Webinars are considered miracles with today’s web 2.0 technology. A webinar, or web-based seminar, is a lecture, presentation, workshop or seminar that is given over the web, by utilizing web presentation tools. The features that are most popular among users include the ability to provide, discuss and receive information. This is different to other types of technology that only transmits data one way and does not allow the interaction between the audience and the presenter. Webinars also differ from a netmeeting as the number of webinar attendees is normally far greater than those at a netmeeting. This type of communication has been created for engineers, school students and faculty members, scientists, manufacturers and consultants.
The power of a Webinar
Via web conferencing software, webinars are able to reach audiences more effectively than a regular live-person event because there is no travel planning or the need to reserve space for a conference. They are mainly used for online training of larger groups of people and build or generate sales leads. Other uses include online conferencing, press conferences, focus groups and corporate announcements. Their strength is in its ability to combine an online meeting with polls, surveys, text messaging, whiteboards and desktop sharing. Users that are familiar with the Internet can easily use a Webinar to see a presentation on a remote desktop, as well as host one all in a Web browser window with online presentation software. This allows someone to give a presentation in the same manner as in an actual meeting room or board room without having to physically be in the same location with the participants.
- Able to reach a large audience
- Less impact on the environment
- Cost reduction
- Can be presented to hundreds of people
- Easy connection
- Allows recording and playback
- No travel needed to participate
- More convenient
- Ability to save handouts on computer
- Easy to archive
- Can include real-world examples
- Interactivity is easy with instant polling and desktop control
Starting Your Webinar
All that is needed for a webinar is a computer, a compatible browser, web conferencing software, and some way to share the audio. It combines a teleconference or video conference to create an interactive and multimedia seminar. Most webinars require that participants have flash player on their computer. The audio is sent to the destination over the phone or computer speakers. Presentations are given over the Internet and are also available to be printed before the program begins. Live questions are able to be asked through the speakers.
Webinar software is provided for a certain fee, however there is some free business software packages, such as free web conference applications, which are high in quality and ideal for getting started.