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Webinar Myths: What's The Best Time To Run A Webinar

Melissa Hugel
31-Jan-2019 10:23:00

When it comes to webinars, there are a lot of decisions to make. How long should it be? What format do I want - webcam, PowerPoint, both?

Another very important question to ask when you're planning your webinar is what day and time should I run it? There is a lot of 'traditional' thinking around this - run your webinar on Thursday's at 2pm or Tuesday's at 11am. 

But is this way of thinking actually correct? Are weekends really off-limits when it comes to running webinars? Does the data back any of this up?

Well, let's take a look.

What's Considered A Normal Day To Run A Webinar?

Organisers tend to schedule webinars on one of three days:

  • Tuesday
  • Wednesday
  • Thursday

For our purposes, let’s call them the “Big Three”. 

Why do people favour these days? There are actually a few reasons for this. 

We like to think of Monday's as the day people are busy, settling back into work from the weekend or perhaps catching up from an unproductive Friday. With emails to slog through and a workload to catch up on, marketers tend to believe people won't want to attend a webinar on a Monday.

And Fridays? Well, Fridays are very much considered to be a winding down day, where people are already thinking about the weekend and less likely to attend a heavy presentation!

And with the rise of flexible working hours, more people are condensing their working week, so there are actually fewer people around on Fridays. 

The question is, are these assumptions actually correct?

Scheduling On Alternative Days

WorkCast's own research about the total attendees on each day of the week suggests something very interesting:

Blog Chart 3.2 v2

Though there is a significant gap in viewing numbers between the Big Three and the other days during the week for live events, there isn't really much difference in the figures for on-demand.

From Monday to Friday the total attendee figure hovers just below twenty thousand, and there is relatively little difference between each day when it come to the number of people who viewed presentations.

So, this suggests that on-demand events aren’t limited to being scheduled on specific days of the week!

Why? For one, people can view on-demand when they choose, and perhaps they actually have more time to view events on days such as Monday and Friday.

Picture it, as you’re winding down on Friday once all you’ve ticked off all your weekly tasks and answered all those emails. A thought pops into your head, that webinar you couldn’t attend might still be available to view on-demand.

As you’ve finished all your work for the week, you’ve got a spare hour or so to view it later this afternoon.

Similarly, on Monday, you arrive at the office in the morning with a full inbox and several calls to make.

A webinar you’ve registered to view is due to start at 10am. You simply don’t have the time to attend the live showing.

However, a little later in the afternoon, you could view it, on-demand, after you’ve worked through your backlog of tasks

Scenarios like this are probably pretty common.  Thus, it seems that Mondays and Fridays are just as effective at gaining high attendance figures, conversion rates and meaningful leads.

Now we’ve established that events can be scheduled on other days of the week, what about weekends?

Weekends Have An Audience

Believe it or not, there is an audience there!

In our research we saw that over 18% of on-demand viewers for events were from either Saturdays and Sundays.

On-demand certainly does have an audience, perhaps people wanting to quickly view a few minutes of an event at their leisure, while perhaps not wanting to view the event in its entirety.

Blog Chart 3.1 v2

What we can infer from this is that conversion rates for those who view on weekends (and Mondays and Fridays) are likely to be higher.

This is because those who take the time to view on days not usually associated with viewing work-related webinar content are likely to be more serious about the subjects discussed.

So What?

Overall, it's clear that scheduling events on the Big Three days produces the highest live event audience numbers.

However, on-demand figures show that there is relatively little difference in the audience figures throughout the week.

Sometimes in the sea of events being run on those days, it can become a little crowded, and your event might get lost in the shuffle, so to speak.

Scheduling an event on Mondays and Fridays could make your event stand out a little more from others taking place (but the real advantage comes from on-demand viewing on these days, so take into account where the majority of your views are coming from).

Conclusion? Don't be afraid of Monday's and Friday's! You don't have to limit your events to the Big Three. If you create engaging content and make it available across the week, there will be an audience for it. 


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