Nutrition webinars used to be seen as ‘second-best’ compared to on-site workshops. Since lockdown however, and with healthy eating such a challenge for the many working from home, employers have been turning to online workshops to support their employees’ health and wellbeing.

There are certainly pitfalls to this method of delivery but done in the right way, virtual nutrition workshops open up a vast range of opportunities and benefits for employee wellbeing:

  • They allow employers to reach across all of their locations, no matter how small or remote (fairness has always been a tricky issue in those cases).
  • They are convenient, overcoming all the logistical challenges of booking rooms large enough for a good sized audience.
  • Zoom or Teams sessions can also feel more connected and intimate than being part of a large audience in an auditorium.

For us as a wellbeing provider, it’s been a fantastic opportunity to establish the do’s and don’ts for delivering successful nutrition webinars. Here are our 12 top tips for employers on how to run successful online sessions for your teams:

  1. Schedule live webinars to get the best engagement

Having a set date in the diary for a live session helps drive attendance better than recorded webinars ever would. It’s human nature to put-off making the time for something that will always be available and recorded sessions miss the vital element of connecting with colleagues attending at the same time.

  1. Promote your session at least two or three times

Emails can be easily missed and the earlier you advertise the date, the better the attendance is likely to be. Your wellbeing provider should be able to make the promotion and booking process smooth and easy with compelling invitation templates and reminders to participants.

  1. Make the recording available afterwards

It will give participants a chance to revisit the content, especially useful to help people put in practice nutrition tips and advice. Over time, you’ll also reach a wider audience, including those who were unable to attend the live session.

  1. Include a Q&A section, using the chat box

Your nutrition webinars will really benefit from being as interactive as possible but avoid the nightmare conference call scenario of several people speaking at the same time. Encourage participants to share their comments and ask questions in the chat box for the presenter to answer either during the session or at the end.

  1. Ask participants to turn on their cameras

It can be tempting to keep a low profile on Zoom meetings however participants will most certainly benefit more from the presentation with their cameras on. They will be less tempted to multitask and will feel more engaged throughout.

  1. Inject variety into the delivery

With fewer of our senses engaged, and possible distractions at home, there’s more danger of losing attendees’ attention. A 1-hour ‘lecture’ is likely to challenge most people’s attention span, so keep them awake and interested by introducing practical things to ‘do’ as well as content to listen to. A breathing practice will help bring back focus and some stretching or desk exercises are perfect for energising the brain at the start of your session.

  1. Be selective about the content

Audiences are well-informed and will quickly move on if the content is bland. There is less opportunity for interaction online so attention tends to be laser-focused on the information that’s being shared. It should be eye-opening and enlightening, and feel like a ‘breath of fresh air’.

  1. Make your webinars as interactive as possible

In addition to a Q&A, ensure the presenter gets participants involved by using polls and asking people to share their experiences and comments in the chat box or, if the numbers allow, turning on their microphone and sharing in person.

  1. Add a dose of humour and fun to proceedings

With a subject like nutrition, it’s important to avoid ‘preaching’. The last thing people want is to be ‘lectured’ on something that’s so personal. The healthy eating message will go down much better if it’s delivered with a pinch of salt and a few jokes to break the ice.

  1. Follow up with helpful additional resources

Webinar participants love to receive relevant resources they can refer to after the session to refresh their memory. When it comes to nutrition, handy checklists or ingredient lists are helpful and so are cheat sheets. We email out infographics pdfs summarising the learnings from the session and a selection of recipes.

  1. Avoid ‘wellbeing fatigue’

We’re hearing about this issue frequently from employers at the moment, keen to support employees through the challenges of lockdown, working from home and feeling disconnected. There can be a danger in scheduling large numbers of webinars without a common thread between them. Audiences can feel overwhelmed with the amount of knowledge shared but hit a barrier when it comes to putting it into practice. If you are looking at regular webinars, it’s worth considering a programme with a set length, well planned structure and a purpose to keep your employees engaged. We have been successfully running our 3 month challenge online, which gives employees an opportunity to implement what they are learning and achieve measurable outcomes for their health.

  1. Use the opportunity to gather insights

Some topics (nutrition included) benefit from people experiencing them in order to find out if it’s something they want to know more about. We encourage our clients to start with a discovery session, during which we also survey participants and glean useful insights on their needs and preferences for future wellbeing activities.

Are you looking to organise a nutrition webinar for your colleagues?

Check out our current menu of webinar topics

Get in touch for a chat. We’d love to see how we might be able to help, now or in the future.