Webinars have long been among the most common virtual communication formats, and since the pandemic even more. It is proved that they are a great resource to attract the audience, generate new potential customers and promote business growth. Conducting a great webinar requires an exhaustive planning, that considers all the factors that are part of its implementation, for the result to be a success. And it is right at this moment of planning when various questions or doubts arise. One of the most frequent ones is: what should be the duration of the webinar? So, in this article we will answer this question.
Although a fairly high percentage of experts in the subject would answer that the duration of a webinar should be one hour, we do not fully share this recommendation. It is true that in many cases this is the case because it is considered the right time to share or show the “objective content” of the presentation, without being brief or exceeding time. This means that it allows to achieve an optimal balance for both the organizer and the audience. But we are not going to stay only with this option because there are nuances.
It is necessary to consider whether the webinar is shared with the audience live or on demand. Because depending on the emission format, the stage will be different, and the time will be conditioned by this variable. Not surprisingly, on-demand webinars usually last 20 to 30 minutes.
So, what should be the duration of a webinar?
The case is that to decide the duration, although we consider the mentioned ideas, we must take into account three key elements. Surely you can imagine which ones, right? These elements are our audience, the objectives we want to achieve with the event, and the content we will share. For instance, if your audience expects short capsules of content with frequency, the most coherent thing is that the webinars are of 15 or 30 minutes. If your audience needs to amplify the knowledge about broad or dense topics, the established objectives surely will fit with the long webinars (of one hour) that will take place with less frequency.
In addition, as we mentioned earlier, the fact that it is live or on demand will also indicate the most adequate time. If the webinar is live, the viewers are usually more engaged and attentive during the event, and they also tend to consult more related content before and after the broadcast. However, when it is on-demand, the viewers can see it at any time during their free time, and this reduces the engagement and implication level. Therefore, this must be considered, and time must be adjusted depending on the format. Live, generally, we can extend more, as long as it is not a content that works best in short and frequent capsules. And on demand it usually works better with the shortest time since, according to various studies, a considerable part of the deferred audience usually leaves after 20-25 minutes if it is very long.
If our case is a live webinar that we will then make available on demand, we recommend readjusting the content of the second version by decreasing the duration. The option to combine live and on-demand webinars with their respective duration is usually a guarantee of success because, even if it involves a greater effort, it allows you to offer variety to your audience and better adapt to their needs.
If you consider the content you want to share will exceed an hour, you might want to rethink the format. You can organize another type of event more suited to the content, such as a conference or a midday event that, apart from your content, deals with other related topics or experiences of industry prescribers.
Shortening/reducing the content in cases of wanting to reduce the time to 15-20 minutes is risky. We must do this very well so that the quality of the content we offer not to be impaired.
Did you think deciding the duration of a webinar was an easy task?
It is not easy, but it is not overly complicated. If you have very clear the recommendations that we have given you and put them into practice, you can do it frankly well without any problem.
If you want to discover how to create a webinar since the beginning, you can download the “Watchity’s Ultimate Guide to Planning and Creating a Great Webinar”.