How to use Webinar Tools
Web + Seminar = WEBINAR
The webinar can very well be defined as the event held indicatively on the internet and attended characteristically by the online audience.
This very feature of the webinar is also what differentiates it from a Webcast, which can be attended by offline audience too.
These online events permit the event host to hit out to a large group of target audience via PC, Tablet, Mac or Smartphone, heedless of their venue. Live webinars can also be viewed later in form of recorded broadcast.
The webinar is the unparalleled online communication tool wherein polls are used to meter the opinions and live chats are done with participants on real time basis.
Webinars ensure that through their characteristics of polls, chats and call to action the target group can comprehend the message very acutely thus nailing down new opportunities for the speaker of the message.
Today webinars are used by a substantial number of bloggers, marketers, developers and small business houses to reach out to their target audience seated in remote locations.
The motive behind the webinar can be educational, professional, entertainment or media.
Talking about the webinar tools or web conferencing software, there are two options: paid software and the free ones. I have listed below of few different platforms you can use.
Google hangouts are very common amongst, friends, peers, and customers to connect with them at large.
Easy to use and built within browser the tool provides impressive quality reliable group video chat sessions. Participants are at ease to join or leave the Google Hangout session at any time.
BIG BLUE BUTTON
Built specifically for higher education, Big Blue Button as a free high-quality web conferencing tool enabling the universities and colleges to decipher quality information and education to university students seated in the remote location. This active open source project targets on modularity, usability and clear design on the side of the user as well as participants.
Big Blue Button is a composite of fourteen open source compartments and is hosted at Google Code.
This is a tool with regular updates from an active developer community which ultimately makes it powerful webinar software on a regular basis.
Big Blue Button has a layer of users and the moderator who sits at the top managing all the participants remotely.
With Web Huddle, one gets a pack of flexible options. Meetings can be managed either in concoction with an enterprise’s current teleconferencing service or by using Web Huddle’s optional voice over IP.
Web Huddle also has to offer recording capabilities — therefore, presentations can be recorded easily for playback over any web browser.
An open source tool which permits up to 25 participants at a time. Apart from supporting voice, video and chat it ensures to provide several other functions like screen sharing, slide sharing, and whiteboard.
If you are equipped with Flash Player, you need not be required to make any other download. But there is a flaw that it does not support playback of recordings. It offers impressive user interface.
Ease of download use and comfort of setting up conference room through audio or video makes open meeting one of the preferable web conferencing tools.
No limits are set in terms of the number of participants or the frequency of meetings. When using open meeting, there is freedom to share desktop and documents on the whiteboard and the freedom to record the meetings.
Microsoft Lynch is a unified communication tool with presence management and IM including the collaboration feature. Lync is free but for a limited span of six months which is a pretty good time frame.
GO TO MEETING
With the limit of only three participants per meeting, it might sound a little disappointing; but when one browses through the list of benefits glued to it, Go to Meeting is one of the great free webinar tool options.
There is no need to login or download. One single click on the get started icon is good to go. This one click provides you with the link which will guide you to the meeting room where your participants can assemble.
If you are a user of Google Chrome, then apart from presentations and documents, you can also share the screen. It’s compatible with Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome browser. Moreover there, is no barrier in terms of the frequency and duration of the meeting.
Bring in as many as ten participants at a time and enjoy all other benefits a paid plan would bless you with. One can share the screen or a single application on the desktop with attendees, chat with the others present in the conference room and converse through audio conferencing.
But there are certain flaws as pointed in this free web conferencing tool:
1) The absence of specific web collaborative tool, as found in web conferencing software.
2) No source to upload the files in the conference room or to use the whiteboard.
3) Screen control is non-transferrable.
The above-mentioned web conferencing solutions are a craze among several individuals and small business entrepreneurs. Based on your requirement, you may try out each of these webinar software options and conclusively opt for the most user-friendly tool.
Chiefly, these plans are limited by the number of participants you’re allowed to host in a single meeting and every so often by the tools available to free users. This constraint might be some concern for larger businesses, but it works fine for smaller teams or one-on-one session with clients.
But before concluding on any one of these, it’s important to break down in the key business areas of your organization and the motive behind the web conferencing service.
This will make the process of selecting an online conference much easier and help you conclude if a free plan works for you or there is need to upgrade.