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Why Webinar Software?

To be successful, you need specialized webinar software for your larger size online meetings.

What is the difference between Webinars and other forms of Online Meetings?

Though online meeting terms like web conferencing, webinars and webcasting are often used interchangeably, they are distinctly different tools. Understanding the differences allows you to choose the right product for your use case, whether its communication, collaboration, sales, marketing, training or something truly unique.

Web and Video Conferencing

meeting-on-laptopWeb conferencing and typical online meetings are an interactive method that replicates face-to-face meetings. All attendees of web conferences participate and have an opportunity to speak, offer visual presentations and respond throughout the meeting.

Usually these types of meetings should be limited to 10 attendees, otherwise the meeting/conference can get chaotic.  For more than 10 attendees, webinar software is highly recommended.

 

Webinars

webinar_mbp12A webinar is an interactive online seminar or presentation, held by one or several presenter and attended by an audience. Webinars usually follow an agenda and provide auditory and visual access to the information being shared. Typically, the voices of those attending the webinar are muted during the presentation so that the presenter’s message comes across clearly, and then he or she may invite live questions at the end.

Webinars are especially powerful marketing tools that allow businesses to make announcements about new products or services, and they are often used as training tools for the introduction of procedures and policies.

If you want to present to more than 10 attendees, you should opt for webinar software that has a complete set of webinar features.

Technical Differences

The differences between Web Conferencing and Webinar apps are important.

Presenters and Attendees

webinar_mbp7When hosting a webinar, you want to make sure you have a clear delineation between who can do what in your webinar.  You want to control the message, the visuals, the flow and the experience.  For this reason, it’s important that a webinar platform clearly distinguishes between presenters and attendees.

Conversely, in a web conference, everyone should be able to freely communicate, collaborate and participate in the meeting.  Social cues should be used whenever possible, and the software should not place any stringent controls on the experience — much like a real conference room.

Audio Modes

Web Conferences tend to allow everyone to be unmuted and collaborate with each other in real time.  Webinars tend to only have presenters unmuted, while the rest of the audience is in a listen-only mode.

This is very important when you have a few dozen people in your webinar.  You don’t want them to be able to interrupt or disrupt your important presentation.

Interactivity

webinar_mbp14Most web conferencing software has the basic collaborations features like audio and video sharing, screen sharing and perhaps document sharing.  There are usually not a lot of other features involved in being able to have a successful web conference.  Webinar software however is built to engage large groups of attendees, in a manageable way.  This often means features like Polls, moderated Q&A functionality, public and private chat, attendee list functionality, promote / demote functionality, on-air/off-air features and more.

Click here to learn more about AnyMeeting’s interactivity features

Registration and Surveys

Most webinar hosts want to know who will be attending their webinars ahead of time and want to collect demographic and performance data regarding the webinar.  That’s why complete webinar software will include functionality to allow attendees to register ahead of time, and take a survey when the webinar is done.  Web conferencing software usually does not have any of this functionality.

AnyMeeting provides a rich set of registration and survey tools, allowing custom fields to collect any kind of information desired.

Recording

meeting-slides-laptopWhile some web conferencing software can get away without providing recording, most professional level vendors provide recording capabilities.  However, in a webinar scenario, the recordings are an absolute must have because it extends the life and value of the live webinar.  AnyMeeting provides full recording, recording hosting, and reporting capabilities.

Integrations

Having the ability to import registration data, export attendance data, and everything in-between is a key capability of a complete webinar software platform.  Without this, customers have to manage this information through spreadsheets, something that can become laborious and time consuming.  Web conferencing software rarely needs this level of capability.  AnyMeeting provides integration with over 500 applications through Zapier.

Questions?

Still have some questions or need some help?

Our team of web conferencing and webinar experts are here to help.  Simply sign up for a no-commitment, free trial of our webinar software and we will get you started.  We’ve helped tens of thousands of customers start holding webinars and online meetings, so let’s get going!

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