When you're scheduling your webinars, how much thought do you put into what day and time to schedule them for? How do you know when people are most likely to attend?
Starting the week off with a webinar is a great way to capture fresh eyes, but are folks too busy playing catch-up to attend? What about mid-week, when folks are more attentive but might also have more meetings?
Mornings sound great—until you realize many people use their mornings to take care of their biggest tasks of the day. So you decide afternoons are a dream option—but then you wonder if people will be in the dreaded post-lunch slump and hard to engage.
Once you start mulling over it, it can seem impossible to get the timing right. No matter when you schedule it, you're bound to miss out on someone!
So, when’s the absolute best day and time to host a webinar?
The short answer here is: It depends.
Not quite what you wanted to hear, right? Allow us to provide some more context.
For our first-ever Webinar Benchmark Report, we looked at a ton of data.
More specifically, we studied 900+ webinars hosted by 100 different B2B brands. Those events were signed up for by 370,000 people and actually attended by 118,000.
And … drumroll, please … here's what we discovered!
Most companies schedule events for the middle of the week. Wednesday is a crowd favorite, with Thursday right on its heels. This is probably because many people use Mondays to get organized for the week, and some people don't work at all on Fridays or may be on a three-day weekend on any given Friday.
Here's where it gets really interesting: We also found that the days that people sign up for events the most also follow the same pattern as when the most webinars are scheduled!
Maybe this gives credence to what we just said—perhaps people have the most time on their hands mid-week, and that's when they're online searching for educational events.
And, with all of this in mind, it should then come as no surprise that the days of the week with the most-attended events are also in line with the other two trends.
No matter which way you slice it, you can't deny: Wednesdays and Thursdays are comin' in hot!
A quick note: We don't want you to look at these numbers and think that you can only host and promote events mid-week. On the contrary, this could be a great argument for trying different days of the week because there are fewer events and companies out there competing with you!
📈 Want more data-driven webinar tips? Download the full Webinar Benchmark Report!
As far as what time to schedule your event, there's no way to optimize for everyone. The right timing for your webinar will really depend on who you want to attend, where they live, and what their schedules generally look like.
A couple of things to keep in mind here:
When you're figuring out what time to schedule events, think about your audience. When is your target persona generally free?
A good rule of thumb is: If your audience is primarily in the US, stick to start times between 10 AM West Coast time and 3 PM East Coast time. This is a range that helps you avoid the very beginnings and ends of everyone's day.
We've spent a lot of time talking about timing because, well, that's the focus of this blog! However, there are other factors that impact your registration and show rates, so you'll want to keep that in perspective.
For example, one big takeaway from our report was that what you name your webinar can impact how many people sign up. Surprisingly, the data showed that people don't respond well—at all!—to events that have the word "webinar" in the title.
That's right: People don't want to attend webinars that are called webinars.
We've got some theories on why this is, but what this means for you is you'll need to think expansively and come up with some alternative names for your events if you want to optimize to get the most registrants.
Alright! We've covered a lot of ground so far.
You now know that mid-week is when most webinars are hosted, signed up for, and attended. You also know there's no true way to optimize for what time your webinar should be. And, you know to steer clear of using the word "webinar" in your title.
What else do we want you to know? Well, webinars shouldn't be a "one and done" affair—and you should plan ahead to have your webinar content available on demand for attendees (and others!).
In fact, our data shows that 98% of digital event attendees expect to be able to access the content afterward. We have to give the people what they want, right?
You have a few options here:
Once you've got your on-demand webinars up and running, share that information with your sales team so that they can use the links in outreach and prospect conversations!
You can also use your on-demand webinars to bolster your marketing strategy. For example, if your webinar is part of a larger integrated campaign, you can promote the on-demand webinar with other campaign assets.
On-demand assets also make great paid advertisements; build out campaigns that map to the webinar's target audience and use the webinar for lead generation or retargeting.
The best angle to approach this from is the "try-angle" … see what we did there?
In other words: Just try different things! Mix it up. Schedule your event for a less popular day or time and see what happens. Experiment with different formats, various session lengths, and more.
Take notes until you figure out what works best for you. You might be totally surprised and stumble into a completely unique approach that works for your target audience and only your target audience. Yay for finding your way!