Virtual Conferencing Defined
Long gone is the time where expensive equipment and software put limitations on who can hold video conference meetings. With so many affordable virtual conferencing options available, it is beginning to become a necessity for every business.
The following terms will allow you to become more familiar with the virtual conferencing space, so when the time comes for you to make a decision on a conference provider, your decision will be easier.
A “Webinar”, also called a “web-based seminar” is used to deliver workshops, seminars or lectures to a large group of people over the internet. Webinars can be used for educational purposes, sales and marketing and even training. Usually there is one presenter delivering a message to the audience, with limited audience participation. Audience members may be invited to participate in a poll or survey, or ask questions.
Like a webinar, a “Webcast” is aimed towards a large audience and used for educational purposes, sales and marketing and training. Used mainly for announcements or broadcasting live events, Webcasts are typically much less of an interactive environment than a Webinar.
Also known as a “web meeting” or “online meeting”, a “Web Conference” is basically a meeting held online. Most web conference applications allow you to share documents such as PowerPoint presentations, Word Documents, Excel Documents as well as multimedia files and slideshows. Unlike a webinar, web conferences are typically reserved for smaller audiences who are looking for more interaction and collaboration between attendees. Here are some other options that most web conferencing software provide –
- Ability to share applications and presentations
- Unified web browsing
- Remote computer control
- File sharing
- Ability to poll participants
- Live or private chat
- Record and archive meetings
There are many different ways to define a “Video Conference”. It all depends on how the technology is being implemented. In general, a video conference is a way to conduct meetings through the use of video.
- “Browser-based Video Conference”: Communication between two or more locations using video and an internet connection. There is normally no expensive software or hardware to install.
- “Desktop Video conferencing”: Video conferencing on a personal computer – Usually used by individuals or in a one-on-one meeting.
- “Multipoint Video conferencing”: Video conferencing with more than two locations/sites.
- “Point to Point”: A video conference between only two locations.
- “Point to Multipoint”: A video conference from one location to many locations.
When the time comes for your organization to jump into the world of virtual conferencing and collaboration, it is important for you to know all of the different options that are available to you and which one will best suit your needs.