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10 Highly Engaging Webinar Formats for an Interactive Event

Here's your ultimate guide to choosing the best webinar format to encourage engagement. We share examples of each and show you how to select one.
Stephen Robles
Video & Podcast Creator
Last Updated:
March 11, 2024
Reviewed by
Ortal Hadad

Not sure what webinar format is the best for your event?

It all boils down to your topic and the type of audience engagement you’d like to foster. Plus, you can mix and merge formats together to suit your needs.

If you’re not sure where to start then read along for some of the most engaging webinar formats and what makes them so effective.

Why should you choose a specific webinar format?

As of 2024, an incredible 95% of marketers consider webinar content as an important part of their strategy. Research reveals that a webinar landing page can produce a conversion rate as high as 51%.

Creating a strong webinar presentation allows you to build stronger connections among your community. This can help you improve brand reputation and establish trusting professional relationships.

But simply producing a webinar isn’t enough. It’s also important to think wisely about which type of webinar is right for you and your audience.

There are many different webinar formats to choose from, with experts suggesting panels, Q&As, and interviews often drive the best engagement outcomes.

10 best webinar formats for an engaged audience

Wondering which webinar you should use if you want to engage your audience and create a real impact?

Here are our top suggestions to help you learn how to create a webinar that resonates.

Panel webinar

Panel webinars are a popular choice in conference and trade show settings, but you can also use them for other professional productions. These webinars include several speakers, each bringing unique and valuable perspectives to a specific conversation. In a panel webinar, guests will get to hear insights and discussion points from a small group of experts, making this a great format for knowledge sharing.

Best for: Industry events that feature insights from a small group of relevant experts.


Outline template:

  • Welcome guests to your webinar
  • Introduce yourself and other panel members
  • Explain a brief overview of the key points you’ll cover
  • Delve into your content materials
  • Discuss developments and ideas with the panel
  • Summarize key points and thank your attendees

Q&A webinar

Question and answer, or Q&A, webinars are an excellent format for online engagement. With this approach, you can connect with your audience in real-time, responding to questions that matter most to attendees. This can help you spark a two-way conversation and tailor webinar content so that serves your online community.

Best for: Resolving key concerns and questions that directly affect your audience and reflect their interests.


Outline template:

  • Welcome your webinar attendees
  • Introduce yourself and any co-hosts
  • Explain how the Q&A session will work
  • Provide your audience with the opportunity to ask questions
  • Begin to answer audience questions and concerns
  • Summarize any key takeaways before ending the webinar

Thought leadership webinar

A thought leadership webinar helps you position yourself as an expert in your field. This can allow you to introduce new concepts or ideas and explain insights that others can learn from. In a thought leadership webinar, you can engage your audience by delivering content that is unique to you and your brand. You can use this format to articulate information viewers won’t be able to find anywhere else.

Best for: Establishing credibility and a reputation for innovation within your industry while actively engaging participants.


Outline template:

  • Welcome your guests to your event
  • Introduce yourself or your thought leader and your/their qualifications
  • Provide a brief overview of the topics you will cover
  • Explain your new ideas, along with their value and validity
  • Provide an opportunity for attendees to ask questions
  • Conclude your webinar with a short summary of events

Training webinar

Training webinars are valuable tools in many contexts, helping people learn new skills for work, study, or leisure. Through a training-driven webinar event, you can deliver critical learning materials that help people develop specific skills and knowledge. This can empower audiences to explore new tasks or perform well within a professional setting, depending on who your target audience is.

Best for: Communicating educational material in a concise, engaging, and meaningful way.


Outline template:

  • Welcome your guests to your event
  • Introduce your teaching qualifications
  • Outline what attendees will learn from the webinar
  • Begin to deliver key lessons or learning topics (you can do this step by step!)
  • Provide guests with space to ask questions
  • Briefly recap key teachings from the webinar before concluding

Demo webinar

A demo webinar is more than just a piece of content. These webinars can save you time and stress by providing a clear how-to guide that helps audiences learn how to use your products. These webinars deliver high-value, functionally useful content. This makes it easier to engage your audience and maintain their interest over the course of your virtual production.

Best for: Showing people how to use a new or complicated product or service offering.


Outline template:

  • Welcome your webinar attendees to the event
  • Introduce the product or service you’ll be discussing
  • Showcase step-by-step use instructions, including screenshare if necessary
  • Allow attendees to ask questions if required
  • Briefly summarize important demonstration steps prior to conclusion

Case study webinar

Case study webinars have many applications. You can use these to highlight positive testimonials relevant to your brand or to showcase common pitfalls associated with your niche. A good case study gives your audience something – and someone – to connect to. This can make your content more engaging, relatable and even drive greater interactivity results.

Best for: Providing social proof of a product or service’s value or delivering complex materials in a more personal, easy-to-understand format.


Outline template:

  • Welcome guests to your webinar environment
  • Introduce the case study you’ll be presenting
  • Address consumer pain points and your product’s solution
  • Validate the significance of the case study at hand
  • Provide details of your chosen case study
  • Evaluate what can be learned from the case study
  • Invite questions regarding the virtual event before closing

Conversational webinar

Some webinars allow both hosts and attendees to start real-time conversations about important topics. A conversational webinar provides space for back-and-forth communication that features a wide variety of ideas and perspectives. This webinar format can help you gain more insight into who your audience is and how you can better support them in the future. Alternatively, a conversational webinar might involve communicating with your colleagues and capturing this content for others to learn from.

