So bright we’ve gotta wear shades? You bet! Over the years, we’ve seen webinars evolve from drab slide presentations into spectacular multimedia events. And things are only getting better. In yesterday’s Webinar Marketing Predictions webinar, our very own Mark Bornstein took us on a tour of what the future holds for webinar marketing — no crystal ball required.

1. Webinars will get a facelift
…and it can’t happen soon enough. Webinar presenters used to settle for “good enough” empty consoles and uninspiring slides. Not anymore. These days, webinar technology makes it easy to put together a great-looking environment that will make webinar attendees happy to watch their screens for an hour. And we’re getting more sophisticated about our slide decks, too. We’re seeing more and more presentation that use well-chosen photography and graphics to tell the story, instead of bogging people down with dozens of yawn-inducing bullets.

2. We’ll see more snackable webinars
Sure, the 60-minute webinar is tried and true. And it isn’t going anywhere. As our Benchmark Report shows, webinar viewing time just goes up year after year. But as much as people love longer webinars, they’re still hungry for snackable content. Over the next year, we expect to see more companies using 10- and 15-minute webinars to deliver live demos, bottom-funnel content, quick-hit industry updates, and more. Many of these short-form webinars will probably be distributed as on-demand content, giving content-hungry fans the flexibility to consume them in their own time.

3. Interactivity will reach beyond Q&A
Polls. Surveys. Group chat. Idea storming. With so many great ways to get people engaged in our webinars, why have so many of us stopped at a quick round of Q&A? Now that marketers are putting more focus than ever on engagement and engagement tracking, we expect to see webinar presenters packing their events with interactive elements. Not only will these elements give the audience an opportunity to participate, turning the webinar into a true conversation, they also give data-savvy marketers tons of information about their leads and prospects. Everyone wins!

4. Webinars will be promoted by… webinars??
You heard that right. Where could you find a more receptive audience for your next event than in the webinar you’re delivering right now? In the future, everyone will use their webinar platform to give audiences an easy way to register for upcoming events. Webinar presenters will be more consistent about informing their audiences of upcoming events. And once we see the promotional power of webinars, we’ll all start slicing up past events and repurposing them as assets to promote upcoming webinars.

5. Webinars will go Hollywood
Webinars make for some pretty compelling viewing: great information, engaging presenters, opportunities to interact with exciting companies. We’ve already seen a few companies make the next obvious step and turn their webinars into ongoing series. But over the next year and beyond, we expect to see a boom in companies who go totally Hollywood with their webinars: CNN-style news shows with multiple presenters, daytime coffee chats, and prime-time talk shows are all perfect formats for webinar technology.

Where are you taking your webinars in 2016? We think the sky’s the limit. To get more detail on all these trends — and to see examples of webinars from companies who were ahead of the curve — check out Webinar Marketing Predictions for 2016 on-demand.

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