There are several subcategories of web meetings. The first type of meeting you may think of is an online video conference. Webinars, another type of online meeting, are for sales presentations, product demonstrations and training meetings. These online seminars are meant for instructional purposes, while reaching a larger audience and requiring less participant interaction. The benefit of online webinars is the ability they give you to communicate with a multitude of people without being in the same room as them.
Because webinars consist largely of slideshows, you can record, edit and broadcast your meeting to countless viewers. Quality webinar services allow you to prepare and upload slideshows and PowerPoint presentations. Participation is not the focus of the meetings, but webinars still provide outlets for feedback via polling and Q&A sessions after meetings. For a look at the best webinar providers, check out our reviews of MegaMeeting, Onstream Webinars and ClickWebinar. For more information about this topic, read our articles on webinar hosting.
Many different companies offer webinar services. Some piggyback their online seminar services on their web conferencing application, while others create specific, web-based seminar programs. Either way, webinars should give you the tools you need to create an engaging and successful presentation. The following are the criteria we used to rank the different services for broadcasting seminars over the web:
A good webinar service needs to offer a variety of ways to present, instruct, demonstrate and receive feedback. This section takes into account how the seminars are set up, the interface of the application and how many people the seminars can support. We also examined the security features of the service because, when you're sharing this much information, you need to know that your data is safe.
Audio & Video
In any seminar, you need to use a variety of methods to keep the attendees' attention. In this area, we rank how the program allows you to communicate with the participants. Things such as VoIP and full-duplex support allow people to listen and speak right through their computers, while real-time screen sharing and webcam compatibility let your audience see what you're talking about.
Most of the people who use online seminar services are marketers, not computer programmers. Therefore, this section also ranks how easy a web presentation application is to use. If you are unable to find and use all the provided tools, then your seminar won't be as captivating. Simplicity in design is essential.
Help & Support
Web conferencing is still a relatively new addition to the business world. You may need some help to get the most out of your experience. If anything goes wrong during the presentation, you should have resources available to help you solve the problem. This section ranks how well each service backs up the product it offers.
Webinar services give you access to online communication in the most efficient way. Look at the advantages of different providers to determine what service fits your business best.