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Webinar scheduling: What's the best time for hosting a webinar?

Dominik Berger
Jan 7, 2021 9:00:00 AM

In order to get the most from your webinar, the most important thing is to host it at the right time. It’s not enough to have good content, because that won’t guarantee a good turnout for your online event.

You need to pay attention to the most suitable time for your webinar audience. Then will you be able to move on to the next stage, which is the actual webinar.

To find the perfect time for your webinar, we cover in this blog post:


Why is the right time essential?

Because a vast number of potential attendees opt out only due to the time of the hosting. You’d be surprised if you found out how many people would love to hear what you have to say, learn more about products, etc. – but they can’t, because the time isn’t suitable for them. In this article, we will discuss the best practices that can help you schedule your webinar at the right time, including days, time of day, length, etc. Let’s delve right in.

Why you need to understand your target audience first

There is no way your webinar can be a success if it’s not tailored for the right people. Therefore, you need to know exactly who you want to talk to, both in terms of content and the scheduled time.

Remember, even though people are interested or fairly interested in the topic of your webinar, it’s still not enough proof that they will turn up and attend. For this, you need to choose the best time to host the webinar which is convenient for them. Which brings us to the problem of the time zones.

Most smaller countries have only one time zone, so they are not a problem. However, what about the United States? We’re talking about several time zones, and it’s still one and the same country.

Even if we talk about one country, there is the problem of time zones. However, the vast majority of webinars can be attended by people from all around the world, since they are global events. All it takes is a registration and a solid command of English (it being the most prominent language).

Therefore, paying attention to time zones is crucial if you want to keep your attendance level satisfactory. When deciding on the ideal time for your online event, be sure to think about the time zones of all attendees.

Now, it’s important to point out that this also has its limitations, and you will have to accept that. For example, let’s assume you’re targeting a US audience. If you want to host a webinar that will be convenient for both EST and PST zones, it won’t be possible because they are three hours apart.

This practically means that 12 pm EST is way too early in the morning for those in the PST. On the other hand, if you want to make it more convenient for PST people and host it at 11 am - it will be around lunch time for those in the EST. Hosting around lunch hour is not a good idea, because it can lower your attendance rate.

What to do in this case? Or in any situation when you have to juggle between several time zones? The best approach is to analyze the info coming from the attendees, and see where the majority of them are located.

Then, you give preference to the biggest percentage of the attendees. Not everybody will be happy about this, but it is unavoidable. Find the solution that will be acceptable for all the attendees, not ideal. You can even email the attendees with a personalized note, explaining why you chose a particular time for the webinar (this can help them understand your decision better).

Why choosing a day in midweek can be beneficial

In theory, every day of the week should work for hosting a successful webinar, as long as enough people register for it; in reality, it’s not like that at all. There are certain days of the week that will work much better. And again, you need to pay attention to the particular demographics before picking out a day.

First of all, the beginning and end of the week probably won’t work. People are simply way too busy on Mondays, starting the workweek, but also defocused on Fridays. Therefore, you should avoid these two days and aim for midweek, Wednesday, or Thursday, as this is when you can reach the highest attendance. Mind you, this only goes for countries where the workweek is from Monday through Friday – which is not the case for all the countries.

For example, in many Muslim countries, the first day of the workweek is - Sunday, not Monday, which means that the workweek ends on Thursday, not Friday. Furthermore, in India – Saturday is still considered a day belonging to the workweek, which counts out Friday as the one wrapping it up.

As you can see, cultural differences can play a major role in hosting a webinar, especially if you’re talking to a global audience, across continents. Before you think about a certain day for hosting the webinar, know exactly which countries potential attendees come from and adjust accordingly.

Try your best to find the solution that will cover all the cultures, so you draw a bigger crowd for the webinar. What is probably the same for all of these is that the first and last days are to be avoided, so you cannot go wrong with that. Also, a couple of hours before lunchtime is considered the best time slot, so aim at 11 – 11.30 am as the starting time.

Only the workweek?

A logical question arises: what about the weekend? Can Saturday and Sunday be used to host a webinar, as well, or are they out of the question? The short answer is: yes, you can, but there are a couple of things you need to keep in mind. The only reason why you should decide to host a webinar during the weekend is if you have a strong demand for it.

This doesn’t happen that often, and it should be reserved for closed groups or communities. If you, for some reason, really want to host a webinar on a Saturday or Sunday, try offering an on-demand webinar. On-demand "evergreen" webinars are good because they give more control to potential attendees and allow them to pick a date and time most suitable for them.

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