Update: Easy YouTube Live Webinar Setup

This weekend’s update to RSVPMaker includes an easier method for setting up a sales or educational webinar, or an online video interview show, using YouTube Live, Google’s free internet broadcast service. I’m planning my next RSVPMaker webinar for January 10 at 1 pm EST.

You can now create a landing page for your event, plus sample confirmation, reminder, and follow up messages in one step, right from within the event editing screen. You can then further customize the reminder message (adding all the reasons why people should be sure to tune in) and the follow up message (at the same time you provide the link to the replay, you can promote a special offer for additional products or services).

If your webinar is intended as a way for you to build your email list, or generate sales leads, you can specify that people must register before viewing either the live event or the replay, and the landing page will enforce that requirement.

You begin by creating your YouTube Live event. Go to https://www.youtube.com/my_live_events or navigate to that page from the YouTube video manager.

Click New Live Event and fill out the form. It should look something like this:

If you want to require registration of viewers, you can set your YouTube Live event to “unlisted” so that it will not show up in the directory on youtube.com.

You will also create a corresponding RSVPMaker event for the same date and time. Because you may get attendees from other timezones, I recommend you tweak your RSVPMaker date/time display settings to specify that timezones should be displayed on your website.

Plug the url for your YouTube Live event into the blank corresponding field under the confirmation message blank and save the post as a draft or publish it. If you want registration for your event to be required, check that checkbox (this can be changed later).

YouTube Live field in the event editor.

RSVPMaker will create a landing page, as well as a confirmation message that includes the landing page url, a reminder scheduled to go out two hours before your event, and a follow up message scheduled to go out two hours after your event. To help you navigate between these pieces of related content, a message will appear at the top of the page whenever you are editing either the event post or the landing page.

Webinar related content

You can add or reschedule reminder and follow up messages from the RSVP Reminders screen.

The landing page will include the YouTube video feed, plus a live chat stream associated with the event.

YouTube Live webinar landing page.

Here is that same post seen in the editor, with the YouTube url included on a separate line (WordPress generates the video embed code automatically) and the [ylchatshortcode that pulls in the YouTube Live video chat stream. (If you don’t want to use YouTube’s chat, alternatives include enabling Facebook Comments on your site).

Landing page in the editor.

During the live program, you will want to monitor questions / comments from the chat as a way of interacting with the viewing audience. Assuming you stick with the YouTube Live chat, I suggest popping it out into a separate window, which you can do by clicking on the three dots at the right hand side of the chat box.

The presenter’s view of a YouTube Live session with the pop-up chat window displayed.

Try it and let me know what you think.