Thanks to modern technology, it’s easier than ever before to connect with your audience through webinars and other virtual events. In fact, webinars have become a powerful tool for corporations and entrepreneurs alike. No webinar, however, can be successful if nobody attends, which is why it’s important for any webinar host to understand when to schedule an event to maximize on your attendance.
Scheduling Your Live Webinar
Whether you’re new to the webinar hosting world or a veteran webinar host, selecting the ideal time should be your first priority in every webinar planning process. The day and time you offer your webinar can make or break you in terms of registered attendees, and you need participants if you want to reach the goals you established for this specific event.
The Best Days for Webinars
As you plan your webinar schedule, you may assume the best days to host webinars are days when people aren’t already busy with work or school. According to data collected from GoToWebinar though, the best days of the week to host webinars are actually Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays—which are right in the middle of the workweek. Oddly enough, the worst days to host webinars are the weekends!
While there’s not much research explaining why these days are the best, it’s likely because people are the most focused on their work and productivity during the mid-week days, especially Thursday. Many people plan vacations around the weekends, meaning Fridays are often a “dead day” in most offices. And, of course, most people dread Mondays or start their workweek off with lots of meetings, which makes it a day to avoid hosting a webinar if at all possible.
Of course, you should also consider the time of year when selecting a date as well. For example, you don’t want to host a Thursday afternoon webinar that backs up to a holiday weekend, like President’s Day or Labor Day. Furthermore, you’ll want to avoid weeks that are peak vacation times, like spring break or the week after Memorial Day weekend.
Generally speaking, however, hosting a webinar on a Thursday, Wednesday, or Tuesday is the way to go if you want to maximize on attendance.
The Best Webinar Times
While picking the right day of the week is probably the most important aspect of scheduling a webinar, the time of day matters almost as much. After all, if you host a webinar when most people usually sleep, you’re not going to get a lot of attendees. Likewise, you probably won’t get the best turnout if you schedule your session during the morning commute or a common meal time.
Most studies show that the best times to host a webinar fall between the hours of 10:00am and 2:00pm. With the exception of the lunch hour from 12:00 to 1:00pm, this block from 10:00am to 2:00pm is peak productivity time during the work day, which means people are willing to commit to a training opportunity or listen to someone speak on a topic that is relevant to the work they do.
Although time zone differences matter, picking a time that falls somewhere in the 10:00am to 2:00pm window usually ensures that the webinar will fall in a window that works for most people, especially within the United States.
Webinar Planning Factors
When planning your webinar, timing is everything. After all, you won’t have any attendees if you pick a time or day that isn’t compatible with your audience’s schedule—regardless of what your webinar is about. While there are obviously general guidelines for optimum webinar scheduling, you should ask yourself these critical questions each time you start the planning process for a new virtual event:
What’s the Target Audience Doing?
While there are statistically ideal times to host webinars, your audience is the most important part of any webinar, so you should always consider your target audience and their average day when planning a webinar.
For example, most people who work in business marketing can easily attend a 10:00am webinar from their desk without much issue. If your target audience is mostly teachers, however, that 10:00am time won’t work at all since that’s peak teaching time. Similarly, trying to host a 6:00pm webinar won’t work well for parents who are prepping dinner during that time, but it would be a great time for college students who are usually in class during the day.
When scheduling a time and day, always ask yourself: “What will my target audience be doing during this time?” and “Will this time be convenient for my audience members to really focus on my presentation?” Having this information handy can really help you select the best time to maximize =participation.
Where’s Everyone Watching From?
Depending on the topic of your webinar, you may attract attendees from different parts of the world. This is what makes webinars exciting—anyone can easily attend them. Unfortunately, this can also make it hard to narrow down an ideal time to host the webinar, since it adds even more time zones for you to consider.
If you know for a fact that your webinar will attract participants from other parts of the world, try to find a time that’s ideal for the majority of your audience, while also not impossible for those in other time zones to attend. For example, a webinar that takes place at 10:00am Eastern Time in the United States is still easy for registrants in London to attend, since it would fall at 4:00pm their time. However, that same webinar would be hard for audience members in Tokyo to attend, since 10:00am Eastern means it’s 1:00am their time.
Although it’s impossible to pick a time that works for anyone, anywhere, to attend your webinar, it is important for you to try to pick a time that works for as many people as possible, even if they live abroad.
Will You Record the Webinar?
With so many scheduling factors to consider, many people can easily feel overwhelmed as they plan out a webinar, especially if it’s their first one to host. However, there’s an easy workaround that makes the scheduling issues much less problematic: recording your webinar.
By recording the webinar, people can register and watch in real-time or at a time that’s more convenient for them. Depending on the platform you use to host your webinar, you can also make the presentation available on-demand so people can register and watch at any time.
Time to Schedule Your Webinar!
Although there’s not an exact science to hosting a successful webinar, netting as many participants as possible is definitely a key ingredient. Now that you know how and when to select the best time for your webinar, it’s time to schedule your event and start promoting it, so you can get the most possible attendees.
Megan Glosson is a mother and freelance writer based Nashville, Tennessee. She enjoys writing on a variety of parenting topics, but loves taking on anything with a personal connection to her own life. When she’s not writing, you can probably find Megan building Legos or playing board games with her two adorable daughters. To check out more of Megan’s work or to contact her about freelance opportunities, visit meganglosson.com