What is a Webinar?

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Webinars are an increasingly popular way to connect with attendees and share information. But what’s the difference between a webinar and a standard Zoom call or meeting? Does a webinar cover the same ground as a virtual event, or does it have something different to offer?

Curious about webinars? You’ve probably heard the term before, but maybe you’re not quite sure what they are or how they work.

Webinars are an increasingly popular way to connect with attendees and share information. Over half of all marketers use webinars as a promotional tool, while over 60% of B2B companies have hosted webinars in the last 12 months. 

But what’s the difference between a webinar and a standard Zoom call or meeting? Does a webinar cover the same ground as a virtual event, or does it have something different to offer?

Let’s find out!

What is a Webinar?

A webinar is basically a digital meeting or event where people can learn, discuss and collaborate.

The word has been in circulation for a while now so you may not have thought too much about its origin, but webinar is simply a portmanteau of ‘web-based’ and ‘seminar’!

Webinars come in different formats, such as video presentations, workshops, or training sessions.  They tend to have a specific topic or intention, unlike, say, a virtual event which will incorporate a varied range of features, topics and speakers.

However, much like a live virtual event, webinars let you communicate with attendees and presenters in real-time and record the session for sharing at a later date. 

The difference between a standard video call, e.g., Zoom, and a webinar is functionality. While they essentially support live and recorded video broadcasts, webinars tend to have a greater capacity for varied interactions and presentations using features such as live polling and video sharing.

Why Create a Webinar?

Webinars are an effective way to share valuable information with meeting or event attendees. They’re ideal for concise presentations that require more engagement features than a standard video call or broadcast.

In-person events can often incur additional costs, such as venue booking, catering and attendee accommodation. Webinars can be a cost-effective alternative that require less time, money and resources to run.

Anyone with an internet connection and a mobile or desktop device can attend a webinar from anywhere in the world. Webinars are also great for making meetings and short events more inclusive to people with disabilities and to those with family or caring commitments.

Broadcasting or recording a webinar is relatively easy and affordable. A simple webinar needs nothing more than a laptop camera with direct record function. If you need a higher quality recording, hiring a professional camera is still relatively inexpensive when compared to recording a live, in-person event.

How to Create a Webinar

To run a webinar, you’ll need dedicated software or a platform. The webinar should be easily accessed by attendees on mobile and desktop devices. It should also have a clear and easy-to-use CMS, with service support on hand if needed.

At a minimum, a webinar platform or software features will include:

  • Shared PowerPoint slides
  • Documents
  • Q&A
  • Polling
  • Shared audio and video

Webinars are great for teaching and engaging with people online. You can target very specific or broad audiences depending on what you’re doing. For example, a new product launch webinar may only be relevant to sales and marketing teams, whereas a general business update will be of interest to an entire organisation.

Webinars can cover a varied range of topics for a wide range of people. It’s useful to remember that webinars tend to be shorter than a virtual event, say 30 to 90 minutes in length.

Is a Webinar the Right Choice?

If you’re not sure whether a webinar is the right communication method for your meeting or event, this handy flow chart will help:

What is a webinar flowchart by CrowdComms

How CrowdComms Can Help

CrowdComms’ webinar solution is the ideal choice for any organisation that needs something more sophisticated than a standard video call, but doesn’t need full-scale virtual or hybrid event streaming and production.

Some examples include:

  • An organisation that wants to run regular company updates
  • A global product launch to sales teams in multiple regions
  • Team training for new systems or processes
  • Expert speaker plus panel discussion to support CPD points
  • Sales presentations to external clients or prospective customers

CrowdComms’ webinar solution has all the features needed to create engaging and interactive webinars. Our platform supports slide and document sharing, live polling and Q&A, speaker profiles, and sponsor branding. It’s also contained within a single, easy-to-access virtual meeting platform, which means webinars can be easily recorded and stored for viewing at any time after the live presentation.

Data analysis is a significant benefit that helps webinar organisers understand attendee participation and engagement. Our webinar data delivers a range of insights that include viewing numbers throughout the presentation, Q&A and live polling engagement, and post-presentation access.

While our webinar CMS is easy and intuitive, you’ll always have peace of mind knowing our awesome experts are on hand if you need a bit of extra help!

Want to know more about CrowdComms’ webinar solution? Get in touch.

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