In our last post, we broke down the wisdom of the masses and looked at the most popular month, day and time to host a webinar. The raw numbers have spoken, but what does the audience have to say? For starters, as the saying goes, the early bird gets the worm. Here’s a rundown of the months, days and early times that put the most bodies in the webinar seats.
Webinar attendance by month
Webinar attendance by day
Webinar attendance by time
- 2 pm
- *7 am*
- 8 am
- 1 pm
- 9 am
Last year we took a deep dive into webinar timing. We’re reprising our research this year and over the next couple of posts we’ll look at 2012 as well as year over year trends. To get started, let’s talk “when.” Based on more than 1,000 webinars conducted on our platform in 2012, here are the most common months, days and times that our clients hosted webinars.
The most popular months to host a webinar
2012 produced a near dead heat, with a mere percentage point separating the top three slots. Interestingly, “vacation” and “holiday” months were well represented – more on that soon.
- November: 11% of the year’s webinars
- August: 10% of the year’s webinars
- October: 10% of the year’s webinars
- September: 9% of the year’s webinars
- December: 8% of the year’s webinars
The most popular days to host a webinar
- Thursday: 29% of the year’s webinars
- Wednesday: 24% of the year’s webinars
- Tuesday: 18% of the year’s webinars
- Monday: 18% of the year’s webinars
- Friday: 11% of the year’s webinars
The most popular times to host a webinar
- 8:00 a.m.: 19% of the year’s webinars
- 1:00 p.m.: 16% of the year’s webinars
- 10:00 a.m.: 15% of the year’s webinars
- 9:00 a.m.: 13% of the year’s webinars
- 2:00 p.m.: 8% of the year’s webinars
So that’s the conventional wisdom, or the raw numbers. Stay tuned for our next post – a look at the months, days and times that attracted the greatest number of attendees.
I followed this summer’s Anne-Marie Slaughter-sparked “having it all” kerfluffle from, go figure, maternity leave. As a working mother of four, I nodded in solidarity at the old familiar ground being covered. As the mother of a brand new daughter, I hoped for better for her. But whether the question is really working moms or simply workers, if the American workplace doesn’t figure out a better balancing act in the next thirty years, I hope that my daughter will be fortunate enough to find a work environment like mine.
You all know Intellor Group by what we do. Perhaps a few of you know a bit about how we do it. What you may not know is who we are. In many cases, we are working moms. We are single and we are married. We have one child and we have many. We want a seat at the parent-teacher conference and the family dinner table. We’ve held high-stress jobs in disciplines ranging from global logistics to marketing, and we’ve lamented the toll the work has taken on our families. We are among the fortunate few now.
Flex schedules and job sharing seem like urban legends to most moms, but here at Intellor Group they’re the norm. In part, we have our clients (yes, you, with the 9 p.m. webinar) to thank for that; the inherently fluid schedule of global webinar production does make for “non-traditional” staffing requirements. But while many businesses turn to cheap and flexible offshore staffing solutions in similar circumstances, Founder Richard Rist had another idea – Mom.
Rich saw an opportunity to address the business needs – professional staff at all hours of the day and night – by attracting highly qualified working mothers from across a variety of disciplines with the promise of a truly flexible work environment. Unlike our fellow mothers, we don’t have to sneak out for an appointment with the pediatrician. Our kids’ photos and artwork adorn our offices. Schedules are bookended by babysitters or bus stops. And lest anyone think we neglect dads, know that Rich has returned afternoon emails from the sidelines of virtually every soccer field between here and Richmond.
Perhaps we have an unfair advantage as a collaboration technology company. (!) Perhaps our common circumstances make us more willing to cover one another when strep throat strikes. Perhaps the simple freedom to acknowledge – and revel in – our lives outside the workplace makes us better in the workplace. Whatever the case, it works for us – our clients, our team, and our families. So while I hope that the Slaughter debate is an “I can’t believe things used to be like that” memory by then, if it’s not, I hope that my darling new daughter is lucky enough to find her Intellor.
The webinar, in its own right, is an effective marketing tactic. A timely, relevant topic, a compelling speaker, a thoughtful promotional campaign, a reasonable registration page and voila! Leads! Piece of cake, right? So wring every dollar, dime and last qualified lead from your efforts.
Your webcasting software has editing tools. Pick a killer clip and – ta dum! – you’ve got video. Seems like a marketer can’t go a day without hearing how video’s the next content/SEO/social panacea. Why not leverage existing assets to create interesting multimedia content. (No time or patience for editing? Your webinar services provider can do the editing for you.)
Blogger’s block? Solved. Key pieces of your webinar should translate to compelling blog posts. Bonus points for using the webinar archive registration page as the post’s call to action.
Hit a home run? Can you use your webinar success as the basis for a white paper? Could be a great way for adding another asset to your content marketing library. Bonus points for turning out a white paper rich enough to warrant…another webinar.
You’ve got friends. Fans. Followers. Pre- and post-webinar, give them a license to drive your content across the web and see where they take you.
Got other ideas for getting more mileage from a webinar? Let us know.
