Conferencing vs. Webinar Platforms – What’s the Difference? – Part 3

Webinar eLearning

This blog describes further tasks of modern webinar platforms. Part 1 covered meeting platforms and part 2 covered important tasks and features of webinar platforms.

Webinar Platforms – Additional Features

Questions, Feedback, Reviews

You want to measure the success of your webinar or simply activate participants? Use live surveys about e.g. the topics of the webinar (or you have recorded questions for your participants). Be aware of the limitation on a certain number of questions per poll or number of pollings per webinar.

Reviews of webinars are a good way to gather feedback from attendees or to improve the quality of webinars. Reviews are also a selling point for your paid webinars.

 

Recording

Live webinars can be recorded on most webinar platforms (on the trainer’s local device or in the cloud). Depending on the solution, they record messages, transcriptions, files, screen contents, etc. for post-processing or publication. Depending on the provider, the recording function is already available for free accounts.

If you record live webinars, some webinar platforms also allow combinations of recorded and live webinars. Thus a trainer may answer questions of the participants during a webinar via chat while the presentation is still ongoing.

 

Paid Webinars

Many solutions allow not only to conduct free webinars but also to host paid webinars (live or recorded). Your advantage: you generate revenue.

 

Webinar Marketing

For paid webinars, it may be advantageous to offer the webinars via an integrated marketing platform. This will make your offer quickly known, you will use the customer base of the platform provider and have lower expenses for the marketing of your webinars. Some providers cooperate with sales partners or provide interfaces to integrate marketing platforms.

The billing of paid webinars can challenge you as a provider. Some platforms that allow paid webinars provide additional payment management services (with automatic billing, late payment reporting, account management, money transfer, etc.).

 

Security, Data Protection

For security and protection of your data, the media stream should be encrypted between the webinar platforms and the participants. Access to the platform must be secured. Depending on the type of user, some solutions distinguish different roles and user rights. Even central administrators for large companies are definable.

A potential attendee of a webinar usually has to register to participate. The platforms collect important personal user data (such as e-mail addresses, names, addresses, webinars visited, training progress, and many other data). This is important for you as the provider of the webinar, to promote your products or services by continuing to assist and support the participants. Make sure that the platform you use supports appropriate measures to comply with the law and protect personal data (such as the General Data Protection Regulation, GDPR).

More and more webinar platforms and vendors refrain from users registration not to collect any personal data.

 

Management

The complete trainer and attendee management is an important area of webinar solutions. Ask the provider what rights or roles are definable for trainers or attendees. Also important is the reporting function, which records the progress of an attendee on lectures, access to teaching materials or visits to live webinars.

 

Interfaces

Some platforms offer interfaces to Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools. Thus, once a user is registered the data is available there for further evaluation and use in sales.

Access to cloud services is also becoming increasingly important. Store data across the webinar platform in a cloud, integrate apps to control a webinar through a cloud service, or leverage cloud services to automate business processes (event application, answering requests, attendee registration, billing, post-processing).

Do you want to organize your webinars mainly within your company? Then you should consider interfaces to internal collaboration and conferencing systems. Integration allows end-to-end delivery of webinars to all employees in your organization, including managing users without having to change systems. The familiar user interface is retained and your collaboration or conference solution is further enhanced.

 

Developer Support

You want to customize or extend the system? The platform vendors provide partial support for developers to customize or develop interfaces or apps.

 

Reporting

Comprehensive reporting capabilities help you analyze and improve your webinar offerings. For example, it is important for a webinar organizer how long a participant was in the webinar or how many pages or video minutes he consumed.

It can also be interesting to know which topics were particularly interesting for the trainee or which topics he frequently visited. Also, the number and type of tests performed can provide clues as to whether a webinar has been successfully completed and the trainee has achieved the training goal.

It also gives you real-time insights into Webinar usage to help users live, identify bottlenecks or better allocate capacity when needed.

 

Course Fees

Fees of cloud solutions are most often based on the supported features per package, the maximum number of simultaneous hosts and the maximum number of simultaneous participants.

 

 

Questions to the Reader

Which webinar platform requirements are important to you? Where do you see the biggest challenges?

Please leave your comments on this blog. Many Thanks.

 

Additional Information

Books:

Unified Communications Buyer’s Guide
Selecting Video Conferencing Solutions

About the Author:

Ronald Schlager is an independent trainer, consultant, book author and blogger dedicated to communications technologies and their applications.

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