Webinars are becoming increasingly popular for businesses in any industry to interact with prospects, customers, and team members remotely. Webinar platforms may be free or paid and offer many features to help businesses conduct virtual team meetings and workshops. You must select one that best suits the needs of your organization.
Choosing the right webinar platform can be challenging, especially for a virtual team manager. You want to make sure you have all of your bases covered and don’t miss any important features or needs. This article will guide you through five questions that will help you pick the best webinar platform for your situation so that you are ready to rock in no time.
Here are five of the most important questions to ask yourself before choosing a webinar platform for your virtual team.
What Is A Webinar Platform?
Webinar platforms are designed to make creating webinars from any device easy. They also allow you to share presentations, documents, and videos with your attendees in real-time on the platform so you can collaborate during a presentation while viewing it simultaneously, as opposed to emailing back and forth or reviewing content after an event is over.
A webinar platform can help your virtual team with project management and collaboration and host any public event. For example, a team might use a webinar to conduct training sessions or host an annual meeting. Everyone in the company must have access to the platform, so they can easily participate as needed.
A virtual team can easily use a webinar platform can easily be used for marketing purposes, such as hosting a live chat or promoting a product. It may also be helpful to share announcements with the team using an online presentation tool like PowerPoint and then broadcasting this on the company’s website, so all employees have access.
Virtual teams need a webinar platform because it is the most efficient and scalable way to deliver business content across multiple locations.
Do You Plan A One-Time Webinar Or A Recurring One?
Webinar platforms are essential for hosting an online event. When deciding which platform to use, there is no one-size-fits-all solution as each webinar has different requirements that need to be met for it to go smoothly.
Which option is the best for my team? Whether it’s a paid webinar platform, free service with limited features, or one that offers more advanced features – all of these platforms have their strengths and weaknesses when it comes to this question. It just depends on your specific needs and what you’re trying to achieve from your virtual event.
Free webinar platforms are usually perfect for those that want to conduct a one-time event. These platforms will allow you to create an online meeting without any investment on time and can be the best option if your budget is tight or if this is just something you’re trying out once in a while.
Do You Have The Budget For The Right Webinar Platform?
You want to ensure that the webinar platform you choose will be within your budget and provide what you need. If there are too many features in a paid option but not enough in the accessible version of a given webinar platform, this may limit which platforms would work for your virtual team’s needs.
Free or low-cost webinar platform solutions
You may want to go for one of the free or low-cost webinar platforms for those with a tight budget. If your virtual team is starting, you may not need all the fancy options and features of an expensive solution. You may use a live streaming platform like Facebook Live or YouTube Live to host your webinar for free. The benefits include easy usage and nearly unlimited participant counts, so you’ll have no problem reaching the people who want to see it.
Some other examples of free solutions you may use for a small or one-time event include:
- Google Hangouts – is a video conferencing app that can host webinars, but it was not designed for this purpose. The app is better suited for digital meetings because of its easy-to-use interface and built-in chat capabilities. Google G Suite customers who pay one price get access to slightly upgraded features when hosting live events with Google’s other apps such as email or calendar services integrated into it.
- Zoom – is a professional webinar platform that offers a free basic (“Personal Meeting”) plan. You may host up to 100 participants for a group meeting for up to 40 minutes and unlimited one-on-line sessions. It provides a good price/value ratio with great features like live broadcasting and recording.
More expensive and sophisticated webinar platform solutions
A more advanced webinar platform will typically cost money. Still, they offer the most in terms of the features provided – such as screen sharing, video recording, PDFs included with your slideshows, etc. These are perfect if you want to do something on a larger scale that may need the extra touch, like having an expert speaker or recording video content.
You’ll also find better customer service with these platforms as well. There are several different paid options out there, so it’s essential to consider your needs before settling in one chance. These can be great for those who plan to conduct many events over time. You’ll have to weigh this decision carefully since it may not fit within your budget or need. Or you might find that it makes sense to invest some time into researching what type of technology could help improve efficiency for your virtual team’s needs.
Some of the paid professional platforms you may want to consider include:
- WebinarJam is a web-based platform that allows you to host live video sessions at the touch of a button easily. This tool has some great features like JamSession, Active Chat, and Attendee Spotlight, which are helpful for your audience members as they’re watching in real-time. You can also broadcast from anywhere – even on your mobile phone. Its starter package costs $499/year and allows you to host an unlimited number of webinars for up to 500 participants for a 2 hours maximum duration.
- GoToWebinar – its starter “Lite” plan costs $49 / month (billed annually) and is suitable for webinars with up to 100 participants. It’s one of the premier platforms for hosting webinars and broadcasts. The company running it has a tremendous amount of experience in this area with 2.7 million events hosted every year, 3K participants at any given time, and 50K customers that trust them more than other platforms to host their conferences or lectures online.
How Many People Will Be Attending The Webinar?
The number of participants who may need to access your webinar is an essential factor in determining which platform you should use. If there are too few, then a more complicated solution would not make sense for your needs. If there are too many, that could also cause problems with one given virtual team’s budget or complicate hosting requirements due to bandwidth limitations. Ensure you know how many potential participants will attend the webinar and where they all are located before choosing a platform.
The general heuristic is as follows:
If less than 100 participants attend your webinar – then a free webinar platform will work just fine for your needs.
If your team needs to host more than 100 participants, but less than 1000 – then paid options on most webinar platforms will have the necessary features to meet your team’s needs.
Do you need to host more than 1000 participants and need more advanced features that are not included in free or paid plans? Then you need to contact the customer service of your chosen professional platform so they can guide you on what is best for your corporate event.
What Features Do You Need In Your Webinar Platform?
Some webinar platforms offer features and functionalities like live polling, chat rooms, video conferencing capabilities – some don’t. You want to make sure that any features that your team need are included in your chosen solution.
Some of the most popular webinar platform features include:
- Recording the live event for on-demand viewing.
- Live Presentation and chat room capabilities – Webinar attendees can ask questions and discuss ideas during the presentation.
- Q&A capability – allows audience members to raise their hand and be selected from those who want to ask a question to your speaker.
- Chat rooms – allow participants to share their thoughts in real-time via text input instead.
- Synchronous polling – a feature that allows the moderator to poll all of the participants in real-time. For example, if you use this during a webinar and ask your audience, “What color do you prefer?” they will be able to answer by typing their response into an open text chat window.
- Active Offers – a feature that converts your webinars into fully-fledged, money-making events with visually stunning live offer displays.
- You are logging in with social media accounts, such as a Facebook or LinkedIn profile. This will automatically populate your event’s guest list for you.
The choice of webinar platform depends on the type of webinar you’re scheduling, the features you need, and the number of attendees. If it’s recurring, what type of event is it? It doesn’t matter as long as the platform has those features.
This article should help any business owner or virtual team manager find a solution for their needs. Please take this information and use it to your advantage when considering your choices. Be sure to choose wisely so that no voice goes unheard.