The Real Differences Between Webinar Platforms and Meeting Tools

Maria Milea
17-Oct-2017 12:09:06

You know when you have a sit down at work? In your office meeting room with around 10 other people?

And you know when you go to a concert at the O2? It’s pretty different, right?

Which situation reflects your webinar goals more?

If it’s the latter and you have the aim of helping others by sharing your knowledge or singing from the rooftops about a new product and gaining as much exposure as your marketing attempts can muster, why would you use a tool designed for a meeting?

Disclaimer: This is not a place for me to state that meeting tools are pointless. They are a fantastic invention and for all manner of internal communications, the absolute bees knees.
What I would like to state, is that sadly this super-rad phenomenon grew a little faster than anyone probably expected.

So, what happened?

What this resulted in, was people pushing the boundaries where audiences and content were concerned, so before anyone knew it, they were using a meeting tool to share their screens to hundreds of people at once... and along came the technical difficulties!

The term ‘webinar’ is now used to describe a whole host of online communication types. 

At WorkCast, we've always tried to see things differently. We don’t just share your screen to your audience. Your participants won’t be on a conference call with you. You don’t need a plug in, nor does anyone else. Your audience does not need to install Flash. Our goal is to make it easier for everyone to create and watch webinars.

Now, I get it. This is what you’ve been doing for years and you didn’t think you had a problem. 

Those tins of beans you’ve been buying are just dandy, beans are beans. Until you try Heinz beans and your world becomes so much bigger. (Don’t get me started on those new flavours; BBQ? Fiery Chilli?! What a time to be alive!).

The point is, there is always room for improvement. And that's how we evolve, both on a professional and personal level. I remember trying about 10 webinar solutions back in the day before finding the perfect fit for my middle of the funnel webinar campaigns.

One size does not fit all when it comes to online events

After spending some time on Capterra, TrustRadius, G2Crowd  (software comparison sites) and reading reviews of the big guns in meeting tools, I was keen to take some of the most popular complaints and use them to explain why we built WorkCast the way we did.

Incidentally, what you are about to read will likely shine some light on why we have the client base that we do. I mean, our sales guys are good, but it helps if you have a rootin’ tootin’ product to boot!

webinars-meeting-tools.jpeg

Popular Issue 1:

“I have to download something every time!” or “The download is a killer” or "Our viewers are not allowed to install anything on their work computer, so they can't join our events"


WorkCast is a cloud-based, software-as-a-service platform. We are not an add-on, plug-in or pop-up and we don't reply on Flash. You access our platform the same way you have accessed this blog post.

Many of those who had complaints similar to the ones above, also had concerns that they were asking potential clients to download software onto their devices, and that this could be off-putting. Understandably so, but you’ll have none of this with WorkCast.

Popular Issue 2:

“The image and video quality isn’t great”


Well, to put it nicely, you are streaming your screen contents. This means that it’s all uploaded, encoded, decoded and downloaded again, before it hits your attendee’s devices, so a loss in quality is bound to happen.

Just because the video is playing perfectly on your screen, doesn’t mean this is what your audience can see. If you were using WorkCast to run a video you’d embedded into your presentation, this would be delivered from the cloud and within the browser (think YouTube HD quality). Now that is why we’re popular.

Popular Issue 3:

“There was an outage right before a massive client pitch! It made us look so unprofessional”  or “I worked out that my provider has outages of around 175 hours per year! I can’t justify paying for something like that”

Popular Issue 4:

"I can't integrate my events with my marketing automation tool which is unacceptable in this day and age"

As a marketer myself, I completely agree with the statement above. I've been running webinars prior to joining WorkCast and trust me, I was frustrated by the lack of integrations from different providers. I needed all my data in one place, my reports accurate and into my marketing platform in a snap. 

Popular Issue 5:

"How come the webinar company gets to keep and market to my registrants? Nobody told me that"

It might come as a shock to some but yes, this is the case sometimes, with some providers. That's why you need to make sure that you read the Ts & Cs, before signing up. You don't want your competitor's content promoted to your hard-earned webinar registrants and attendees, do you?


Firstly, these are genuine, word-for-word quotes. Secondly, you can see more of this on twitter. And finally, I’ll just come back to the bit about WorkCast being an actual platform.

It was built by the same developers you’ll find in our offices today. We have 24/7 tech support and failsafe after failsafe to prevent any outages. Look up ‘robust’ in the dictionary and you’ll see WorkCast.

Other honourable mentions go to ‘autorenewal of contracts’, ‘user panel is outdated’, ‘Very misleading advertised price’, ‘very clunky interface’, 'our webinars are not hosted, we need to host them or upload them to YouTube' and ‘It doesn’t automatically record’. Yep, you’ve guessed it, nothing to worry about here.

Conclusion

Meeting tools still have a snug place in today’s online communication market, but if you have a real use case for a genuine webinar platform, or an upcoming event that you’d love to see the stress disappear from, you can get in touch for an informal chat with our webinar wizards. 

If you're not sure yet where to start with webinars, you can simply take a look at our Webinar Handbook. You will definitely find some useful tips there!

webinar handbook 

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