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Alternative Market Briefing

On the multiple talents required for a successful webinar

Thursday, December 03, 2020

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Don Steinbrugge
B. G., Opalesque Geneva:

Don Steinbrugge founded Agecroft Partners in 2007, and his firm has grown to become a global, award-winning hedge fund consulting and marketing firm. He is well aware of the current marketing challenges experienced by hedge funds, big and small, and more aware than most of the dos and donts of a good webinar - a tool now essential for visibility, presentation, and dissemination of one's expertise.

Here, he gives us some of means to create a successful webinar, which he will expand on during his presentation in the upcoming two-part Opalesque webinar workshop called Eight ways investment managers should be using digital marketing right now, taking place next week.


Opalesque: How does a webinar stand out from the rest?

Don Steinbrugge: Most people in the hedge fund industry's inboxes are flooded with invitations to participate in webinars. But there is a very low registration rate outside of an existing client base. In order to have a successful webinar with large participation rate, there is a specific process firms should follow, which includes determining a subject people are interested in, determining who the right speakers are, having a well-thought-out marketing strategy for the webinar, structuring the webinar to maximise the quality of information, and increasing the probability of presence.

Opalesque: How long should a webinar last?

Don Steinbrugge: I think webinars should be anywhere between 30 minutes to an hour. If you're going to take the time to put a webinar together and to market it broadly throughout the industry, you should be able to come up with at least 30 minutes of interesting information for the audience.

Opalesque: What would you recommend with regard to the speakers?

Don Steinbrugge: I think webinars are more interesting when you have multiple speakers. The speakers have to be viewed as experts in the industry.

To have a successful webinar, you always have to put the viewers' interests ahead of your own. One failure a lot of people make is, there'll be four people from the same company who want to share their views with people, but no one wants to hear what they have to say. The most effective webinars are those where you have some outside experts that are well known throughout the industry, and you also have people at your firm that are experts in the industry and can also participate in the webinar. That tends to drive a lot more registrations than just people from the firm.

Opalesque: Have you produced a lot of webinars? What has your experience been like so far?

Don Steinbrugge: Yes. One of the things we try to do is not be biased. We try to get people to speak at our webinars that are not biased. We're averaging around a thousand people per webinar.

Our model is, first, coming up with subjects that we believe people are going to be interested in. Then going out and getting large, well-known institutional investors to be on a panel, typically four to five speakers.

We think it's important to have a lot of energy and to not have one person droll on for a long time. We tend to jump around between the speakers and get a lot of participation. Typically we don't want anyone speaking more than five minutes at one time. We also try to engage the audience by allowing them to ask questions via a messaging board. That gives people an incentive to participate live, versus just watching an on-demand webinar.

Opalesque: And marketing is essential…

Don Steinbrugge: We spend a great deal of time marketing the event by sending multiple emails out, by getting media partners to put them on their calendars, etc. People need to get two or three emails. One email going out is not going to do the trick.

You also need a very large distribution list. If your distribution list is only a thousand people, you're not going to get many people participating in your webinar.

Opalesque: What else can you do to ensure success all around?

Don Steinbrugge: In order to have an effective presentation for a webinar, you have to excel at a lot of different things. If all you have is great content, you're probably not going to get a lot of people attending. You have to be able to create the content, add great speakers, practice it and make sure there are no technical issues, make sure people deliver the message in a very concise and linear manner, you need to market it broadly across the industry, and also you need to, when it's over, look at the analytics, look at how long people watched the webinar, etc.

Opalesque: What can you tell us about the difference between registrations and attendance?

Don Steinbrugge: That's very important; there is a fall-off in how many people register and how many people actually watch. Not only do you need to market to get people to register for the webinar, but you also need to send multiple emails out to remind people about the event and make sure they add the event to their calendar. That can significantly increase the participation rate.

As far as participation rate goes, if you don't send reminder emails, you may get 25 to 30% of people registered actually watching. If you send multiple reminders, you should get these numbers up to somewhere between 50 and 70%. I would say two or three reminders is a good number.


Upcoming webinars:

Eight ways investment managers should be using digital marketing right now
Part I: Monday, Dec. 7th at 10.30 a.m. EST
Part II: Thursday, Dec. 10th at 10.30 a.m. EST
REGISTER (free) HERE: www.opalesque.com/webinar/


Related articles:

19.Nov.2020 Opalesque Exclusive: Eight ways investment managers should be using digital marketing right now

02.Dec.20 Opalesque Exclusive: The unknown journey and the changing face of the investor: a marketing challenge

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