What is a Webinar?

A webinar is an engaging online event where a speaker, or small group of speakers, deliver a presentation to a large audience who participate by submitting questions, responding to polls and using other available interactive tools.

What do Webinars Do?

We all know webinars are one of the most indispensable tools available to a marketer. But what is a webinar and how does a webinar work? There’s a lot going on behind the scenes of even the most basic webinar software. And, when it comes to a world-class solution like the ON24 Digital Experience Platform, we rely on some of the best talent in the biz to make the experience of setting up and delivering a webinar seamless for you.

Webinars are different from meeting tools, which are designed to let small groups meet and collaborate in real-time. They’re also different from traditional streaming media like videos, which don’t give the audience any way to engage with the content.

Even the most bare-bones webinar has separate streams for slides and audio. But most modern webinars go far beyond that, with slides, presenter video, integrated social media and live attendee feedback in the form of questions, polls, idea storming and more. So what are the most important factors of webinar technology? Let’s take a look:

GETTING THE MOST FORM WEBINAR SOFTWARE

Webinars are a digital channel that connects brands and attendees in a fun, interactive and convenient manner. Because of its digital nature, webinars also provide brands with opportunities to get a better understanding of its audience through data collected by engagement tools, the webinar platform itself and feedback from attendees. The best webinar platforms makes accessing and understanding this data simple — whether through platform integrations or built-in analytics.

A TOOL FOR MARKETERS

Webinars put both the brand and the attendee in control. Attendees can adjust and minimize windows on mobile and desktop websites, attend live or on-demand event, interact with polls, surveys and chats and generally interact with webinar software without downloading applications or having to meet software requirements. Likewise, brands and presenters can customize consoles for a unified customer experience, respond to questions, adjust content on the fly and see how audiences engage content in real-time.

Webinars are a digital channel that connects brands and attendees in a fun, interactive and convenient manner. Because of its digital nature, webinars also provide brands with opportunities to get a better understanding of its audience through data collected by engagement tools, the webinar platform itself and feedback from attendees. The best webinar platforms makes accessing and understanding this data simple — whether through platform integrations or built-in analytics.

Webinars put both the brand and the attendee in control. Attendees can adjust and minimize windows on mobile and desktop websites, attend live or on-demand event, interact with polls, surveys and chats and generally interact with webinar software without downloading applications or having to meet software requirements. Likewise, brands and presenters can customize consoles for a unified customer experience, respond to questions, adjust content on the fly and see how audiences engage content in real-time.

Webinar Basics

How to Create a Webinar

How to Prepare Webinar Content

Is a Webinar Always Live?

How to Create A Webinar

To produce the best webinar experience possible, follow these five basic steps: 

1. Define your audience.
2. Brainstorm relevant topics.
3. Create content — from slides to scripts — for your presentation.
4. Practice your material and present.
5. Analyze webinar success and failures. 

Go in-depth and join us for “Anatomy of an Awesome Webinar.”

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How to Prepare Webinar Content

The first step to preparing any webinar content is to understand the audience you’re trying to reach. Are they early in the buying cycle? About to close? Are they already customers? If so, are they looking for educational content? Thought leadership? Once you have a good idea of who you’re trying to reach you can start to prepare your content.

Webinar content should be designed to keep a conversation going. Presentation slides should be light and easy to read. Presenters, too, should be the centerpiece and set the pace of the event. Finally, create opportunities for audience members to ask questions and participate in the webcast. Webinar content works best when it invites conversation.

Is a Webinar Always Live?

No! Webinars can be live, simulive or on-demand. Each version has its own benefits to consider.

Live webinars allow you to engage your audience in real-time and get instant analytics on that behavior. Simulive webinars let you record a webinar in advance and engage your audience in real-time — often through Q&A chat features — during the pre-recorded presentation. You can even roll-over to a live presentation from simulive for further interaction and engagement. On-demand webinars can be live-turned-on-demand events and pre-recorded on-demand webinars. Using on-demand gives your audience flexibility in terms of when they consume your content. It also provides you, the presenter, with more flexibility on providing a more polished experience.

DISCOVER MORE WEBINAR SOLUTIONS

Webinar Best Practices 

Discover the best practices behind webinar experiences and get started on your webinar journey.

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Webinar Benchmarks 

Discover the webinar metrics you should measure with our annual webinar benchmarks report. 

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Webinar Software

What should you look for in professional webinar software? Learn what to look for with our webinar software page.

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ON24 Webinar Benchmarks 2021

Webinars are one of the most powerful tools for creating engaging digital experiences that audiences love. But what are the key statistics that go into creating a successful webinar? Fortunately, we’ve compiled and analyzed the most interesting webinar questions and statistics that’ll help you produce the best webinar possible.

What is the Average Webinar Attendance Rate? 

What is the Average Webinar Conversion Rate? 

What’s the Best Day to Send Promotional Emails? 

What’s the Best Day for Webinar Attendance?

What’s the Best Time to Hold a Webinar?

Learn More Essential Webinar Statistics

What is the Average Webinar Attendance Rate? 

Turns out, the average webinar attendance rate depends on the size of your event. For webinars with 100 to 199 registrants, expect a live attendance rate of 47%. For events with 200 to 299, that attendance rate drops to 20%

What is the Average Webinar Conversion Rate? 

The average registrant to attendee conversion rate is 58%. Again, the size of your audience is what’s crucial here. A good webinar conversion rate — where registrants become attendees — can also range between 35% and 45%.

What’s the Best Day to Send Promotional Emails? 

Tuesday is the best day to send promotional emails for webinars by a slim one-point margin.

What other days are good? Wednesday, Thursday and Monday are also great days to send promotions and, together, account for nearly 60% of registrations.

What’s the Best Day for Webinar Attendance?

In 2020, we found Thursday is the most popular day to attend a webinar by a one-point margin. Wednesday and Tuesday are also popular days to attend webinars.

Takeaway: while mid-week is still a strong performer for attendance, nearly any day of the workweek will net you a solid number of attendees. We’d recommend experimenting with different webinar formats for different days of the week to optimize attendance.

What’s the Best Time to Hold a Webinar?

According to our 2021 Webinar Benchmarks Report, the best time to run webinars is at 11 a.m. Pacific (2 p.m. Eastern). This remains true, though there are a few shifts to consider when it comes down to timing your events.

The best time for a webinar is one that fits in with the schedule of your audience. Depending on the event or your audience, holding a webinar could work well early in the morning or later in the day. But, as a general rule, an hour before or after your region’s lunch hour works best.

Learn More Essential Webinar Statistics

Download the ON24 Webinar Benchmarks Report Special Edition and get a high-level look at the best practices that make webinars great. Based on benchmarks from over 20,000 events, this report will show you how to set your webinars up for success.

How Webinars Work - For Presenters

How Webinars Work - For Attendees

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