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.

Webinar Advan­tages

  • 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 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.