience. You might also offer people the chance to submit questions of their own, so make sure your webinar platform offers opportunities for people to chat.

interview webinars

3. The Ask Me Anything (AMA) webinar

The AMA webinar has many similarities with the interview-style webinar. These webinars also work for the top of the funnel and focus on building brand trust and your relationship with your target audience.

You will select someone that will attract attention to answer questions from the audience. Rather than have a dedicated interviewer, your audience gets to ask the questions of your guest.

You will want to begin building a list of questions before the webinar, such as offering registrants the chance to submit their questions before the event starts. Other people can then answer their questions live.You will want to have someone on hand to make sure the event stays on track, even if they play more of a moderator role than an interviewer role. 

4. The panel discussion

A panel discussion is another popular webinar format. In this type of webinar, you invite experts in your target field, typically about 3-4 panelists, to participate in the discussion on the topic of interest for your audience. This webinar works well for the top of the funnel, as it provides an excellent opportunity to educate your audience. To make the panel more interesting, bring together people who hold different opinions on applicable issues within the industry. This way, you don't have to worry about everyone just agreeing with each other and instead can spark a lively debate.

This dovetails nicely into a popular variation of this webinar format. the expert debate. In this type of debate, you specifically ask experts in their field to debate a popular topic. If there is something causing a lot of discussion in your industry, that can be a great place to get started. This style of the webinar can provide your attendees with a first-hand look at the different perspectives within the industry so they can feel informed and view you as a leader.

panel discussion webinar

5. The case study webinar

In a case study webinar, you will invite people to view the success of other customers in the form of a case study. If you have recently finished conducting a study or research about how your product has positively impacted other customers, you can write up a case study and then invite others to come and review the results with you.

This style of the webinar is good for the mid and bottom-funnel leads, as it highlights the value of your product for other customers and the impact you have on these other companies.

6. Online event or conference

Webinar conferences and events have become increasingly popular in recent years, particularly during and following the pandemic. This webinar works well for the top of the funnel, as it helps bring in an audience interested in learning more about your industry. These events allow you to present yourself as an expert in your field and offer tremendous branding opportunities as the event host.

The key to doing conferences online is offering a steady stream of engaging content that will keep your audience interested and online with you. You want to offer a healthy rotation of interesting speakers, networking opportunities, and entertainment to keep people logged in and engaged. 

Online event or conference

7. Fireside chat

Back during WWII, FDR introduced the idea of fireside chats when he used the radio to broadcast messages to the American people in a series known as his ‘fireside chats.’ Now, this style of conversation has become popular and even made its way into the webinar lineup.

You will have a 1-on-1 format for discussing issues with your audience watching and engaging. This creates a more informal atmosphere that can help people engage more deeply with the topic and learn more from the guest.

These webinars also work well for education purposes and work at the top of the funnel. Rather than making your audience passive recipients who just listen to your conversation, have the plan to keep them engaged, such as offering ways to answer polls and ask questions throughout the webinar. 

8. Product demonstration

Product demonstrations and showcases can be an excellent way to highlight the value of your product and the role it can play in your customers' lives. These webinars work well for the mid to the bottom of the funnel, drawing in the leads who are close to buying but need a reason to click the ‘purchase’ button. 

During these webinars, you want to draw attention to the value your products and services offer customers. Seventy-six percent of marketers say that webinars help them build their lead lists, making this an effective strategy for finding potential customers. As you highlight the value of a particular product or service, you may wish to make the webinar a little shorter, using maybe only 30 minutes rather than the 60 that is more typical of webinars.  

Download Forrester Consulting and Hubilo's research about Using Engaging Webinars to Elevate the Sales Pipeline

9. Town hall

Town halls as a webinar often take on a slightly different feel than the other webinars we have discussed thus far. During town hall arrangements, many companies focus on internal communication. This webinar style can help bring together employees for feedback, creating a more informal atmosphere and providing people with ample opportunities to ask or answer questions and provide feedback through polls and submitting questions. You can also incorporate gamification to encourage participation and learn more about your employee impressions. 

