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Some webinar platforms offer this as part of their sales proposition, and it got me thinking about what kind of information is included, and how useful it really is when planning or evaluating webinar success.
Usually, webinar benchmarks give you information about:
Using this information to help plan the organisation of your event is good practice, and these statistics are available widely on the internet.
In fact, we’ve compiled a few quick statistics from our own research to help you out when you’re planning your online event:
Looking at these statistics, and using them to make informed choices about when you deliver an event, and the types of engagement tools you use, is a great way to make sure you’re giving your event the best chance of success.
However, using webinar benchmarks to evaluate the success of your event can be risky.
Looking at benchmarks to evaluate the number of people attending your webinar is unhelpful because there are so many variables that can affect the accuracy of the webinar benchmarks you are comparing yourself against.
The data collected to create benchmarking reports traditionally includes organisations varying from small businesses to large multinational companies. It goes without saying that a large, well established brand will usually attract more attendees than a small start-up business.
Also, when looking at marketing webinars for example, the subject or product being talked about can range from something that is widely used and of interest to thousands of people, to a niche product that only a handful of people will find useful.
Benchmarking also does not make a distinction between free and paid for webinars, which can skew results. Registrants are much more likely to attend an event that they have paid for than one they haven’t, having already invested in it.
Marketers are often pressured to base their evaluation on direct ROI for each event, and this is not always a useful evaluation of success either.
For companies that have a particularly long sales cycle, an immediate ROI won’t be achieved.
There are a number of more accurate ways to measure the success of your event, and it comes down to what each individual organisation would like to gain from delivering online events.
Here are some ideas:
I guess what I’m trying to say here, is that the success or failure of an online event shouldn’t be based on a comparison with an industry benchmark or another company. It shouldn’t even be based on one single event.
From our experience here at WorkCast, we know that your first, single event doesn’t give an accurate representation of how successful your events will be in the future.
A series of events works best - not only because you’re creating a channel of useful content that your attendees can return to time and time again, but because you can then evaluate success on an event by event basis.
These can then be measured against your own previous events. A series of events will also allow you to look at viewing time and registration trends so you can make minor adjustments if necessary.
Next time you deliver an online event, try and measure success using some of the points that we’ve talked about as webinar benchmarks. You might just be surprised at how successful they really are!
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