Webinar vs. Webcast: which one is best for your live event
What is a webinar? And what is different about a webcast? Lots of people use the terms “webinar” and “webcast” interchangeably nowadays. While webinars and webcasts share a lot of similarities they are very distinct solutions with different features, functions and uses. Whether you choose a webinar or webcast, there are platform features and integrations that you can expect to see as part of the technology offered by either of the aforementioned platforms. Some of the features you can expect to see in a webinar or webcast platform such as VIXY include:
- The ability to stream video during the webinar or webcast
- Reporting analytics to help you assess the success of each meeting or webcast
- Around-the-clock technical support, including while the webinar or webcast runs
So which solution should you use and what exactly are these “webinars” and “webcasts”?
Together with NEP we offer organizations ‘the’ all-in-one solution for sharing information digitally while simultaneously interacting live with the target audience.
VIXY is ‘the’ industry leading expert in providing webinars, webcasts, livestreams and virtual events.
What is a webinar?
A webinar is a combination of the words “web-based” and “seminar“. Web based in this case means that the seminar is held online through using the internet. So who can you reach by using this online seminar and what exactly is a ‘webinar’?
Webinars are online seminars designed for smaller groups of people and one or multiple hosts who give a presentation to a virtual room of attendees. Because the seminar is held online people can connect from various locations. This means that anyone with an active internet connection is able to attend your seminar.
What sets a webinar apart from a webcast is that presenters and attendees can interact through the seminar via a number of tools:
- Slideshow presentations
- Live or streaming video
- Whiteboard with annotation
- Text chat
- Polls and surveys
- Screen sharing/desktop sharing/application sharing
In order to use these tools effectively the audience can’t reach numbers into the thousands like you can expect with a webcast.
What is a webcast?
Much like a webinar being a “web based seminar,” a webcast is a web based broadcast, or a broadcast that takes place online. Unlike the webinar however webcasting is characterized by the fact that a single host can simply broadcast their presentation without any engagement from the audience. This means that a much larger audience can watch the webcast online from virtually any device, the downside here is that they will not be able to interact with the webcast or the presenter.
Some examples of large webcasters would be radio and TV stations who cast their output through online TV or radio streaming stations.
Should you choose a webinar or a webcast?
Webinars are designed to make communication between multiple parties possible. In a webinar, the speaker may lead a presentation for most of the time, but participants are encouraged to ask questions and give feedback as the webinar continues. By contrast, a webcast is designed to distribute content from a single source to thousands of people. This makes a webcast ideal for a company announcement, annual shareholder meeting and e-learning training that must be transmitted to people in many locations at once.
Once you have a clear idea of what your business objectives are, it’s easy to determine whether a webinar or webcast is the right solution for your needs. As you learn more about the different offerings on the market, you’re likely to find that there are key differences between webinar and webcast platforms that make one better than the other for your team.
Choose a webinar instead of a webcast if you:
- Expect a smaller crowd
- Want to encourage audience participation
- Need to share audio and content
A webcast is better than a webinar for your needs if you:
- Want to stream live to a larger crowd
- Won’t be taking live questions or comments during the webcast
- Require support or event services to make the webcast successful
Did you find this article useful and have you been able to make a choice? Then consider organizing it through VIXY. We are ready to guide your webinar or webcast on a professional level.