10. Roundtables

Roundtables discussions can bring together people with a variety of different points of view to have a unified discussion. This style of webinar works well for customers up for renewal as you work to build and maintain engagement with your brand. 

You want to actively involve your customers in the creation of the content for a roundtable. You might ask them about the topics they would like to discuss. You might also use pre-interviews and polls to narrow down the customers you want to have involved in this webinar. At the end of the webinar, you might also invite people to share a plug for their company as they engage with other customers. 

roundtable discussion

11. Customer onboarding

When you introduce new customers to your business, you need to make sure they receive a thorough onboarding so they will be able to use your product to the fullest. Using an onboarding webinar can help you provide a more thorough and helpful introduction than a long customer handbook. It also makes it easier for people to ask questions throughout the onboarding process if any should arise. During your webinar, you want to highlight a few key points. Pay attention to features that link directly to common pain points and customer use cases. Make sure you also demonstrate the different ways people can use your product or service and the value they can get from it. 

You might also provide supporting content to go alongside your webinar. For example you might offer books or videos that people can review after the webinar to help them further internalize your message. 

12. Online workshops

Workshops have also shifted largely online thanks to the pandemic. However, running them online can be a great way to offer training and education, making them another top-of-the-funnel option, as you pull in people interested in learning more about your industry.

During your workshop, focus on topics that interest your potential customers and create an e-learning experience for those in attendance. Complement your content with opportunities for interaction such as chats and polls. 

online workshop

13. Co-branded webinars 

Co-branded webinars can offer you an excellent opportunity to show the value of your brand and the products or services you offer. You can use this webinar time to highlight how they provide value. Potential customers see what you bring to the table. Existing customers can also learn more about what they can get out of your products and services. Therefore, this type of webinar works well for leads across the entire funnel.

When working with a partner, you can promote each other's products and show how the partner's products or services fill in the gaps of the other's offerings. You can also comarket the webinar to each other's audiences. The only stipulation is to make sure you clearly know how you will share leads after the webinar.

14. Influencer collaboration

Influencers have become a prominent part of marketing across the entire funnel, and webinars are no different. These professionals build up large audiences that follow their content and listen to their advice, making them excellent partners to promote your products and services. 

You must carefully evaluate influencers who deal specifically with your niche and ensure you thoroughly understand their audience. This insight will tell you how well they will fit well within your own marketing goals.

These webinars invite the influencer to present to their audience about your product and services. They should be very interactive, with people having plenty of opportunities to ask questions and engage with the influencer. Use this webinar style for top-of-funnel engagement to bring in those who follow the influencer and want to learn more about what you have to offer. 

15. Networking webinars

People like to attend events for two main reasons; they like to learn, and they want to network with others in the industry. A networking webinar gives people a chance to meet and engage, even if it is still virtual. The modern webinar platform can offer such engaging features that people might forget they are online instead of in person. The key is making sure that the platform is highly branded and interactive, such as offering spaces for speed networking or breakout areas for networking discussions and chats. 

Keep these events generally a little smaller so people can connect more easily. These events will work well for people across your entire funnel.

Networking webinars

16. The webinar series

A webinar series takes an important topic and breaks it down across several different sessions. These webinars can be highly educational and engaging, but you ask people to repeatedly return to your discussion. Therefore, make sure you peasant on topics that highly engage your audience. Ensure your opening session is also extremely interesting and high-value to encourage people to return. 

17. Masterclass webinar

People have begun to turn to e-learning opportunities with increasing frequency thanks to various learning opportunities such as Coursera and Masterclass-- more than 220 million have taken a course through MOOC. Modeling a webinar on a Masterclass can give you a chance to really dive deep into a topic. The audience you attract for this webinar does not want just to hear the basics or a cursory overview of a topic- they want to dig in deep and learn as much as they can. This can help you draw in highly interested people for your industry. 

You want to bring in leading experts from your own company or among popular speakers and presenters in your industry. You are targeting people at the top and middle of their sales funnel, with a focus on educating people and showing them that you are the expert worth listening to. These types of webinars can be particularly useful for those in the B2C sectors. 

