Your audience is in their own context, with distinct goals and distractions, whether it's emails, coworkers, or family. To keep your online audience attentive, your virtual event should run 3–4 hours on average. If you go over this length of time, your listeners will likely begin to lose attention.
To maintain focus, try not to talk for more than 20 minutes at a time without a break. Use the time to move around the room, if possible, or explore other topics while still keeping the main theme of the event clear.
If you feel like you need to cover more ground in less time, consider using multiple sessions instead of one long one. This way listeners can choose what parts interest them most.
This, however, provides you with the chance to be creative in order to make your event material both memorable and accessible. You do not want your audience to leave before they have learned everything they came for, so make sure that there is sufficient time to cover all the topics you want to address.
Of course, this is only an average. You can plan your event around these timescales or even shorter if necessary. Just make sure that you give yourself enough time to speak about all aspects of your topic without rushing through it.
The length of your event will depend on how much content you want to include and the amount of time you have to talk about it. If you have more time than expected, you can always extend your event further; if not, consider skipping some parts to keep things moving along.
We hope you find this guide helpful when planning your first virtual event! As we mentioned, there are many different ways you can structure a virtual event, so use what works best for you and your audience.
Because your audience is unlikely to wait through a 90-minute online concert, 45–60 minutes may enough. Live performance standards may not always apply to the virtual world, so think about what your audience is looking for and how long you believe you can hold their attention.
For example, if you were to livestream a music festival such as Coachella or SXSW, you would want to allow enough time for artists to perform their sets without cutting them short. These festivals typically run over two days, which means an online concert would need to be at least half a day long.
If you were to livestream a jazz concert, perhaps 30 minutes should be more than enough time for musicians to play several songs. A virtual concert featuring only one musician could probably last less than an hour.
People have different levels of patience when it comes to listening to music online. Some will listen for as little as 15 minutes while others may spend an hour with you on Twitch or YouTube live streaming.
So in general, an online concert can go from just a few minutes to almost all night long. However, if you are streaming music festivals or concerts that involve many performers, then you'll want to allocate more time than usual because you won't be able to switch between artists easily.