What's the best time for hosting a webinar?

6 min read
January 7, 2021

When planning your digital seminar, it’s imperative to recognise that content alone doesn't assure a high attendance rate. The crux lies in pinpointing the best time to host a webinar. This pivotal decision can be the difference between a well-attended session brimming with interaction and a lacklustre gathering.

Table of Contents 

  1. Why you need to understand your target audience first
  2. Why choosing a day in midweek can be beneficial
  3. Only the workweek?
  4. Beyond scheduling: leveraging a robust video conferencing solution

Understanding when to host your webinar is crucial. The perfect timing can lead to a significant increase in turnout. It’s not uncommon to find that many who would be keen on your content are constrained by the time of the webinar. To circumvent this barrier, identifying the best times to host a webinar becomes essential. A deep dive into best practices reveals the nuances of days, times, and lengths that can either make or break your virtual event.

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. This 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 registration and a solid command of English (it is 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.

The best time for webinar hosting takes into account the geographical spread of your participants.

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 p.m. EST is way too early in the morning for those in PST. On the other hand, if you want to make it more convenient for PST people and host it at 11 a.m. - it will be around lunchtime 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 analyse 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 a solution that will be acceptable for all the attendees, not ideal. You can even email the attendees with a personalised 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. Certain days of the week 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 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.

While any day could theoretically serve as the best day to host a webinar, weekdays, particularly midweek—Wednesday or Thursday—emerge as the prime candidates. The best day for webinars hinges on when your audience is most receptive and available. However, this isn't a universal rule. Cultural and workweek differences around the globe mean the best days to host a webinar can vary widely.

Try your best to find a 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. 

This format affords the best time for webinars to be whenever your attendees decide, ensuring a wider and more engaged audience.

Beyond scheduling: leveraging a robust video conferencing solution

While scheduling your webinar to maximise attendance is certainly crucial, equally important is the choice of your video conferencing tool. Here is where Digital Samba steps in, offering a comprehensive GDPR-compliant video conferencing API and SDK solution that allows for seamless integration of high-quality video conferencing into your software products or websites.

Digital Samba stands apart in the crowded market with its end-to-end encryption and hosting within the EU, providing an extra layer of security and data privacy compliance that is of paramount importance in today's digital landscape. These features not only ensure your webinars are protected against unauthorised access but also make sure you’re in line with stringent data privacy regulations.

The video conferencing API and SDK offered by Digital Samba enable businesses to seamlessly embed video conferencing into their existing software solutions or websites. This seamless integration means that businesses can host webinars directly from their platforms without the need for attendees to download or install any additional software. The result is a user-friendly, secure, and fully compliant video conferencing solution that enhances the experience for both hosts and attendees.

Remember, while finding the right time for your webinar is a critical aspect, equipping yourself with a reliable, GDPR-compliant video conferencing solution like Digital Samba can make a significant difference in the success of your webinars. The balance between convenient scheduling and robust technology is what truly makes for an engaging, successful online event.

Conclusion: crafting your webinar timing strategy

The takeaway is clear: Deliberate scheduling is paramount. Employing the best webinar times, the best time to do a webinar and even the best time to host a virtual event will cater to your audience's needs and bolster participation. As you plan, let audience insights guide your hand, ensuring your webinar not only reaches but resonates with the intended attendees.

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