Best for: Connecting directly and developing meaningful relationships with your audience as part of ongoing community building.


Outline template:

  • Welcome your participants to your webinar
  • Introduce yourself and your own topic interest
  • Invite attendees or co-hosts to share their interests and experiences
  • Introduce a framework and any communication policies
  • Begin a conversation relevant to your niche and event topic
  • Converse directly with webinar attendees
  • Revisit any important points before the end of your event

Presentation webinar

Presentation webinars are often among the most powerful virtual events, as they combine both audio and visual materials to make a communicative impact. These webinars include on-screen materials that provide additional context to discussions. You can use a presentation to share images, graphs, or diagrams. You can also create short presentation summaries that make it easy for audiences to learn and take notes.

Best for: Communicating in a professional or educational setting where the webinar must cover extensive information.


Outline template:

  • Invite and welcome your webinar attendees
  • Introduce yourself and any relevant qualifications
  • Upload and screenshare your presentation slides
  • Deliver your presentation content
  • Allow space for your audience to ask questions before concluding

Interview webinar

An interview webinar is another popular choice, allowing you to gain specific information from a mindfully chosen special guest. This webinar format allows you to connect with industry experts who provide real value for your audience. It also delivers an engaging conversational structure with the logistical simplicity of keeping the conversation between just a few people, rather than the whole cohort of attendees.

Best for: Gaining specifically relevant insights from industry experts and professionals through the power of conversation.


Outline template:

  • Welcome your audience to your event
  • Introduce yourself and your interviewee
  • Share any important information about your interview candidate
  • Begin your interview, and provide conversational support
  • Thank you interviewee prior to ending the webinar event

Pre-recorded webinar

Finally, pre-recorded webinars are an excellent option if you want to take control of your event and give everyone a chance to tune in. Users can watch these webinars on demand, which means that you are less likely to be limited by timing or geography. You can capture recorded webinar content that allows you to connect anytime, anywhere. You may even be able to repurpose content later on!

Best for: Busy webinar creators who struggle to find a live webinar time slot that suits a majority audience.

Example: Demystifying Email Authentication and Deliverability Changes with HubSpot

Outline template:

  • Hit record to ensure that you are capturing your webinar content
  • Introduce your webinar and yourself, along with any qualifications
  • Offer a brief overview of the topics and ideas you will cover
  • Begin to deliver important webinar content
  • Summarize key points before ending your event
  • Advertise and share your webinar with people so they can watch it post-event

How to choose the correct webinar format for your audience

When choosing a webinar format, it’s important to think carefully about what’s right for your audience.

Audience demographics

First, you’ll need to think about who makes up your audience and what they need.

  • Do your viewers need training or demo content?
  • Would they gain more from a Q&A session or learning from a panel of experts?
  • Are they located abroad and in need of a pre-recorded webinar?

This information can help you get a sense of what your webinar content needs to achieve and how best to reach your goals.

Your webinar platform

Choosing the right webinar platform can make or break your production! Does your chosen software tool offer screensharing or the ability to push your stream to other platforms?

The features your chosen platform offers may be a deciding factor in the type of webinar you create. For example, if you’re looking to engage with your audience and repurpose webinars you may want to try a platform like Riverside that offers live call-ins, and high-quality recording.

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Your creative vision

Lastly, it’s a good idea to think about your own vision for your webinar. Do you want to create a casual clip full of real conversations? Or are you hoping to produce a sleek, carefully curated webinar based on visual elements, including presentation materials? You know what you want your webinar to be, so let this understanding guide you toward a format that matches your needs.

Best practices on how to structure your webinar

There are a few best practices you should keep in mind when it comes to structuring strong, powerful webinars for your audience.

  • Create a webinar plan: Plan your webinar ahead of time to ensure you stay on track.
  • Set a time limit: Create your webinar to fit within a reasonable timeframe.
  • Don’t leave gaps: Produce your webinar as seamlessly as possible, with no empty space.
  • Make your webinar interactive: Use visual materials, like slides or screenshare, to support communication.
  • Allocate time for questions: Allow extra time for audiences to ask questions after your webinar.

FAQs on webinar formats

Still unsure about the best approach to webinar formats? Here are our answers to a few frequently asked questions!

How do you structure a webinar?

There are many different approaches you can take when it comes to structuring your webinar. The best method is to think about what key takeaways you want audiences to learn from your content. You can structure the key points and sections of your event to frame these lessons. Remember to include time for questions and feedback at the end! Try the following general structure:

  • Introduction to content
  • Overview of key points
  • Illustration of value
  • Additional detail on important concepts
  • Summary and review
  • Question and answer
  • Conclusion

What is the format of a panel webinar?

A panel webinar typically includes a range of experts on a topic coming together to discuss ideas. This format is a great way to gain insight and information from a variety of people, especially within an educational and professional context.

Final thoughts

Webinars can be incredible tools for brand growth and effective communication. When you know how to use them well, you can create content that amplifies your value and provides a memorable experience for your audience.

The best webinar software can help you create an event you’re truly proud of! Discover studio-quality production and recording tools now at Riverside.

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