ON24 put out a press release today announcing a new feature they call the Webinar Benchmark Index. I heard this mentioned last week in a sneak peak ON24 webcast on upcoming features, and it immediately jumped out at me as a unique and innovative capability that should capture industry and customer attention.
The concept is simple. Webinar hosts are able to look at a limited set of statistics as reported for their webinar and get instant comparisons to industry averages on those same measurements. This is made possible by ON24's ongoing dedication to collecting, organizing, and sharing statistical information about all the webcasts conducted on their platform. For the past several years they have released summaries of the data in an annual Webinar Benchmarks Report. Now they are making some of that benchmark data accessible by their online webinar reporting utilities.
When running a webinar report, an administrator can elect to compare his or her statistics to the entire population of all ON24 webcasts or to narrow the comparison set by using a filter. Since this is a version one release of the functionality, the set of filters is limited. You can choose a single filter based on a geographical region, a company industry segment, or an application area such as marketing or education. You cannot combine those filters to custom-generate mini populations, although ON24 enabled one combo set: technology industry webcasts used for marketing. That is one of their biggest use cases, so they figured they would cater to those customer needs immediately.
In this first version, only five statistics are available for comparison:
- Number of Registrants
- Number of Attendees – Live Event
- Number of Attendees – On Demand
- Number of Attendees – Combined
- Registrant to Attendee Conversion
I am sure that ON24 will add additional filtering and additional statistics over time.
The industry benchmark numbers are not generated on the fly when the report is run. They are prepopulated in ON24's database for each of the filter selection choices. This means they are immediately available for use in the report without requiring number crunching. I spoke with Mark Szelenyi, the vice president of webcasting product management at ON24. He told me that the benchmark figures will be updated periodically to stay current with the latest rolling averages. But the averages don't tend to shift frequently or dramatically, so there should not be a problem with data currency.
I know a lot of event managers who will love this new feature. Instead of relying on anecdotes and guesses about whether their events perform well or poorly compared to other companies, for the first time they will have real evidence. ON24 is filling a previously unmet need with the Webinar Benchmark Index. Very nice!