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Webinars vs. Web Conferencing: What’s the Difference?

Yesterday you met with clients in New York, San Francisco, London, Singapore and Dubai – and you didn’t even have to leave your office. Thank you, technology. Online communication tools make it easy to collaborate across time zones, but not all digital solutions are cut out for the same task. With that said, are you using webinars and web conferencing platforms to their fullest potential? To answer that question, here’s a look at the difference between the two tools:

Starting With Definitions

A webinar is a live event that viewers can access online in real time. Webinars are typically informative presentations, such as seminars, lectures, workshops or product and service demonstrations. Interactive features allow for shared screens, question-and-answer sessions and topic discussions.

As a video streaming tool, webinars fall under the broader concept of web conferencing. While webinars have a more refined focus, web conferencing software can be more effective for conducting online meetings, trainings, private video chats and content sharing.

Differentiating Between Webinars and Web Conferences

The most significant difference between webinars and web conferences is scale. Webinar technology is better suited for large group meetings and events with robust audiences. As such, they are more structured and require additional planning, scheduling and promoting methods to reach participants. Designed for intimate meetings, web conferencing can be far more interactive, allowing for seamless two-way conversation and collaboration.

Webinar tools are often the most effective way to deliver targeted, relevant content that promotes products and services to prospects and customers. Alternatively, web conferencing is better suited for personal demos or sales proposals with a single client. Web conferencing is also often the best option for small group trainings and brainstorming sessions. Webinar tools facilitate large corporate meetings, and custom branding options make for a sophisticated presentation to potential investors. Meetings with high-value clients or stakeholders often benefit from the more collaborative nature of web conferencing platforms.

Utilizing the Right Tool

The main takeaway to apply to your decision-making is to host a webinar if you’re planning a one-to-many live event, and choose web conferencing for one-to-one or small group meetings. A software solution that offers both live event and small meeting capabilities will make your life easier if you have a use for both types of web events.

Request a free trial or custom demonstration to see how PGi webinar and web conferencing solutions can help you take advantage of the right tools.

About Kelly Strain

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