Webinar Operations Simplified:
Workload Reduced 48%, Survey Responses Up 30%!
Event type:   Webinar
Event format:   Virtual
Event Format Virtual
# of attendees
Challenges with Webinar Management
- Usage of multiple disparate tools results in increased effort and complexity (Zoom, Google Forms, etc)
- Delegation of webinar operations to other staff was difficult due to the “bottleneck of training them on so many different tools”
The Benefits of Using EventHub
- Operational effort is reduced by 48% since everything can be accomplished in a single tool
- Less experienced staff can efficiently execute webinars, making it possible to delegate operations
- Increased survey response rate by 30% since more focus can be put on webinar content rather than operations
JAFCO, which established the first venture capital partnership fund in Japan, is regarded as Japan’s oldest and largest venture capital firm. Since then, they have been actively investing in and supporting startups. As part of their business, they conduct frequent meetings and seminars geared to both startups and large enterprise companies alike. In response to business changes brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic (April 202), JAFCO turned to online webinars. They have been conducting them ever since. We interviewed Atsushi Yamamoto, a Senior Associate in the Business Development Department at JAFCO, who has been running these webinars almost single-handedly, to learn in detail about why they adopted EventHub and the impact it has had on their business.
※ This case study is based on the webinar presentation held on August 3, 2023, “How to Utilize Webinars Post-COVID – Accelerate B2B Marketing by Creating Experiences, Sales Collaboration, and Improving Operational Efficiency.”
JAFCO’s Webinar Objectives and the State of Things Before EventHub
At JAFCO, we utilize webinars and events to create business opportunities between our portfolio startup companies and potential customers.
Currently, JAFCO hosts nearly ten webinars per month. Could you share what type of webinars JAFCO used to hold before the COVID-19 pandemic?
<Atsushi Yamamoto from JAFCO and Yuichi Suzuki from EventHub, during the Webinar >
Since our company’s founding in 1982, we have been investing in and supporting startup companies as a venture capital firm. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, our approach was to set up in-person meetings with potential clients, typically large enterprise companies. During these meetings, we would understand their potential needs and identify whether any of our portfolio companies might help solve these needs or if there was a portfolio company they might want to invest in. As a follow-up, we would arrange additional meetings to introduce each of the respective portfolio companies.
After the spring of 2020, COVID-19 prevented us from conducting in-person meetings. In response, we transitioned to webinars and virtual events. However, some clients were initially reluctant to engage in virtual meetings, expressing a preference for in-person interactions.
Personally, I felt that not having these meetings “was a huge opportunity loss for both parties,” so despite being a complete amateur in web marketing, I decided to take the plunge into hosting webinars.
JAFCO started conducting two types of webinars: “Joint webinars with our portfolio startup companies” and “JAFCO led webinars.”
<Joint webinars with our portfolio startup companies>
- Generate leads for our portfolio startup companies through webinars
- Information sharing and training for our portfolio companies to aid their growth
<JAFCO led webinars>
- Share information that can be beneficial to large established companies developing new services and businesses
- Create networking opportunities by inviting leaders and subject matter experts from our portfolio companies to speak
JAFCO’s own hosted webinars are intended to help large enterprise companies solve problems they may have by matching them with our portfolio companies since their own product development may not be progressing fast enough or there is functionality they are seeking in order to complete the development of their own products.
Initially, our webinars had a very “manual” approach. We created a list of recipients and emailed the Zoom link.
Atsushi, you described yourself as an amateur, so how did you initially get started on these webinars?
I have been primarily doing investment work throughout my career, so when it came to webinars, I was a complete amateur. In the beginning, I would create a list of recipients and directly send them a Zoom link. It was a very manual approach. The first webinar I held was in April 2020, and it was a big step for me.
Challenges: Webinars Required “Significant Effort” and “Dependency on Specialized Staff”
The complexity of juggling multiple tools is a burden on webinar organizers.
We heard that the frequency of webinars gradually increased. Did you encounter any challenges with this?
After we hosted our first webinar, I gradually became more comfortable with the process, so we increased the frequency of our webinars. However, as we conducted more webinars, we began to identify some challenges. One major issue was the need to use multiple independent tools to run a single webinar.
Below are the primary tasks and tools associated with conducting a webinar:
<Diagram from JAFCO – “Webinar operations workflow before implementing EventHub”>
There are many tasks involved in running webinars. As shown in the diagram above, a different tool was needed for each task. This added to the complexity. For example, tasks such as the creation of marketing banners were done through Canva, registration forms were built in Google Forms, landing pages were designed using WIX, and the actual delivery of the webinar was carried out via Zoom. From start to finish, various tools had to be mastered for each task.
The most time-consuming step of the process was the post-event “data analysis,” shown on the right side of the diagram. After completing the webinar, we ideally want to contact the participants immediately. However, to do this, we needed to complete the post-event data analysis in order to identify which leads to prioritize. This took time and effort to prepare.
As a result, I found it challenging to manage my other duties beyond webinar operations.
The Vicious Cycle of Webinar Management. We Became Dependent on Specialized Staffs Due to the Use of Multiple Tools.
Would it be challenging to increase the number of staff members?
