Creating your first webinar:
The first time you create a webinar there is a nifty overlay notification helper (provided by a service called Appcues) , this helps explain what needs to be filled in. Unfortunately for me I think it would be better if they were permanently there in the form of ? icons, so you could get a reminder the next time you forget in the future, in stead of one time.
Step 1 – Create the webinar:
From the main menu, “Home”, select “Create a Webinar”, you may also select a previous webinar, and clone it, but for this run through I’ll do it all fresh.
There are currently five types of webinars you can create and for all of them you can define either free or paid. (At the start of the week there were four, so it looks like their are continual upgrades happening all the time. Which is a good sign! 😉 )
If you choose paid, you need to have a third party payment processor, and you are given a thank-you url, to direct them back to the webinar system.
Because there is no other settings here, I will choose free, and show you how to set-up a live webinar.
You need to fill out the following, “title of the webinar”, “Who’s hosting the webinar”, “When is the webinar” (time-zone is pre-set under admin settings) and then finally choose “free or paid”, then hit the blue button create webinar.
Now its pointless going straight into “The studio” because the templates and emails need to be set-up first, or you will just have dummy content instead. So lets start with checking which landing page template Webinar Ninja has set for us, and change it if need be. (It defaults to one particular template). And you will also want to add your details about the webinar to the registration page.
Step 2 – Edit the Webinar pages:
Select edit webinar. You get taken to a screen very similar to the start where we filled in our webinar title. At first I thought this was some weird bug, a loop of some kind, but through clicking through several times finally realised you need to click on the Advanced button to show the edit pages. To me it creates friction because its creating unnecessary clicking and steps to show fields that are hidden. You can also change the other pages, but they wont use the template you choose for your registration page, you can only change the content not the styling. (Something for the wish list for sure).
From here click change template. The options slide out below these options, and if you change your mind you need to click change template again to hide this panel. A toggle might be more obvious, as this was not clear.
Here are the choices. Which are enough to get you started, but not flexible enough for the advance users testing out the platform. Maybe they should get some inspiration from InstaBuilder 2.0 here. And there definitely is a need to be able to create our own. Templates are good to have, but flexibility to match our branding and styling guides to keep it up with the times and not dated or recognisable would definitely go along way.
Clicking preview just opens a popup, and loads a bigger version of the images you see here. Single click on the item, and a confirmation box confirms your decision. Note Warning! There is no going back, any customisation you did to previous template gets overridden. I tested making changes to one template saving, then choosing another template saving, and then going back to the previous template, and all those changes had gone. So My recommendation if you are going to spend the time, is to block out on paper the spots you need, and pre-write the content elsewhere and just copy and paste it into the wysiwyg. Here is what it shows you when you click to edit the template, note you can’t re-arange the design, only edit the different fields. So if you don’t have much content, choose another template that requires less, or it may seem empty.
Although the editor they’re using CKeditor this particular instance has source disabled. And has some other bugs i noticed. (Time to send yet another support ticket (see gif), I don’t particularly like this MVP model their using). Annoying that colour picker defaulting to some other colour not the last one used.
The editor did seem to recognise formatting copied from Word, or Google docs so that’s certainly how I would do it in the future.
Finish setting up what your page content should be and hit save. Then edit the other pages if need be, the only page I made some real adjustments too, was the thank-you page, which I added the webinar page url, and a reminder to book mark it. This was because if the webinar was closer in time than any of the default email notifications, I was unsure when their cron job would fire to send out these emails, and it was rightly so, as I had no registration emails arrive to me in any of my tests. So had no other way of knowing the webinar link as a test registration. I did find the link hidden in the calendar entry.
Here was my edit.
The link displayed weird, so may need further tweaking, or a support ticket.
You can include a countdown page, which I assumed would redirect to the webinar room when the date and time matches the current date and time. You can disable it if you don’t want it though. And currently (yet another support ticket) it doesn’t work at all.
The webinar page also has a bit that shows the attendees numbers to the audience. Something you may want if its a small group, but if you want the illusion of scarcity and lots of people in the room, you can choose to hide it here. Its on by default.
To get back to the main webinar window click the blue arrow at the top of screen.
Finally you could edit your emails if you wish, the default ones will work fine out of the gate, although I’ve had issues with my registration emails, that will need further testing.
I hope you enjoyed my walk-through, have you used Webinar Ninja yet, what’s your experience, leave your thoughts in the comments below.
In the next post I’ll get into the publishing and hosting of a webinar with Webinar Ninja.