All of us have probably been part of at least one seminar, whether it was during our time in college, at work, or regarding a hobby that we practice in our spare time. A seminar is a place people with shared interests gather, connect, and share information, and that’s a fact regardless of the topic at hand.
Webinars are exciting because they negate geographical differences. Anybody from anywhere in the world can participate, which is extremely important in today’s world. There’s no need for big venues, accompanying booking requirements, scheduling conflicts, etc.
Eliminating participation boundaries isn’t limited just to those who can attend but is also true for presenters. You could have the best speakers in the world appear anywhere without having to fly them in, organize their stay, allocate assistants for their presentations, etc. Webinar makes it much easier to organize – all you need is a stable internet connection, and you’re all set.
It’s important to note that hosting a webinar doesn’t mean all you have to do is bring a group to your video conference (using something like Teams, Zoom, or Skype). It’s much broader than that. Therefore, an entire market for webinar software has popped up in recent years, offering “all-in-one” packages that look to incorporate all aspects of an actual seminar in one place.
We’ve scoured the web and found the five best ones, so you don’t have to lose any time searching yourself. In no particular order, let us begin.
WebinarJam has been around far before the whole webinar craze in the last few years (since 2013.), and in that time has become one of the most popular solutions out there. The software’s most interesting because it’s entirely cloud-based – neither you nor your attendees will have to download anything, and the user-friendly UI makes it very easy to use. Once you set up everything, people simply have to log on and can participate instantly.
The number of options available to you as the admin is plentiful. Naturally, you can create regular video-based conferences like any other software that includes chats, private messaging, polls, presenter rooms, etc., but WebinarJam brings it all to a new level. For starters, everything is automatically recorded (on the cloud), so you can build up your archive for everyone to access if they weren’t able to attend.
You’ll be able to create one-off webinars or recurring ones depending on theme and interest. Furthermore, there’s an option to create rooms that are always live, that everybody can access at any time. This is perfect for multi-day webinars as places where people can “mingle” without the need for physical venues.
WebinarJam also features all the relevant integrations in webinar software, such as the ever-present YouTube and Facebook Live streaming options. You’ll have access to extensive, real-time analytics on the backend, which will provide crucial feedback regarding return on investment, enabling you to determine your profit per attendee.
Demio is another solution whose devs have experience in the field, created back in 2014. It also uses the cloud for everything, negating the need for software installations. One of the things Demio is known for is the lean, super-fast interface with virtually no lag time between the attendee’s action and appropriate responses.
Featuring all the expected features a webinar software must have in 2022. like HD streaming, notifications, private and public rooms, session recording, etc. You’ll also have access to additional features that will round out the whole offer.
The lean interface extends to one-click registrations, making it one of the easier platforms for attendees to use. There are also the product pop-ups, if you’re planning on making sales during the webinar, forms that can be white-labeled, raising your brand awareness passively, integrations with email marketing platforms, etc.
On the backend, you’ll have a plethora of analytical tools to pinpoint all the high and low points of your webinars. Additionally, the email mentioned above integrations allows you to create email campaigns directly through the software quickly. These campaigns can be a great source of direct feedback or a call to action or both at the same time.
Livestorm is a great multifaceted webinar tool that can also serve as a meeting hub within your business. The high degree of interaction options available for both live and automated streams can connect various groups or departments within the company to be more in sync, raising their communication and efficiency, making for better overall office culture.
With Livestorm, it’s all about the integrations that make it what it is. For example, integrations with marketing tools like HubSpot let you know how your webinars perform. However, most of the best integration options are focused on numbers.
Unlike most webinar software with analytical tools created specifically for the app, with limited exporting methods, Livestorm takes a different approach. The raw data collected can be viewed through the software itself, but it can also be funneled through more popular tools like Microsoft Dynamics or Google Analytics.
Because most of us use these tools daily, the adjustment period is much shorter, and you’ll be able to “read” the data more easily and implement the changes more promptly than if you had to get to know a whole new reporting system from scratch.
GoToWebinar was developed way back in 2006. from the GoToMeeting software, which was designed for virtual meetings as the name suggests. Once the need for larger audiences presented itself, GoToWebinar was created as a solution.
Unlike other solutions on the list, GoToWebinar allows you to download and install a dedicated desktop app or use the software through your browser directly. As you would expect, the former is a better solution, but giving you the opportunity for both simply enables more people to connect, regardless of the device they’re using.
Keeping with the theme of installing apps, GoToWebinar provides users with a unique feature of sharing installable apps. This is great news for those that use webinars for teaching purposes. You can share the app you’re presenting, and everyone participating can use it in conjunction with the presenter. Sharing the app can be done during the webinar or beforehand so that everybody is already acquainted with the tools they’ll be using.
Once you build up your database with webinars, you can store them all in a branded archive for on-demand viewing and even have the option to include them in the GoToStage. This knowledge portal represents a complete repository, potentially leading to even more interest in your content.
As you would probably guess from the name, ClickMeeting has its roots in team meeting software, which has evolved to host much bigger audiences. Out of all the solutions we’ve highlighted here, ClickMeeting is probably the most suited for smaller businesses looking for monetization opportunities in their webinars.
You’ll be able to set up pop-ups that are featured in the videos (live or pre-recorded), and the PayPal integration lets your attendees make payments while they’re watching. This model could be used to sell products being presented on the spot or as an opportunity to buy access to future webinars that will serve as a follow-up to the current one.
The goal to attract small businesses to use the software is evident in a couple of other features aside from the monetization options. For instance, you’ll get to use Google translations in your chat and export your live streaming to Facebook or YouTube.
All of these are commonly used apps even among people that don’t have significant technical experience, and using them ensures the content is easily accessible to everyone. The other reason this would be an optimal solution for small businesses is the plans, with three “regular” plans going up to only 50 attendees. A final custom option could be stretched out much further.
Instead of relying on in-house solutions for backend features, ClickMeeting employs integrations for analytics, marketing, social media, etc., through Zapier. Once again, something you’ve probably already used before and are familiar with.
The last couple of years has shown that many things in business can be done without large gatherings, and chances are this practice will only expand going forward. Classic seminars require much more preparation to complete, and sometimes, even if everything is done perfectly, something unexpected happens.
With the advancements in technology and widespread accessibility of high-speed connections, webinars have fewer negative aspects, while the benefits keep stacking up. Therefore, don’t be afraid to go digital, and if you do, be sure to check out one of the solutions we’ve covered here.