The word webinar is comprised of two words, web and seminar, and implicates exactly that: a seminar conducted on the web. A webinar can also be defined as an online presentation where the lecturer shares their screen whilst holding an oral presentation for all online participants. With this, a webinar differentiates itself from a webcast, as a webcast also includes participants that are physically present at the venue. The webinar is held virtually by using software applications for webinars. The participants follow the lecture on their phones, tablet, or computer, and they can both see and hear the lecturer. A webinar can last anywhere from half an hour to a full day. Businesses can direct their webinars towards other businesses (B2B) or towards individual consumers (B2C). An important part of the webinar is to pick the software that is right for the situation. In this article we will elaborate on this.
Webinar software makes it possible for companies or individuals to broadcast video presentations to existing and potential clients. In other words, the webinar software will help you arrange and manage the webinar you want to host. In some instances, the webinar software can be expensive, whilst others are completely free. The software differentiates in pricing and in additional functions. Generally, you pay for what you get when it comes to webinar software, which means that some of the free and cheap versions are deficient in important functions.
Luckily, you can pick and choose from a vast number of software applications for your next webinar. This means that you have to assess the pros and cons of each alternative and weigh them against each other. We recommend that you familiarize yourself with the different solutions for each option, so that you know what to expect when you decide on a software application. When you pick a software application, it is important to think about how many participants you want and expect to attend, functions you need, and on your budget. You should also consider if you want a downloadable software application, how you want the appearance to be, and what analytical functions you want. Do you want to do voting polls during your webinar? If so, you have to make sure that the software application offers this function. Does the webinar solution support mobile units and the most common operating systems? This is all important in ensuring accessibility for as many people as possible. Among others, you can use software applications like Zoom, Demio, YouTube, Vimeo and Google+ Hangouts when hosting a webinar, and each software option differs from the others in terms of additional services, price, and other functions. The number of software applications being offered for webinars has increased considerably the last few years, and it can be difficult to decide on which one to choose. We will give you an overview of the pros and cons with the abovementioned software applications to help you make a better decision on what serves your purpose best.
The disadvantage with some software applications for webinars is, among other things, confusing and complicated downloads and expansions, technical issues with audio and video, and limits on the number of participants who can join the webinar. When picking a software application, you should look at whether or not it allows for multiple lecturers, if the participants have to download a plugin, how many can participate in the webinar simultaneously, and if the quality of the video and sound is good. These factors can be part of deciding which software application to pick, and it also depends on your preference and purpose. The very best software applications for webinars make it easy to record sound and video, broadcast and engage the audience.
Do you want to host a webinar? Zoom is a popular webinar software application you can use. Zoom allows you to arrange webinars with up to 100 interactive participants via video. The alternatives you have to choose from varies between 100 – 10,000 viewers watching simultaneously. Zoom’s video is of high quality so that every participant gets a good experience without any complications, as long as they have a decent internet connection. With Zoom, you also get a dialogue box where the participants can ask questions and get a response in text or be answered live by the presenter or presenters. The participants can also virtually raise their hand during the webinar, and in turn ask the lecturer questions. Zoom also gives you the opportunity to share the webinar live via Facebook Live or YouTube. Additionally, as an administrator of the webinar, you can turn the participants’ microphones on and off.
With Demio the users can participate in the webinar from their browser and therefore do not have to download any software to their computer or any apps on their phone. In many instances it can have a negative impact on attendance if the user is forced to download any software, something Demio has taken into consideration. It has a minimalistic design to make it as visually appealing as possible for both the presenter and the participants. The software is also very easy to use, which makes Demio a good alternative. Demio offer both pre-taped recordings and livestreaming. During the webinar you can do interactive voting polls, share documents with the participants, have question rounds and so much more. With Demio the participants can send private messages to the presenter or public messages that are visible to all.
YouTube also offers the opportunity to host webinars, through YouTube live. This is entirely free and gives you access to an almost unlimited amount for participants. If your business already has followers on YouTube, this will be an easier way to get many of them to participate in your webinar. As YouTube was not originally made for the purpose of hosting webinars, it lacks in advanced functions that Zoom and Demio, among others, offers. The video-sharing platform is, on the other hand, well renowned and easy to use, and anyone logged in to YouTube can use the chat during the webinar. You can delete inappropriate comments, and even ban users who write those types of comments.
Vimeo also has a solution to host webinars. To arrange a webinar, you will need to have the Premium plan, which is the most expensive alternative available on Vimeo. In other words, you will not have the opportunity to host a free webinar like you can with YouTube. With Vimeo you can stream your webinar to other social platforms like YouTube, Facebook and LinkedIn. It’s easy to share your screen with the participants, and you can add graphics and logos on the screen as well. Vimeo offers question rounds, voting polls and chats. It’s an ad-free webinar solution, earning money on their customers buying subscriptions for all-inclusive access, guaranteeing a successful webinar. Vimeo is a leader in the world of webinars, and very popular among businesses, perhaps due to its beautiful design and additional features.
In addition to the beforementioned, Google+ Hangouts is also an alternative for hosting webinars. Google+ Hangouts is free and a part of Google+. To host a webinar using Google+ Hangouts you need to have a YouTube channel and a Google Chrome web browser. The webinar can be hosted for a small group of 30 people or be streamed live for a larger audience via YouTube. The recording will be made available on YouTube after streaming and the lecturer can choose if they want it to be private or public. Google+ Hangouts is popular and allows for several speakers.
The next time you want to host a webinar for clients or to advertise your product, you can use one of the abovementioned software applications. Familiarize yourself with the pros and cons of each of them, consider your budget and keep in mind the purpose of the webinar. Your preconditions for hosting a successful webinar is there whether you choose to use Zoom, Demio, YouTube, Vimeo or Google+ Hangouts.