When you do business, there is no better way to do business than in person, one to one, face to face handshakes, understanding your clients doing conferences, making presentations. But there is the next best thing which is the Webinar. It’s like a virtual reality, where someone is listening to you, interacting, asking questions and solving queries in virtual meetings using various webinar software.
In Today’s fast-paced world of constant change and globalization, where firms are crossing their boundaries and are finding markets in the farthest corner of the globe you always don’t always have access in person.
The webinar, a short name for web-based seminar, is a presentation, lecture, workshop or a seminar that is transmitted over the web using video conferencing software which is one of the webinar software. The conferencing software is invoked by all participants in a web meeting.
Why Webinar is so powerful?
The ability to give, receive and discuss information in real-time. In general, web conferencing is possible by internet technologies, particularly by TCP/IP connections. Services may allow real-time point to point communication as well as multicast communications from one sender to receivers.
2. Variety of mode
It offers a data stream of text-based messages, voice and video chat to be shared simultaneously, across geographically dispersed locations.
Webinar technology includes software and functionality that differs from presenter to attendees. The software may run on a web browser application or some may require download and installation of software on each participant’s local computer.
There can be a different type of presentation in which one may see the presenter using a webcam or it can just be an audio presentation. New technology allows the use of dedicated microphones and speakers to presenters and attendees.
Some of the utilities of the web-based conference include
1. Slideshow presentations
Where presenter shares slide and use a mouse to engage viewers and give a presentation. Audio and Video can also be shared.
The presenter uses headphones and speakers to give only Audio presentations. It is real-time and convenient for both presenter and audience if just a simple discussion.
3. Web tours
Web tours as the name suggest are being used to help participant tour websites or web pages. The presenter sends data from forms, cookies to the other participants enabling them to be pushed through web-based logins, clicks, etc.
4. Meeting Recording
It gives the facility to record a meeting for the audience to conveniently watch when they want. This is also a good choice because one doesn’t have to present the same thing again and again.
5. Whiteboard with annotation
This presentation helps the audience to take notes and high light points. This presentation type is used for teaching purposes.
6. Text chats
When one has a huge audience to address, this type of webinar is used. The audience can put questions and presenter answers to some of them.
7. Polls and surveys
Polls and surveys are very much in use nowadays. The presenter throws a multiple-choice question to its audience to answer.
8. Screen sharing
Not many organizations use it. A presenter can share his/her screen with the audience which lets the audience see what presenter is doing. Some software also allows the audience to manipulate the presenters’ screen.
Now the question arises on how to organize a webinar. There are several ways, some are free and for some, you may have to pay a premium.
10 most widely used webinar software and URLs
1. Google+ hangout
Most commonly known as hangout gives you features like video conferencing, document sharing, presentations, workshops, etc. but there are certain limitation as well, in hangout, you can’t charge your viewers or sell within and it limits you up to 10 viewers at a time but comes with ability to live stream on YouTube. and the best part is all these facilities are free of cost.
2. Webinar on Air
Webinar on Air is built for Google+ hangout users increasing their capability to charge their audience and sell within. Many organizations are using it because it allows you to continue to use Google+ hangout with ease but still charge your audience. There are other very impressive features this platform have but it cost you around $25/month or above.
A lot of organizations are using Skype for all types of formal meetings, conferencing, sharing files. A huge share of the business world uses it. It allows the user to conference (up to 25 people at a time), sharing documents, sharing screens, contact sending, etc. with ease. And this widely used software cost nothing.
According to different requirements, one can also try this platform. This platform is different than other software on different features like HD video recording, Archived recordings, Polls, and Surveys, etc. and also allows more no. of attendees at a time. This platform is a little expensive as well, starts at 79$/month for up to 100 attendees.
5. Cisco Webex
It is a high-end product. Provides you a variety of features like lead generation tools, high-quality video and audio, registration tracking, display up to 5 panelists at a time and many add ons. But Webex bills annually one has to buy an annual subscription at once. The monthly cost starts at 79$.
6. Adobe Connect
Adobe is famous for Adobe Creative suite of the product but they are also providing webinar platform to organizations which are very impressive and cost-effective as well. There are a variety of features in this platform and it is easy to integrate it with Microsoft Outlook. Some of its features are a mobile collaboration, high-quality video, and audio, Break out rooms for focussed discussions and a lot more. Adobe Connect cost starts at 45$/month for 25 attendees.
If one wants to opt for ease and complete browser-based platform on both mobile and system then the option is MegaMeeting. This platform also has no stated limit for no. of attendees at a time to one can enjoy this benefit also. It has all basic function of a typical webinar plus is very cost-effective as it cost you just 39$/month.
8. Blackboard Collaborate
This webinar software has been designed for educational purposes only. They have special service support for this and resources available for higher education, government, and business data. This software is on the free trial and the pricing plan is upon request.
This software is built for business internal use specifically. The main use of this tool is specifically for the company’s sales staff effectively. Have features and resources that can be used for training purposes of sales staff and have controlled excess. This software also has trails and pricing is upon request.
This platform is also very useful if your audience is huge. Ilinc is a company that does nothing but deliver web conference tool and they are good at it. This conferencing platform has all typical features and designed for the people who use web conferencing for a big audience and it has a free trial as well.
Concluding, a webinar is a very important tool for a globalizing world, small or large all businesses need to use this software nowadays. But one should choose their platform wisely according to one’s needs. When there is webinar software available then why not use the technology. That can make a difference in your business and make your event a success.