Webinar in this present time happens to be one of the best online conferencing solutions. In this mode of conferencing the audience can directly communicate with the host of the seminar, unlike in webcast.
On a web server it is generally hosted by a vendor who lets either the client or the vendor to host the seminar at their own private server. It is always better to let the vendor host the web based conference as they provide round the clock assistance to the participants of the conference.
Why select webinar?
Unlike phone video conferencing more options for interaction between the presenter and the participants are available.
Easier presentation: Due to the facility of webinar, more options on the modes of presentation are available to the host as well as the participants. It can range from Slide shows, Power point, keynote or usage of Whiteboards. Pointer can be used by the presenter or any one of the attendee to locate a particular point and attract attention of the participants on the same. With whiteboard, anyone present in the conference, can keep notes, annotate or highlight a portion. Live editing can also take place in this conferencing mode.
Usage of Video: Live or streamed video can be used. Here, the video files can be multi-media files, digital camera files and even web cam full motion video files.
Clear audio: VoIp is used for clear audio communication between the people attending the conference.
Screen sharing: In this mode of conferencing anyone can share and view anything, be it screens desktop or any other kinds of application. Even participants can control other attendees’ desktops, though not widely used it enables one to manipulate other person’s screen.
Exchange of data made easier: Attendees as well as the presenter can push among themselves the URLs, cookies, online scripts and forms. All one needs to do is click and logon to the features. Live multiple choice questions can be circulated with immediate response. Another advantage of webinar is that private messages can be shared among a group of people or between couple of them.
One can also refer back to the meeting that took place, as it is recorded by either the client or the vendor or both of them.
Web conferencing tool
The web conferencing vendor offers various kinds of tools and software to conduct the web based seminars. As a client one must know the kind of presentation and the number of people that one would interact with. Based on that and the computer’s compatibility one should select the online conferencing tool.
Abode Acrobat Connect allows at maximum of 15 people to participate. This software can be used at both Windows and Mac.
Dimdim is a tool which has free versions available in the market, most of which are demos. Demos have limited features available, so it is recommended that one purchases that edition in order to avail the multiple features.
Central Desktop is limited to10 participants only. But it has unique features like wiki-style editing, archiving and tracking of the project.
There are many more webinar tools like Microsoft Office Live Meeting, MSN, IBM Lotus Sametime are to name a few.