How Many Who Register Actually Attend Virtual Events?

  Great news: The number of registrants to your upcoming online event has surpassed expectations. But, how many can you expect to actually attend? And how long will they stick with your program? Several members of the PCMA Catalyst Community shared their experiences. PCMA’s Catalyst community offers members a platform to ask each other questions, share ideas, or, as the website says, “communicate and collaborate.” Here’s a sampling from a recent Catalyst discussion. “Is there an industry standard for attrition on virtual events?” Kristin Ginnity, senior communications manager of Ripple Effect, asked the PCMA Catalyst community. “Does it vary based on length? I would love to know what others are experiencing. Is 30 percent attrition good for a single day, three-hour, free event? Thanks for the information!” I am finding a 40-50-percent attrition on virtual events if they are free. Also, the drop-off continues after 45 minutes in length. I have done both industry events as well as corporate and association events and speaking with some AV and platform companies, this seems to be average. — Anita Carlyle, Managing Partner, Moore Carlyle Consulting I organize virtual events and webinars for the health-care industry. In the Asia Pacific (APAC) region, we see that registration numbers are high, but [participant] rates are low — for a 60- to 90-minute clinical webinar, only 30 percent of the registered participants turn up. On a good day with a very good panel lined up, we get about 35 percent. Whereas our headquarters in Europe and peers in the U.S. are benchmarking at 42-45 percent [participation] rate. If you look up webinar platform statistics, most users stay about 52 minutes out of a 60-minute webinar. We find this to be quite accurate across all markets. The average dwell time for our APAC webinars is about 45-50 minutes of the presentation, [and] most of the audience drops off after the first couple of Q&As. We do multi-day virtual events also, however, our customers in the health-care industry have told us they don’t have the luxury to sit through anything more than two hours, hence we also make sure our keynote sessions are available on-demand. Naturally, this behavior is likely to vary from industry to industry. — Wai Yi Ching, APAC Events & Brand Manager, Healthcare Technology

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Great news: The number of registrants to your upcoming online event has surpassed expectations. But, how many can you expect to actually attend? And how long will they stick with your program? Several members of the PCMA Catalyst Community shared their experiences.

PCMA’s Catalyst community offers members a platform to ask each other questions, share ideas, or, as the website says, “communicate and collaborate.” Here’s a sampling from a recent Catalyst discussion.

“Is there an industry standard for attrition on virtual events?” Kristin Ginnity, senior communications manager of Ripple Effect, asked the PCMA Catalyst community. “Does it vary based on length? I would love to know what others are experiencing. Is 30 percent attrition good for a single day, three-hour, free event? Thanks for the information!”


I am finding a 40-50-percent attrition on virtual events if they are free. Also, the drop-off continues after 45 minutes in length. I have done both industry events as well as corporate and association events and speaking with some AV and platform companies, this seems to be average.

— Anita Carlyle, Managing Partner, Moore Carlyle Consulting


I organize virtual events and webinars for the health-care industry. In the Asia Pacific (APAC) region, we see that registration numbers are high, but [participant] rates are low — for a 60- to 90-minute clinical webinar, only 30 percent of the registered participants turn up. On a good day with a very good panel lined up, we get about 35 percent. Whereas our headquarters in Europe and peers in the U.S. are benchmarking at 42-45 percent [participation] rate.

If you look up webinar platform statistics, most users stay about 52 minutes out of a 60-minute webinar. We find this to be quite accurate across all markets. The average dwell time for our APAC webinars is about 45-50 minutes of the presentation, [and] most of the audience drops off after the first couple of Q&As.

We do multi-day virtual events also, however, our customers in the health-care industry have told us they don’t have the luxury to sit through anything more than two hours, hence we also make sure our keynote sessions are available on-demand. Naturally, this behavior is likely to vary from industry to industry.

— Wai Yi Ching, APAC Events & Brand Manager, Healthcare Technology

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