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How to Manage Live Attendee Chat During Webinars

Webinars are golden opportunities for sharing knowledge and connecting with your audience. They’ve become a vital marketing tool that transforms interested leads into customers. They provide an interactive way to present information and get real-time feedback through live attendee chat. However, it can be a huge task to manage chat during your webinar. You want to engage your attendees and encourage their questions and comments, but you have to keep it under control, ensuring the conversation stays on track.

If you’re wondering about best practices for live attendee chat during webinars, we’ve got some great tips to share.

Check Your Live Chat Functionality

Before your webinar, it’s a good idea to become familiar with the chat features of your webinar platform. Understand how to open the live chat, and figure out if you can manage questions by using sorting tools for quicker responses. Have a few test runs with internal team members where they engage with chat. This way, you’ll be prepared for the live show.

If You Ask a Question, You Should Be Ready to Handle Responses

Questions are a great way to keep your audience in the webinar. It actually improves how attendees retain information and boosts engagement. You may be wondering what kind of questions you should ask, and which kinds will elicit the best responses. Let’s look at some ideas.

  • Avoid yes/no questions: These questions get a word response and don’t continue the conversation.
  • Select open-ended questions that can prompt more engagement. For example, if you are hosting a webinar about specific challenges that your group faces, ask them about what those challenges look like in their day to day.
  • Use responses to fuel more questions. If, in the above example, someone comments that the challenge is related to a lack of resources, ask what resources they need the most.

With questions, you are likely to receive a wave of responses. Live attendee chats are typically visible to all attendees. Instead of just reading the answers verbatim in the discussion, look at similar themes, and segue into those topics.

As a pro tip, don’t ask questions that could lead to conversations you don’t want to tackle. While you want attendees to be free to converse, you need to be strategic about what you ask, so you don’t end up off-topic.

Assign a Producer to Be Active in the Chat

Hosts need support during webinars, and that includes asking a producer to monitor and be active in the chat. As soon as attendees begin firing away comments or questions, the producer should be on top of it. Think of it as how responsive you want to be when followers comment on your social media posts. While every question or comment can’t be included in the conversation, your producer can make sure everyone feels acknowledged.

For example, an attendee may comment that they currently use one of your products and appreciate its new features. Adding a quick comment of appreciation will let the commenter know you are watching. With many webinar platforms, you can also use emojis, which is another fun way to add a comment.

Respond Urgently to Those Having Issues

Not every attendee will be technically savvy, and they may use the chat to communicate their issues. If you see these pop up, message the guest privately with information like how to join audio or solutions to other common problems. You want everyone to have the best experience possible, so be quick to help those in need.

Be Ready to Remove Inappropriate Comments

Unfortunately, there could be individuals out to highjack your webinar. They could be disgruntled customers, former employees, or competitors. While the hope is that everyone will act professionally, that’s not always the case.

Some may see the chat as a way to attack your company or submit complaints. Should you be faced with this predicament, move quickly to delete those comments and remove the person from the webinar.

While you can be fast, it’s likely some attendees will have seen the disparaging remarks. It’s best to address it head-on instead of avoiding it but do so quickly and with tact.

Live Attendee Chat: The Webinar Engagement Secret Weapon

As you begin to build your webinar strategy, you’ll need to plan for how to manage live attendee chat. It’s a critical feature for engagement when used appropriately. Looking for more ways to keep your webinars engaging? Check out this post on the subject.

About Darcy Mekis