Do you know how long should a webinar be? Imagine attending a webinar that seems endless. Painful, right? This will help you understand that even if you have a lot to say, you can’t ramble on! Connecting people online is probably one of the coolest things technology has made possible. Especially for big-shot marketing enterprises, educational institutes, and other organizations, webinars are nothing less than a boon to generate leads and connect with people.
However, as interesting as it may sound, our attention span plays a great role in such webinars and meetings. Yes, it may get a little tough to go more than an hour without yawning at least once in a meeting. So, how long should a webinar be? How long before you start losing your audiences’ attention to their fantasy world? There are a few deciding factors that will make your sessions effective and length is one of them.
How Long is a Webinar?
On average, a webinar should last between 60 and 90 minutes. This gives the presenter enough time to cover the material thoroughly without overwhelming the audience. Of course, there are always exceptions to this rule. Some topics may require more time, while others can be covered more quickly. But in general, 60-90 minutes is a good range to aim for when planning a webinar. Keep in mind that the actual length of the webinar will also depend on factors like the format (e.g., panel discussion vs. lecture), the number of speakers, and the level of interaction with the audience. With all these factors in mind, it's important to be flexible when it comes to the length of your webinar.
How Does a Webinar Work?
The main purpose of creating and hosting a webinar is to expand the brand’s reach beyond a restricted area. This is usually done by providing a unique insight into a topic or product that the audience was probably not aware of. Addressing their questions and doubts in such a manner that your brand leaves a lasting impression on them. It is definitely a combination of presentation, social skill, length, delivery, and audiences’ engagement.
Ideal Length for Webinars
Sometimes it's hard to say how long should a webinar be. Ideally, research shows that a webinar should last anywhere between sixty to ninety minutes. Now you know why your classes and lectures lasted an hour! God knows how annoying some of those were! Jokes apart, webinars are one of the most powerful ways to connect with people worldwide. Therefore, it is even more important to stick to a specified length. Now, the important question, why sixty to ninety minutes?
1. Attention Span
Unless it’s a thriller movie that instantly grabs the audience’s attention, we rarely stick to a seat for 2 hours straight, eyes hooked to the screen. This is because focusing the human mind on a single thing for too long is a tough job. The concentration power of a human mind normally lasts for twenty to thirty minutes. People are bound to slowly lose their concentration from whatever they are doing without even realizing it.
Hardly anyone knows or feels how long should a webinar be. Therefore, hosting an extremely long webinar will result in a distracted audience and therefore, little productivity. Even your amazing social skills will not be able to hold their attention for more than one hour.
2. Content Delivery
What’s the difference between boring college lectures and online webinars? Content and it’s delivery! You may wonder how this is related to the length. Well, for everyone who remembers, not all classes and not all professors were equally interesting. While some lectures felt like only a couple of minutes long, other lectures felt like a lifetime.
If someone attends your webinar, you know that they are at least interested in what you have to say. In this case, your work becomes a little easier. However, if someone is there for an experience or not of their own accord, you’ll have to be very conscious of how extended is your delivery. Will you be able to connect with the audience easily, or will it take a little extra time? A lot of this depends on perception. However, one hour should give you sufficient time to connect, if you have the right skills and knowledge.
3. Avoid Dropouts
While it wasn’t easy to bunk physical lectures, webinar dropout is just one click away. This is why an optimal length will prevent those easily distracted people to leave the site mid-session. Everyone sits through the sessions with a time frame in mind. If you’re going to extend it more than 15 minutes, you’ll notice many people leaving the session. Hence, maintaining a time frame that works for both you and your audience is the best way to create a good impression and arrange another follow-up webinar again sometime later.
How to Choose the Best Webinar Length?
While we have looked at why choosing an optimal length is necessary, we also need to decide the ideal time frame for our goals. Even very experienced webinar hosts don't know how long should a webinar be. Webinars can be conducted for training meetings, marketing, and educational purposes.
A brand awareness webinar may run in a tight time frame, considering the marketing skills and audiences’ interests. On the other hand, a training meeting can go on a little longer compared to marketing strategies. The time of day and week to host webinars will also have an effect on the success of your webinar. If you want to learn more about webinar scheduling, check out our article, “Best Time of Day and Week to Host Webinars”.
Moreover, choosing an appropriate webinar platform also plays an important role in a successful session. Some platforms allow you a limited duration for conducting a meeting, while others are available with better software solutions. Livewebinar.com, for example, has the capacity of hosting a meeting for up to 1500 people and comes with advanced API solutions.
The most important thing is that you should feel how long should a webinar be. Just remember to exhaust the topic, but not bore your audience.
Conduct Webinars Effectively
Again, there is no definite time-frame for conducting webinars. Webinars depend on a lot of things. The context, for example, can be vastly topics or short ones with little explanation. However, a standard duration can help you draw up an easier path in conducting the webinars more comfortably. A webinar usually consists of three main parts:
- Introduction - between five to seven minutes.
- The core presentation conducted for 45 minutes to one hour.
- Q&A session for 15 minutes or so.
The question and answer session also plays an important role in webinars. So make sure you don’t run out of the data or face any network issues. This will disrupt the flow of the session.
We hope that now you know how long should a webinar be. There is no hard and fast rule for setting the timing for webinars. However, the ideal timing can be decided based on the format of the presentation. People invest their time and energy in attending the webinar. It becomes your responsibility to provide value to their time.