As video conferencing technologies continue to improve and develop, more and more businesses tend to incorporate various online streaming solutions. Any company must communicate with its clients, which is why digital conferences have become so popular. Words like webinar and webcast are used quite often today, but not everyone knows the difference between them or even realizes that the two are not the same. However, it is essential to differentiate these two types of online streams to make the most out of them.
Popular online conference services like DigitalSamba (https://www.digitalsamba.com/) offer the opportunity to use both webcasts and webinars to your advantage. To realize their maximum potential, read along to find out the main differences and benefits of these virtual gatherings.
Key Differences between Webcasts and Webinars
Both of these virtual streams allow connecting with numerous viewers, although there are differences in reaching them. Webinars work both ways, and their main goal is communication between the presenters and their viewers. Visitors usually need to join a webinar by sharing their personal info, which is extremely important for businesses. This is also an incredible way to generate organic leads and engagement.
Webcasts are literally web broadcasts, which means they usually work in one direction. There is a presenter or presenters, and the audience is only able to watch and listen. There is usually little to no engagement of the audience. However, modern video conference software has useful tools, such as live chats, polls, etc., which allow viewers to communicate with one another in real-time without interrupting the stream. Companies use webcasts to raise awareness about the brand and improve their image.
Webcasts can be both pre-recorded and live. These are video broadcasts streamed to numerous online viewers. While not everyone can join certain events in person, webcasts are highly accessible. People from all across the planet can connect to a webcast even on their commute; the only requirement is having a stable Internet connection.
One of the common practices is combining both real-life and virtual presentations to engage as many viewers as possible. Plus, those people who want to attend a live event but are unable to do it can simply jump on a stream and experience the same thing. Most webcasts have educational value, which is why it is better to use them for various announcements.
One of the features of webcasts is that they can gather much more viewers than webinars. There can be thousands of viewers on one stream. It is possible thanks to the special streaming platform that allows such traffic. In case you want to have a webinar on your site, you can easily embed a streaming platform, which will not affect the speed of your web resource.
Webinars are usually live streams that require an invitation to join. They cover specific topics to gather only interested viewers. Speakers can use plenty of tools to get their message across, such as PowerPoint presentations, videos, pictures, and more. Viewers can interact with one another and with the hosts via chat boxes and use their mic to talk on the stream. Of course, live conferences are moderated, and for viewers to speak up, they will need to request to join the call.
Webinars are great for using them both inside and outside the company. They can be used for team building and presenting some ideas to the team or having a discussion with clients and business partners. Most webinars have limited access to regulate the number of viewers. In addition, while they are not limited to a certain length, people prefer shorter videos that last from 30 to 45 minutes. This way, information is easily digestible, and viewers do not become bored.
To make webinars funnier and more interactive, it is possible to include quizzes for engaging the audience. Giving out a few gifts is also a great approach. In addition, it is advised to have a plan or a list of questions that you want to cover in your presentation and share it with the audience beforehand. This way, everyone will know what they are getting and will look forward to hearing about the topics they are interested in.
Webcast or Webinar: What Should I Choose?
Bother webinars and webcasts have their strong and weak points. They are great options in certain situations, and it is necessary to keep in mind your needs. Here are some advantages and disadvantages.
- All broadcasts can be replayed many times.
- It is not required to schedule a live event.
- Shared with other users easily.
- Access is usually free and does not require registration.
- Is not as dependent on the Internet connection as live streams.
- There is no interactivity, and the audience can only watch and listen.
- It is not possible to share documents or communicate in chat.
- Low flexibility.
As for webinars, they have their benefits and disadvantages too. Here are the features of a webinar for businesses.
- High interactivity allows for creating a connection between viewers and presenters.
- Easy to moderate virtual meetings.
- It is simple to communicate with viewers verbally and host Q&As.
- A great solution both for businesses and educational institutions.
- Improved flexibility.
- The number of participants is limited for better communication.
- Is not usually repeated many times.
- Heavily depends on the Internet as this is a live solution.
These are the basics of webinars and webcasts when it comes to their strengths and weaknesses.
Both webcasts and webinars are great solutions for online conferences. They are similar, yet there are a few principal differences. It is convenient to choose the option that suits you more depending on the requirements and possibilities.