Start Time: Top of the Hour or Wait a Minute?

Do you start your webinars exactly on time, or do you welcome the audience but give them a few minutes to get into the webinar?


If you wait for more people, how long do you usually wait?

I usually wait 2-3 minutes, but be prepared for the chats to come in asking when you're starting!

We start right on time! I am a stickler for this, I know people will be joining late but I don't feel it's fair for those who were joined early and on time. We list our start time as at the top of the hour so I shouldn't upset anyone if we start right at that time. It helps that we have housekeeping items up front so that if they are late they aren't missing the meat of our content just the openers.

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I start about 5-7 minutes before the hour, as people are logging on and give "pre-webinar announcements" of things that are upcoming and special offers. I try to start the speakers introduction right at the top of the hour. It seems to work as I have a lot of people who are ready to go as soon as the webcast is available to start.

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This is always an interesting debate. When we do internal events, the presenters always ant to wait till there are or people on the line. Over the years, the wait gets longer and longer as people begin to know that they never start on time, hence, they get in the habit of being late. However, when we do external events, we NEVER start late. Interestingly, we typically garner 90% of our audience within the first 2 minutes. My belief is that if you always start late, people will be late.

We always wait about 2 minutes -- partly so the loud churchbells right outside our office stop ringing, and also to give the audience time to get settled. That little extra time also helps the speakers to get their notes together, and gives us time to do one last sound check before we start the countdown and "wait for hte long awkward pause" while we're being entered into the livestream. If you try to go live exactly at the top of the hour, I find you rarely succeed -- and that gets everyone flustered from the start.

We always start right on time, as well. Lots of attending folks get antsy on our end!

We try to always start on time becuase for our travel agents time is money and the more time you wait the less money they will be making on those clients coming into their location. We want to respect their time. We usually start getting " have we started, is this starting, when do we start, i can't hear anything" a few minutes before the webinar begins. It only gets worse if you wait a minute or two after the webinar start time. haha. Usually our opening speech is a little over a minute which allows everyone to get settled into that might join late and then at the end we do a review of the platform again so if they missed the beginning we can do the end.


Question to others, is there a way to use the live phone feature to tell everyone why you miht be starting a minute later without having to hit start live which automatically starts the recording? I would love to be able to come up even 5 minutes before to make an accouncemnt etc but not have it start recording then.

We're the opposite almost. Internal webinars start exactly on time so they can stay short and sweet. External webinars we push live exactly on time, but will tell the audience we'll be starting in a minute or two to allow people to get into the webinar. We do several deep dive technical webinars, and engineers never seem to be on time. Just yesterday we ran a webinar that started at 11am, and still had people logging in at 11:40am. It's not reasonable to wait that long, but a minute or two, while letting the audience know we are waiting as been the go to thus far.

We generally start one minute after the posted start time. But I am consistently surprised by the number of people that log in 15 minutes early to webinars!

You can consider doing an audio voiceover with slide and launch in the slide window as a video asset. We do this if we are having technical difficulties with he audio stream

I do these for accountants, who are always punctual. 🌝

I agree. Personally find it rude to start late because others are late.

Wait 1 or 2 mins. Usually people have prior calls up to the moment ours begin. So we usually wait a couple of mins to start ours. We have good results.

For lead generation webinars here in Brazil we wait 3-5 minutes. Reports show us that people used to connect to the webinar until 10-15 minutes after webinar started.

Oh Thank you. I'm going to look into this !

I start the Live webinars on published start time and begin introductions and Welcome right then. Being respectful of the attendee time is important to me.

We just started experimenting with this. Our last two webinars we waited 2 minutes to start, all webinars prior we started exactly on time. I like starting right away better. It is most respectful of people's time, and for those that arrive late they knew what time the webinar was set to start so they understand they are arriving late. For those that are already dialed in, they expect the webinar to start when it was advertised to start.

Usually exactly on time.

If there is not many attendees, sometimes we wait but not more than 5 mins.


But if there is a delay we always inform about that via pop-up or message in Q&A.