A webinar is a presentation, lecture, workshop or seminar conducted via video link over the internet. Unlike a webcast in which data transmission is one way, a webinar allows interaction between presenter and audience.
Instead of wasting valuable time and expenses travelling potentially hundreds of miles, it’s possible to participate in seminars without leaving the office and still connect with branches worldwide.
Bypass the planning which comes with traditional seminars – booking a venue, travel tickets, hotels, expenses – and employees are far more likely to be available at short notice through a simple invitation via email. With international webinars, transcend time zones and save jet lag for holidays where you can snooze it off under a palm tree.
Webinars can also be used simply as a gathering, presenter hosting but generally creating a very interactive experience in which everybody able to give, receive and discuss information. By using webinars as a vehicle for swapping notes and brainstorming with nationwide branches, they allow for issues and queries to be dealt with more swiftly than relying on unannounced phone calls or emails flying back and forth.
To speed up the marketing process, webinars can be used as an opportunity to promote the organization’s logo to potential new customers. For example, to other companies if promoting a new product or service.
Extra features of a webinar may include:
- Screen sharing, making anything on the presenter’s screen visible to the audience.
- Shared control where participants can control presenter’s display screen.
- Archived recordings which can be uploaded online.
- Polling survey capability which allows presenters to query their audience with multiple choice questions.
Significant vendors of webinars include BigBlueButton, Webtrain, Fuze Meeting, Microsoft Office Live Meeting and old faithful Skype. Vendors that offer webinar services may charge by the minute, a flat monthly fee or by the number of audience participants.
If an organization has many employees, purchasing quality headsets en masse to enable webinar participation may be worthwhile compared against the costs incurred organizing seminars months in advance.
image source: elearningindustry.com
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