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The Webcast Registration Lifecycle – Converting your Registrants to Attendees

Due to the increase of webcasting being used by marketers, there has been a lot of new research in the last few years on the webcasting industry in regards to attendance, lead generation, registration lifecycle, and attendee interaction, just to name a few. ON24, a leading webcasting platform and partner of V2, conducted a comprehensive study on webcasting in a report published in January of 2011. To create the report, ON24 evaluated 10,000 webcasts from 700 corporate clients using webcasting for demand generation. What they found is that webcasts are more valuable to the marketing department than they ever have been. The report’s key findings state that “Webcasts generate low cost-per-lead and high ROI, and the average webcast captures 441 registrants and 50-60% attendee participation.” The report also concludes that as many as “15-30% of registrants are sales-qualified opportunities, and the average viewership per webcast is 38 minutes, regardless of webcast type.”

The registration/attendee lifecycle is dependent on the time of year and week. According to the ON24 Webcast Report, the registration lifecycle gives webcast coordinators insight into how marketing campaigns should be organized to best promote the event and capture the highest number of registrants. The key findings in the lifecycle revealed that “52% of all registrations occur in the ten days before a scheduled webcast, with 15% registering on the day of the webcast.” Furthermore, “the months of December, June and October registered the highest registrant-to-attendee conversion percentages of 79%, 68% and 63% respectively, demonstrating that webcasting is an effective and popular way to reach audiences year-round, even during holiday and summer months.”

When breaking down the lifecycle further to days of the week, we find that a majority of people register for webcasts mid-week, Tuesday through Thursday. The report indicates that 17% of people registered on Monday, 22% on Tuesday, 23% on Wednesday, 21% on Thursday, and 12% on Friday, with the lowest numbers of 2% on Saturday, and 3% on Sunday.

Now that we’ve broken down the key insights into the registration lifecycle, let’s talk about some proven promotion techniques that can aid in getting people to attend. Because let’s face it, registration doesn’t always lead to attendance. Once you’ve found the right time to capture those registrants, you need to find ways to make them excited about participating in the webcast. Here are a couple tips that V2 recommends using on your next event:

  1. Emphasize attendee interaction Allow attendees to chat and ask questions to the webcast speaker.  In your marketing promotions, let attendees know they will have the opportunity to get their questions answered live. Another great idea is to encourage registrants to submit questions prior to the event either through the registration form or through a twitter feed or email address. Attendees are more likely to attend if they feel they’re part of the interaction early on.

  2. Include a prize give away during the webcast Prizes can sometimes be all the extra incentive that’s needed to turn that tentative registrant to a confirmed appointment. Choose prizes that match your audience’s interest. Many of our clients have increased attendance by giving away books related to the topic, or even offering Starbucks cards.

  3. Include polling questions and surveys Attendees are more likely to stay engaged and extend their duration of attendance if there are possibilities for them to interact with the speakers and other attendees through polling questions, as well as give their feedback on the session and future sessions to the speakers and webinar organizers. This makes them feel like a stakeholder in the presentation and topic at hand.

  4. Send out reminder e-mails to registrants Sending out a reminder to folks that they are signed up for a webinar is usually always a good idea. It is especially helpful for attendees that may have registered earlier in the registration lifecycle. They may have forgotten to add it to their calendar, or simply forgotten due to a busy week ahead. Odds are it will give them that added incentive to attend, or the very least listen to the archive version if they are unable to attend.

Need help planning and setting up registration on your next webcast? Don’t be shy! Give us a shout, we’d love to help.

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