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5 Reasons For Low Webinar Attendance Rates

Matt Tobin
06-Sep-2017 10:10:21

Currently staring at your post-webinar report screen with an exasperated look on your face?

We’d hazard a guess you’ve seen the attendance rate and are perhaps disappointed with the result?

That percentage, staring ominously back at you, can really bring you down after putting put so much effort into your event.

Chances are, you’ll begin asking yourself:

  • What am I doing wrong?
  • What’s behind that figure?
  • What do I need to do to make sure this doesn’t happen again?

Sometimes it’s simply a matter of making a few small changes to help improve attendance figures.

Let’s shed some light on those burning questions by looking at 5 reasons for less-than-stellar attendance rates!

three young man siting on ground while modern video camera recording.jpeg

1. Placing Too Much Emphasis on On Demand

We’ll start with an odd one...

We’ve waxed lyrical on numerous occasions in the past, about the benefits of uploading your webinar content for On Demand viewing.

Much of this content revolved around informing potential attendees about the ability to view a webinar anytime, after the Live session concludes.

Now, although this is something we highly recommend you do, (we’ve wasted several hours writing blogs about it if we didn’t!) don’t portray this as the preferred option!

What we mean by this is, emphasise the benefits of attending the Live show.

Show the people what they’ll miss out on by not watching the event live.

Sometimes if prospective viewers know the event can be viewed anytime, they’ll hold off watching it, as there’s no immediate necessity to do so.

While it’s fantastic giving them that option, many will forget about your webinar!

Leading to many attendees slipping through the net, driving numbers down.

So, make sure you push your Live session as a must-see event!

2. Poor Email Reminder Scheduling

Sticking to the idea of there being some forgetful individuals out there, (myself included a lot of the time…) the benefits of Email Reminders need to be explored.

Your upcoming webinar might mean the world to you.

Unfortunately, in the eyes of many invitees, it’s a small portion of their day!

That’s not to say your event doesn’t contain loads of interesting content, but for many, their day won’t revolve around it.

Occasionally, registrants will forget about your event after they’ve signed up.

Consider that they’ve got other things to concentrate on during their working day.

So, reminding them about your webinar is very important.

Many attendance rates suffer because reminder emails either:

  • Haven’t been sent out
  • Were sent out infrequently
  • Weren’t sent out at the right time intervals

To address all three of these issues, creating an Email Reminder Schedule will help get your house in order!

For instance;

  • Schedule an email to be sent immediately upon a person's registration
  • Follow up with reminder emails a week, 3 days, 2 days and 1 day before the scheduled Live date
  • Then finish with a reminder 1 hour before the event starts

That’s just an example, but something similar will ensure you reduce the chances of someone forgetting to attend, helping increase attendance rates!

3. Failing To Add Enough Value To Attending

Selling your event to the world is as important as creating the event itself!

By not emphasising the value of attending a webinar, you’re risking missing out on valuable registrations for it.

We’re not talking about promising them something they simply won’t get from attending.

But rather giving them a reason to show up!

If someone doesn’t see the value of attending, why would they bother disrupting their day for an hour to join?

Or to really hammer the point home, if they aren’t mobilised enough by your event description, why would they register?

Accentuate your event description and state why it’ll benefit those who attend.

Let the audience know what they’ll gain from viewing!

Do this by tightening up your:

  • Descriptions
  • Emails
  • Landing pages

and start selling your webinar to the world.

It’s common for attendance rates to be affected by half-hearted descriptions, don’t fall victim to this!

4. Not Placing Enough Emphasis on On Demand


Nope, you didn’t misread that.

Oh, this blog can be a walking contradiction sometimes.

Forget what we mentioned earlier for a moment and think of this point as not focusing on one viewing aspect over another.

Organisers can miss out on valuable leads by not emphasising the ability to view the event, On Demand.

Again, we’re always telling our clients to utilise their webinar recording to its full potential, by hosting it on their website as On Demand content.

Numerous leads can be generated through repeat viewings, so making use of promotional techniques, post-event, can increase overall attendance rates.

Neglecting to do this really is a waste of your webinars’ potential to engage with a whole new audience, well after the initial showing has concluded.

Okay, I’ve kinda brushed over point number one with that explanation (hands held up).

But take both points into account.

It’s all about striking a balance between promoting your Live showing and the On Demand uploading.

5. Re-Treading Old Ground Too Frequently

Revisiting older topics you’ve covered previously can be an interesting way to look at subjects from a different standpoint.

It can also feel like you’re being the proverbial broken record.

This can manifest itself in poor attendance rates for webinars that revolve around already-covered subjects.

Creating webinars that explore newer issues can help you avoid being tarred with the “same-old, same-old” brush.

Content related to topics that are:

  • Exciting
  • Fresh
  • Innovative

will help you become highly effective at arresting declining attendance rates and draw in greater viewer numbers.

Look at your competitors and see what they’re talking about.

Step outside your industry and glance at what everyone else is covering.

Anything to ensure your content remains as innovative as possible!

We’re not saying don’t draw new conclusions from old data, but try and look forward with your content, whilst occasionally having a few glances back!

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