18. Lead generation webinars

Lead generation webinars work well for mid-funnel leads. These webinars can often tack along easily with other styles of webinars. For example, you might pair it with a virtual conference with a lead gen session for your highest-rated leads.

With these webinars, you provide direct guidance for people on how to move further through your funnel. You might offer them guidance on the next steps to get a personal product demonstration, offer them a look at your product use case, and otherwise encourage them to still engage with your organization. 

Read and Learn: 2X Your Pipeline With a Fresh Approach to Webinars

Getting started with webinars with Hubilo

Choosing the right webinar format is a critical decision that can significantly impact the success of your event. It's important to consider your goals, audience preferences, and the type of content you want to deliver. By selecting a format that aligns with your objectives and engages your participants, you can create a memorable and impactful webinar experience. Whether you opt for a presentation-style webinar, panel discussion, interview, or interactive workshop, the key is to choose a format that best suits your content and allows for meaningful audience interaction. Remember, the format you choose should not only deliver valuable information but also keep your attendees engaged and inspired throughout the session. So take the time to carefully consider your options, experiment with different formats, and continually refine your approach to deliver exceptional webinars that leave a lasting impression.

After finalizing the webinar format, the next crucial step is selecting the right webinar platform to bring your event to life. Hubilo, a leading event platform, can provide invaluable assistance in this regard. Choosing Hubilo as your webinar platform can greatly enhance your virtual event's success. With its comprehensive suite of features and tools, Hubilo offers a seamless and engaging webinar experience for both hosts and attendees. Hubilo offers various interactive features that enhance audience engagement during the webinar. From live polls and Q&A sessions to chat functionalities and virtual networking, attendees can actively participate and interact with the content and other participants. This fosters a sense of community and encourages meaningful connections, even in a virtual setting. By leveraging the platform's capabilities, you can create a seamless and engaging webinar experience that captivates your audience and delivers exceptional value. Request a demo today and take the first step towards hosting successful and impactful webinars with Hubilo.

FAQs about webinar format

What is a webinar format?

Your webinar format will dictate what people should expect from your webinar and the type of information they will receive. Your format will dictate the tone of your event and the goals you have for the event. Your attendees will set their expectations based on your format so they know what they will experience. 

How do you structure a webinar?

You should start a w+ebinar with a 2-5 minute introduction of your host and the main guest speakers who will present throughout the event. After this introduction, you will move into the main content portion, where your speakers and presenters will introduce their topics and deliver value to the audience. You will then typically conclude with a Q&A portion, where attendees can ask their own questions that may have occurred to them throughout the webinar. 

What are the parts of a webinar?

The parts of a webinar will vary depending on the type of webinar format you select. Generally, you will need: 

  • An intro
  • A main presentation
  • A Q&A session

To run the webinar, you will need a main host who guides the conversation, a guest speaker or speakers who will deliver the value to the audience, and slides or prerecorded videos. If you have any type of debate or discussion, you may also have a moderator for the discussion

How do I write webinar content?

To write content for your webinar, you will:

  1. Choose a topic that interests your audience and fits with your area of expertise
  2. Build an outline based on what people want to know and what offers value.
  3. Remember that you want to speak freely during the webinar and not just read a script. Therefore, fill in the outline with details but not line-by-line dialogue so you can use it as a guide. 

How do I choose the right webinar format for my event?

To choose the right webinar format for your event, you will want to think carefully about

  1. Your target audience for the webinar
  2. Your goals for the discussion
  3. The type of information you want to present
  4. The options that fit your content requirements

Once you have outlined the format based on these requirements, you can start to think about your webinar format. Use our webinar format list to select the best option that aligns with your needs.

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Hubilo is the webinar platform built for marketers that helps you 2X your pipeline. Founded in 2015, Hubilo's powerful engagement features, dedicated client experience team, and custom branding tools have helped create over 12K virtual events & webinars, creating hundreds of millions of minutes of high-engagement experiences and counting. Headquartered in Bengaluru and San Francisco, Hubilo's 200+ employees are dedicated to enabling webinars & virtual events that convert.

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