A webinar or a web-based seminar is an online presentation, conference, or event. Webinars are conducted over the web among a large number of participants who are located at different sites using computers and the internet to transmit and receive audio and video data. Webinars can be of different types - lectures, seminars, workshops, expert presentations, product demonstrations, lead generation webinars, internal webinars. Webinars can be live or on-demand webinars. On-demand webinars allow users to register and schedule webinars. Live webinars are recorded and reused as on-demand webinars for registered users. Webinars provide for interactive features such as shared screens, moderated Q&A sessions.
Web or online conferencing includes audio, web, and video conferencing to conduct online meetings, training, private video chats, and content sharing.
Due to the pandemic situation in 2020, the demand for web conferencing software increased many fold. Business meetings conducted online became the norm due to travel constraints. It also gave rise to usage of conferencing software for virtual events. The conferencing software evolved into a full fledged platform covering audio conferencing, webcasts and virtual events. These platforms enable companies to reach customers, talent, and internal employee communities globally.
What is the difference between Webinar and Video Conferencing Software?
Webinar Software is used to bring together a large number of participants of the webinar on a single platform. It offers the person leading the webinar the ability to invite, start, and conduct online conversations and remote meetings by bringing attendees together and sharing audio, video, and text. Webinars are typically used to conduct lectures, seminars and presentations or conduct workshops. Live streaming option is also available. Though webinars are done in real-time, it is quite common to publish webinar contents on a website or social channels like YouTube.
Most Webinar software also offer tools that augment the webinar capabilities such as file sharing, live broadcasting, hosting polls, and monitoring of metrics - how many attended, when they dropped out, etc.
As video calls become more mainstream, organizations are on calls with clients, partners, and off-site employees.Business video conferencing usually involves integration solutions such as Zoom, Teams, Poly StarLeaf, and LifeSize, and more. Additionally, these conferencing solutions offer Outlook and Google integrations for meeting scheduling.
Key difference between the two being Webinar tends to be more one way communication with a controlled Q&A conversation, video conferencing is largely meant for 2 way communication.
What is the difference between Webinars and Web Conferencing Software?
The underlying technology components for webinar software and conferencing software largely overlap. So the question arises what is the difference between the two? The key distinction is the scale of users - Webinar is largely suited for live or on-demand events for large audiences. Webinars are mostly structured and planned events and need scheduling support. Typically, participants have to register to attend webinars.
Web conferences tend to be more informal and a lot more interactive and are meant for smaller group meetings and one-to-one interaction. Web conferences allow seamless interaction between the participants and the collaboration and sharing of content. Such meetings tend to be a lot more informal and personal in nature.
As such webinars are suited for lectures, seminars, product presentations, and expert presentations. Web conferencing is to be used for private meetings, online team/group meetings, product demo/presentations to small groups, small group training sessions, and discussions.
Overall, web conferencing is a broader concept, and webinars are part of this broader concept.
Virtual Event Platform
Virtual Event Platforms are extensions of Webinar and Conferencing Software. During pandemic situations, it is all about going virtual. So businesses need powerful event platforms that can host exhibitions, conferences and events and power their communities. The virtual event platforms bring in capabilities like sponsorship management, registration, networking, virtual booths, community management and lead generation.
They also extend physical events paving the way for hybrid events. This is where traditional event management software combines the power of web conferencing software.