Webcast or Webinar

Webcast or Webinar

There is a high demand for remote digital solutions today. From offering a platform to your employees so they can work on a project remotely to creating an HTML5 virtual classroom for students, many people have been using video conferencing services lately. This interest in video call technology also led to people using webinars and webcasts more frequently. However, not everybody knows what these two video conference options are, their differences, or their pros and cons. In this article, you will find out everything you need to know about webinars and webcasts.

What Are Webcasts?

Webcasts are online video streams of various events. The word webcast is a portmanteau of web and broadcast. This is a popular way of broadcasting some live events to a wide audience. Webcasts normally gather large audiences that often reach thousands of people watching a stream in real-time.

People use webcasts in different industries as they are perfect for sharing any type of live event online. From a simple presentation with one host to live concerts, everything can be recorded and broadcast in real-time thanks to modern technology. While creating webcasts is quite simple for hosts, viewers can access them completely effortlessly. It is only necessary to use a computer or smartphone with an Internet connection to join a webcast online.

One important feature of a webcast is that it is not interactive. The presenter or a certain event is streamed for viewers all over the globe to see, but they cannot interact with hosts or other users. However, this is not a drawback as certain events do not require interacting with hosts. Among them are concerts and similar events that are perfect for streaming online as not everybody can attend them live.

What Are Webinars?

Webinars are interactive video conferences that are also used to connect multiple people. A webinar is a portmanteau of web and seminar, which means there is a host and people that participate in the conference. While also hosting many people, much fewer attendees are usually present on a webinar than on a webcast because it is necessary to moderate all the viewers. People can often communicate using a chat box, which is a perfect way to talk to other viewers without interrupting anyone speaking. However, audio and video options are also available. The host can allow any viewer to unmute their mic and ask a question or comment on something.

The interactive component is very important for webinars. Modern video conference platforms offer a variety of features for communication, which include chats, polls, emotes, and more.

The webinar format is convenient for a range of events. Here are some of them:

  • Educational events – whether it is a webinar for students or a professional stream for people working in a specific sphere, educational streams are very popular today. The host usually delivers an informative presentation, and viewers can ask questions and have discussions.
  • Professional training – when companies want to enhance the qualification of their employees, a good choice is to make a webinar with the invited specialist for them. This does not have to be a single webinar because it can consist of multiple lectures.
  • Product launches – demonstrating your products and services to much wider audiences can be achieved via webinars. While not many people can attend live events and not all of them want to go somewhere, many viewers would still love to check things out online via a video stream.

Overall, webinars are great for creating interactive streams on different occasions. Even when launching a product, you can still interact with clients and even host giveaways.

Pros and Cons of Video Conferences

The strong point of webinars is being able to communicate with viewers in different ways using convenient tools available in video conferencing software. There are multiple channels of communication between the host and users, as well as among different viewers. As for the disadvantages, there are no real cons here, but some features might be inconvenient for specific events. For example, having a limited number of viewers is not really a drawback, but you might want to choose a webcast to stream to a bigger audience. In addition, webinars are usually shorter so viewers can process the information easier.

Webcasts are great for their accessibility. They can host thousands of viewers, and it is only necessary to be connected to the Internet to watch a stream. They also do not require any subscription or registration to get it; you can simply open a webcast and start watching. Webcasts are often streamed on popular social media platforms, which is very convenient for users. The drawback here is obviously a lack of interactivity. If you need to connect with viewers closely, you should consider a webinar.

Which Option Is Better?

There is no better or worse option if we are talking about webcasts and webinars. They are similar yet different. Their differences dictate which solution is better for your specific situation. If you are hosting a live event at school or in your company, it is better to choose a webcast. This way, you will be able to focus on a real-life event, which will be simply broadcasted online for everyone to see. Live conferencing platforms that support webcasts are suitable for hosting thousands of people, which means there will be no lag, and everybody will be able to watch the stream conveniently.

If you need to talk to your clients, business partners, or students, it is best to choose a webinar. This way, you will be able to create dialogue if needed and also collect valuable data through polls, quizzes, and more. Keep in mind that webinars are suitable for smaller groups of viewers, and you can limit them by asking for registration through e-mail, for example. This is another way of getting to know your client base. Overall, both webinars and webcasts are great options for their purposes.