When it comes to virtual events, while it’s important to be informed about what the broader consumption trends are, it also pays to think laterally to find new opportunities for planning and positioning your events calendar.
One area to consider carefully is when you choose to schedule your webinar or other digital event.
Tuesday to Thursday tend to be the most in-demand days industry-wide, but as this year’s Redback Report into digital event attendance showed, Friday is actually the third most popular day for participants looking to attend a virtual event, well ahead of Thursday, for example.
And there are considerable benefits to scheduling events on Mondays as well.
For a start, viewing habits are changing with the move to work from home: what we’ve seen this year is a move away from evenings and other after-hours timeslots in favour of weekdays in general.
In fact, the benefits of scheduling your events at the beginning or the end of the week include:
1. Less competition from other events
Your prospects are less likely to have a calendar clash if you choose a Monday or a Friday timeslot, giving you the opportunity to attract a bigger audience.
Tuesdays and Wednesdays tend to be the busiest days for digital events — so steer clear of these if you’re looking for some clear air to get your message across.
2. More available time to use
With fewer people travelling to the office, and fewer people travelling interstate at the start or the end of the week, there is a greater opportunity to maximise time that might traditionally be spent doing something else — such as commuting.
For example, you could broadcast your event from a studio and give it an ‘Executive Lounge’ feel if you think that will cut through with your formerly frequent-flyer fans.
3. Greater chance to absorb information
With most people’s working week concentrated on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, viewers’ ability to retain information in a webinar situation is increased if we deliver that information when they have the capacity to focus and take it all in.
In fact, digital event attendees are calling out for help to retain the information they are exposed to in digital events, asking for neuroscientific techniques to be put to greater use to help them absorb information, according to this year’s Redback Report.
4. More opportunity to stand out from the crowd
Whether you’re running with a Thank God it’s Friday theme and a more relaxed vibe or setting the scene for the week ahead with a Monday time slot and a ‘Let’s get into it’ mentality, there is more of an opportunity to give your event a distinct brand and stand out from your competitors by topping or tailing the week with your event.
Panel discussions, virtual debates and other topical, agenda-setting digital events work particularly well on Mondays.
Inject more of a casual, social or comedic element into your Friday events to add some colour and create engagement when people are looking forward to their weekend.
Also consider the style and layout of your event. If using a broadcast studio, consider a Fireside Chat with couches to convey a more relaxed vibe – you can view an example here.
5. Serendipitous timing for internal meetings
Similarly, the beginning and the end of the week are a great time to hold internal meetings. Mondays are great for kicking off the week with a motivational company All Hands confab, while Fridays tend to work well for an end-of-week team-building exercise, virtual trivia competition or happy hour.
Whenever you choose to host your event, give careful consideration to when your audience is available, what they’re usually doing, and also whether they’re likely to view it live or on demand.
While traditionally, two-thirds of digital event viewing is done on-demand at the viewer’s convenience, that has turned upside down this year, with a larger proportion of viewing for many events now taking place live.
When all’s said and done, the most important thing is that you offer your audience compelling content: many virtual event attendees will adjust their schedule to attend an event if they consider it important.