One might think, “Why not delegate tasks to other employees or increase the number of staff?” However, this was difficult due to the number of tools used to conduct our webinars. Teaching people how to use each tool became an extremely time-consuming process.
＜Diagram from JAFCO – “Challenges Before Implementing EventHub”＞
Due to the effort needed to train staff, I thought, “Wouldn’t it be faster if I did it myself?” However, this resulted in me being solely responsible for webinars. As a result, I found myself overwhelmed with little time for other investment-related work. This became a vicious cycle.
To reduce the burden and increase the frequency of our events, it became clear that we needed to streamline the webinar management process.
Why JAFCO Implemented EventHub
EventHub was the clear choice for us! We found no other tool that covers such a wide range of functionality.
Could you please tell us why JAFCO adopted EventHub for their webinars?
As mentioned, having to master several tools to conduct a webinar created significant complexity. We were always concerned that a mistake could be made due to the use of multiple independent tools. This also made it difficult to delegate operations to other staff members.
With EventHub, we are able to complete everything from webinar preparation to execution through to post-event analytics, all within a single tool. Additionally, it is intuitive to use. We found no other tool with such a complete range of functionality, making EventHub a clear choice for us!
Some of the key functionality in the EventHub platform
EventHub incorporates all the functionality needed to conduct webinars, significantly reducing effort.
Were there any other reasons for choosing EventHub?
EventHub includes features specialized for hosting webinars, covering all our needs, which we found extremely valuable.
For instance, webinar dates are published in multiple places, such as landing pages, registration forms, reminder emails, and so on. If there is an error in even one of these, it is troublesome since we need to send emails to registrants to clarify the information and apologize for any confusion. However, with EventHub, all the details, including the dates, can be managed within a single tool, reducing the likelihood of these mistakes.
EventHub’s platform ensures that our webinars go smoothly, significantly reducing the effort and stress of executing a successful webinar.
Outcomes After Adopting EventHub
Adopting EventHub reduced our workload by 48%! The most time-consuming task, post-event data analysis, was reduced by 97%.
How much did EventHub help reduce your webinar workload?
Before EventHub, the percentage of person-hours spent on each task was as follows:
＜Diagram from JAFCO – “Operations Flow Before Implementing EventHub”＞
As shown in the diagram, post-event data analysis was the most time-consuming task. This task is vital since we want to follow up with leads as soon as possible after the webinar. This meant we had to process data and identify hot leads immediately, which was challenging. Processing participant data manually took time, and we couldn’t complete this as quickly as we would like.
Data analysis used to take up to 30% of the total person-hours, but after adopting EventHub, this reduced to a mere 1%. EventHub enables us to generate analytic reports in a single click. Thanks to this, we can conduct follow-ups immediately following the webinar. If we host a webinar in the morning, we are already contacting participants by the afternoon.
Overall, EventHub helped us reduce our workload by 48%.
＜Diagram from JAFCO – “Workload Reduced After Implementing EventHub”＞
Solved! With EventHub, we no longer need to rely on specialized staff for webinars.
Before EventHub, we were unable to delegate webinar operations due to the need to train staff on each of the many tools used. With EventHub, we only need to train staff on a single tool, making it much easier to delegate and share the workload.
Survey response rates improved by 30% since we can now focus on the content of our webinars.
Surveys are essential for understanding participant needs and enabling us to provide better content for future events. Adopting EventHub has led to a remarkable 30% increase in our webinar survey response rate.
We believe the survey response rate increased since we can now focus on the substance of our webinar, such as the content, rather than operational tasks alone.
In addition to reducing the overwhelming workload, we solved the problem of having to depend on specialized staff to run webinars. I truly believe EventHub is a fantastic tool! This is not just a sales pitch. I genuinely mean it! (laughs)
I’m glad to hear that we were able to help you with your webinar needs!
We Hope to Hold More Webinars in the Future
Before adopting EventHub, the frequency of holding webinars varied, but now, we can regularly host about 8 to 9 webinars per month.
＜Diagram from JAFCO – “Webinar Frequency”＞
Currently, we conduct weekly meetings to plan the content of our webinars so we can better address the needs of our clients, such as “What issues do large enterprise companies have?” and “What IP from our portfolio companies can we introduce to solve these issues?” Since adopting EventHub, we have reduced the workload and person-hours needed to conduct webinars, so moving forward, we want to put our energy into the substance and content of the webinars themselves.
Thank you so much for your time!
|JAFCO Business Development Senior Associate
Atsushi Yamamoto joined JAFCO as a new graduate and worked at the Kyushu branch for five years, contributing to regional revitalization and supporting corporate development. Currently, he is part of the Business Development Department, where he supports investors and promotes collaboration between large enterprise companies and startups, driving innovation and collaboration.
|EventHub Marketing and PR Manager
Yuichi Suzuki graduated from Sophia University Graduate School in 2010. He started his career at an IT venture, followed by the web services planning department at En Japan. After this, he moved to Kaonavi Inc., a leading talent management system provider, to establish a B2B marketing organization, of which he was the fifth member. Yuichi later worked for OLTA, a FinTech startup company, and joined EventHub as a Marketing Manager in May 2022.