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  • The Redback Team
  • The Redback Team

    5th January 2016

Web Conference, Webinar, Webcast – what does it all mean and what’s the difference?

Your definitive guide

These days it can be hard enough to keep up with the weather let alone all the technology which seems to be changing daily!

When it comes to communicating, collaborating and presenting online there are many platforms which can accommodate your needs. However, what do they all mean and which solution will work best for you?

Here’s a summary of the three online conferencing platforms, their features, differences and common uses.

Web Conference

Web Conferences allow you to share and collaborate online with participants from any location and are known to be more interactive than the other online solutions.

Web Conferences are usually conducted in conjunction with a telephone allowing moderators and participants to share ideas and thoughts verbally throughout.

Web Conferences are typically used for business meetings, online training, sales presentations and interviews.

Some common features of a web conference include:

Screen Sharing: The ability to work live off documents and allow participants to edit them in real time.

Whiteboards: Allowing you to launch a blank canvas and have participants draw, highlight and type – perfect for brainstorming!

Using the right technology for the right purposes can save lots of time and help avoid confusion.

Webinar:

A webinar or web seminar is similar to a web conference in that you and your participants join online and have access to a variety of tools.

These days, webinars are commonly used for delivering presentations or lectures and are typically one way methods of communication.

Hybrid systems are also a common way to deliver webinars. This option allows your participants to listen to the webinar either through their computer speakers (VoIP) or their telephones.

Many webinar providers recommend that you cap your event at 250 participants.

Webinars are commonly used for delivering professional development, lead generation, online learningand product launches.

Some common features of a webinar include:

Polling: Ask for, receive and share feedback with your participants. Perfect for quizzes and feedback!

Live Webcams: Activating webcams puts a face to the name and increases interaction.

Webcast:

A webcast uses streaming media technology to broadcast events over the Internet and simultaneously distributes them to audiences anywhere in the world.

Webcasts can be delivered live or on-demand and are usually done so under the guidance of a professional production team.

These days, webcasts are commonly used for broadcasting live events and trade shows, delivering shareholder announcements and member services.

The main differences between a webcast and a webinar are:

The sky’s the limit: A webcast can be broadcasted to an unlimited audience anywhere in the world!

High Definition: A webcast uses high definition video and audio feeds and can be delivered by experienced videographers.

Streaming: A webcast uses streaming technology which is transmitted over the internet. This means it can be viewed in live time and can be accessed with the click of a mouse!

Hopefully the breakdown of these solutions has made it a little clearer for you. And just a little techie tip – make sure that you complete thorough testing for whichever service you choose.

Until next time…
Hank Evecek

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