The Difference Between Webinars, Web Conferences and Webcasts

Have you ever wondered what the difference is between webinars, web conferences and webcasts?

If so, you’re not alone. Many people confuse these terms and even use them interchangeably. While there are similar in purpose and execution, there are some key differences to note.

What is a Webinar?

Webinars are online interactive meetings or conferences. They get the name from being a seminar over the web. This platform is typically used for educational and training purposes. Through webinars, hosts can show themselves speaking, share their computer screens for slideshows or demonstrations, and even invite guests from other locations to co-host a webinar with them. Some webinars even allow participants to interact through Q&A, polls and whiteboards.

Benefits of Webinars:

  • Interaction and questions allowed
  • You can record everything (great for training purposes)
  • Stream videos and share slides

What is a Web Conference?

Web conferencing is an online service by which you can hold live meetings. You can connect to the conference either by telephone, computer or other mobile devices. Most web conferencing platforms support voice and video conferencing. Some platforms also support screen annotation, polling, speaker management, chat discussions, whiteboards and much more. A great feature of web conferencing is that control of the session can be passed among users. This is ideal for team meetings where all participants can take turns hosting the presentation.

Benefits of Web Conferencing?

  • Increased flexibility-Hold an impromptu meeting anytime and anywhere
  • Improved communication- Anyone can participate and share documents throughout the meeting
  • Available in three options (hosting service, software and appliance)

What is a Webcast?

A webcast is like an online broadcast. Using audio, video and sometimes slides, the facilitator(s) lead participants through their presentation. However, unlike webinars and web conferences, webcasts do not allow interaction with online audience members. Webcasting basically takes on one of two different forms.

  1. Live broadcasts- presentations that are taking place at the moment and streaming to viewers as it happens.
  2. On-demand webcasting-presentations that are pre-recorded and viewers are able to watch them on their own time.

The best way to think of webcasting is to think of it like a radio or a television station. It is a one-way flow of communication that is broadcasted over the internet.

Benefits of Webcasting:

  • You can reach a wider audience
  • No scheduling of attendees necessary
  • Preserve and share knowledge

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