In 2011, 1:00 p.m. (ET) was the most popular webinar timeslot – by a handy margin – according to our 2011 Webinar Timing Report. Logical, right? US-based event organizers get bi-coastal coverage with midday events, so of course 1:00 is a top slot.
Except…while it’s purely anecdotal at this point, there just might be a shift happening. Over the past few weeks we’ve had an inordinate number of early morning webinar requests. Think 8:00 a.m. ET early. Are clients trying to consolidate US and European audiences? Are organizers thinking that a webinar participant with fresh eyes and a cup of coffee is preferable to a participant with a cold sandwich and overflowing inbox? Or are the days just so packed that earlier isn’t so much the better as the only option?
If you’ve moved to an early webinar timeslot, why? And how has it worked for you and your audience?
1984. Kidding. Sort of. True, there are times when the content isn’t visual, the group doesn’t need it, etc., etc., etc. But why are so many conference calls held when a web conference would be more appropriate?
This is the way we’ve always done it. We don’t have/have never used/don’t have time to learn/don’t have budget for the technology. Our people don’t know how to use/don’t want to know how to use/don’t appreciate technology. They’d still just dial in anyway so what’s the point?
And we used to use typewriters. Budgets get found. (And p.s. there are loads of free tools these days…) Old dogs learn new tricks. And some may dial in, but the point is, a simple tweak can turn your meeting on its ear. Put faces with names. Stop asking whether everyone has page 93 of the document in front of them. Launch a quick poll for feedback. Use written Q&A to unleash ideas from the shy quiet types who don’t generally speak on the call.
We recently helped a client move a recurring conference call to a web conference format. Not only did half the participants join via the web conference – on the first outing – but their post-conference feedback was overwhelmingly and extremely positive. Why not see if you can teach your old dogs a new trick? They might just surprise you.
We were recently asked what it is that our clients most often use webinar software to do. The clear, overwhelming answer: to share PowerPoint presentations. In a BusinessWeek remix of the always enjoyable PowerPoint bash (Death TO PowerPoint – oh what a difference a preposition makes!) the stats certainly form a basis for an explanation. My favorite – for better or worse – 350 PPT presentations are delivered every second.
On the basis that 349 are terrible (my exaggeration, not BW’s), the piece offers presenters alternatives to the PPT crutch. While I loved the butcher paper idea (I’ve used it myself), the suggestions were largely focused on in-person presentations. So how to pull the PPT crutch in a webinar environment?
It’s not quite the same as having a marker in hand, but your webinar software does have a whiteboard. Your hurdle is a bit higher since your audience is in a visual vacuum if that whiteboard is blank, but if your story is compelling and your illustration/annotation is quick, it can be a powerful tool.
A Picture Is Worth 1,000 Words
No matter what type of content you’re delivering, you can speak conversationally to a compelling visual. Steer clear of clip art, of course, but peruse your organization’s content library as well as Creative Commons-licensed images to illustrate your idea. The simplest schematic, chart or graph you can create can make your technical or numeric point far more powerfully than a spreadsheet with 8 point font.
Less Is More
As BW suggests, it’s not necessarily PPT that’s the problem. At a minimum, use the above ideas to reduce the number of slides in your deck and to create more whitespace on the remaining slides. If all else fails, provide your audience with the webinar equivalent (typically an emoticon of some sort) of Jones’ bell and heed their feedback.
So what’s your best tip for delivering information rather than a PPT presentation? Share it in the comments.
One’s not over and one’s not yet started, but it seems to me that convention buzz has drowned out any other news. Maybe it’s that I live in the DC metropolitan area. Maybe it’s that my husband is a political news junkie. But just maybe the organizers of this year’s conventions had a few tricks up their sleeves that could be applied to your next webinar.
1. Events may be outside your control, but communications aren’t.
Significant storms are forecast to rain out the President’s outdoor acceptance speech at next week’s Democratic convention. Republicans were forced to rework speakers and schedules due to Hurricane Isaac. Clear and confident communications kept both in control of the media cycle.
If you’re well-prepared for your webinar and something outside your control happens, you’ll be equally prepared to impress attendees with confident communications.
2. People love a little mystery.
To be announced. Those three little words sparked a “who could it be?!?” furor the likes of which I haven’t seen since childhood guessing games involving Colonel Mustard and Professor Plum. Can you intrigue your webinar attendees?
3. Social IS. Embrace it.
There’s an app. A lot of them, actually. And hashtags. And fan pages. And… And the point is, if it’s remotely relevant, it’s social. Is your webinar?
Want to break the rules and talk politics? Make a comment.
Not an accusation of mediocrity, but a serious question. If your webinar production was graded on consistency, would it pass or fail?
Content is king, so of course it makes sense to focus on it – topical relevance, timeliness, presenter expertise, effective delivery – in the webinar planning process. Dedicating time and attention to consistency, however, is an important part of getting your content seen and heard.
From promotional efforts (email, SEO/SEM, social, etc.) to and through the event site (landing and registration pages, confirmation/reminder/follow-up emails, surveys, etc.) are you giving participants a consistent experience? Does your event have a strong, participant-focused message? A clear visual identity? A call to action that actually compels action? And is that reinforced throughout your participant experience?