How to Mix Up Your Webinars with a Fireside Chat - Goto Meeting


Have you ever been subject to a webinar presentation that had little to no yield, poor engagement, and was, in a word, boring? If so, you’re not alone. At Clutchgrowth, we understand that webinars should be engaging, which is why it’s time to mix things up.

We decided to create more meaningful interactions with our customers at scale, rather than putting on the typical webinar. Our solution? Host a fireside chat rather than a webinar.

Implementing Fireside Chats

A fireside chat is a fresh alternative to the traditional webinar, where two or three speakers engage with a live audience in real-time, in a relaxed setting, and usually without the aid of a prepared slide deck. These raw, down-to-earth formats allow high-profile speakers and influencers (usually coupled with a company executive) to show off their personality and effortlessly connect with attendees throughout the session — not just during a Q&A period at the end. We’ve found that clients like this approach because, in many cases, they drive higher registration numbers with improved participation and attentiveness.

But how do you put on a successful fireside chat? We’ll walk you through some simple steps taken from our Fireside Chat Playbook.

Before the Event

  1. Determine a webinar subject that your audience has shown interest in and would find valuable. Decide on the best speaker internally to join the webinar, and reach out to an influencer who is knowledgeable on the subject – ideally, their audience overlaps with your own.
  2. In GoToWebinar, the first thing you have to do is set up a new ‘live, standard’ event with the autoresponder turned ON. And don’t forget to set two reminders: one for a day prior to the event, and one for an hour before the event.
  3. Set up your registration page. Remember that registration into GoToWebinar is done via the API connected to your particular marketing automation platform.
  4. Start promotion three to four weeks ahead of time. Send emails to existing lists, leverage social sharing, retarget ads on social, write a blog post, run a popup on your website and any relevant online communities – the possibilities are endless. And don’t forget about the participating influencer’s own network and channels.
  5. Host a trial run! Discuss and finalize a loose framework, develop a few seed questions or polls in case you need to get audience participation flowing, and confirm all gear and software is up and ready to go.

During the Event

Assign a director to oversee a successful live webinar. The director should be responsible for communicating with speakers via chat, monitoring video and audio quality, making presenters aware of the best audience questions coming in, and keeping track of the time.

After the Event

  1. Look over the data. GoToWebinar has excellent reports available after the webinar ends on everything from registration and attendees to Q&A follow-up, engagement and post-event surveys. This information can help give you an idea of where your event stands and how you can improve.
  2. Download the webinar and drop it into a video editing software. Clean it up, consider adding an intro and outro with music, and add the production video to GoToStage or another video hosting platform.
  3. Make the registration landing page evergreen by adding post-fireside chat copy, removing dates, changing CTAs, and adding the fireside chat video.
  4. Send a thank you email to all registrants with the updated landing page link and add registrants to your sales nurture track.
  5. Continue to promote and repurpose the evergreen fireside chat.

While fireside chats may take more planning, testing and overall orchestration than your typical webinar, your audience and your sales funnel will thank you. At Clutchgrowth we’ve seen hundreds of registrations for each event, higher audience engagement and attentiveness than previous events, better post-webinar feedback, higher quality leads, a greater number of opened and closed-won opportunities, and more happy clients.

You don’t need a large email list or a household brand name to pull off great results. For more information, and to download Clutchgrowth’s full, detailed Fireside Chat Playbook, visit our website!