The differences between a Web Event (=Webinar, Online Seminar or Webcast) and a Web Conference are not always clear in the eyes of the buyer. While these communications tools have similarities, each has its own purpose and benefits, depending on the needs of the end-user or business. Below you will find an overview of the (different) characteristics of a Web Event and a Web Conference.
Web Event (also named: Webinar, Online Seminar or Webcast) = one-to-many live events that are highly scalable (10 to ten thousand viewers) and offer streamed live audio/video along with PowerPoint slides, Screen Capture, Polling, Survey, Ask a Question and Chat capabilities. Structured and pre-scheduled; extensive reporting capabilities, customised identity branding, web events are targeted at delivering a company’s messaging to a large, global audience. Furthermore, a Web Event also has an important on-demand function. The on-demand version of the Web Event is highly indexed, so viewers can rapidly find the right information. It’s not necessary to download any software to view a Web Event.
Web Conference = one-to-few event: a collaborative meeting experience that offers a group of people the ability to interact in real time. Web Conferencing offers desktop sharing, application sharing, annotation, chat capabilities. However, unlike Webinars and Webcasts, Web Conference does not have extensive reporting capabilities and offers limited customised identity branding. Additionally, it offers limited scalability (up to 50 participants) and tends to be ideal for a collaborative online meeting experience. Some Web Conferences offer the possibility to view the presenter and participants by a webcam. Mostly there is only audio involved. It possible to change the presenter (a participant can become a presenter). The presenter decides what you can see on your screen. A Web Conference is focused on the live/real time broadcast. The on-demand version of a Web Conference is limited to the screen recording of the Web Conference and therefore not indexed or streamed (you can download the recording afterwards). Lastly, you will need to download software to view or present a Web Conference.