Recently, the webinar software provider ON24, presented its webinar benchmark findings for 2017 (including comparative data running through 2016). Let’s get one design flaw out of the way immediately. The stats are drawn from webinars hosted by ON24. While the sample is extensive (more than 16,000 webinars), it might be argued that inclusion of webinars given on other platforms (Webex, Adobe Connect, GoToWebinar, Webinato) might have yielded more universal results. If we accept that ON24’s sample is representative of the industry, we can move on. So, let’s move on.
Some of the findings are not the least bit surprising. Webinar attendance continues to peak in the middle of the week. Average time spent in a webinar continues to average just under an hour. The best time of day for a webinar is 11am Pacific time (2pm on the East coast) which means webinars are still popular lunchtime activities. The type of webinars with the best registrant-to-attendee conversion rates are corporate internal communication webinars. This intuitively makes sense because attendance is a requirement of the job. In fact, the conversion rate of 54% is still incredibly low in this category – maybe folks not so worried about job security anymore?
I was surprised by some of the findings:
- A full 25% of registrants sign up on the day of the webinar (so don’t close registration the day before!)
- 7% of the webinars in the study were attended by 1,000 or more attendees. A full quarter of the webinars had between 300 and 1,000 attendees. Don’t underestimate the potential reach of your webinar.
- Almost a third of the webinars in the study utilized some form of live social media interaction (Twitter, Facebook, etc.)
- Just as video is becoming a popular advertising medium on sites like Facebook, video is enjoying an uptick in use on webinars also. 18% of the webinars in the study utilized some form of video as compared to only 9% in 2014.
- Finally, a third of all webinars were watched only on demand. This emphasizes the importance of recording your webinar and offering it on demand after the live event. Furthermore, interest in the on demand event lasted on average a full 11 weeks after the live broadcast.
The thing I love about ON24’s annual benchmark is that it proves above all else that webinars are here to stay. Webinars continue to be one of the best ways to sell your products or train your students.
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