We already discussed the advantages of a webinar and some ideas on how to make sure your webinar is successful. It has also been mentioned that the host of a webinar should research the available webinar tools before starting work. Today we’re going to have a look at four such platforms: Livestream, Webex, Live Meeting and Go To Webinar.
Livestream is accessible to anyone who wants to broadcast an interactive live video, for free. They take pride in their zero tolerance on piracy policy, as they proactively prevent copyright infringement and are not interested in growing artificially, from illegal content. Their famous partners include Facebook, The Academy Awards, Nike, The New York Times, ABC, CBS and Burger King. Founded in 2008, the platform is available for free, with ad-support. For businesses, the premium subscriptions go as high as $12,500/year. The way the viewers see a certain video can be customized – this is quite important for businesses, who can personalize the graphics and player with their own logo and corporate identity. TV broadcasts can easily be incorporated, while the infrastructure and human costs of traditional broadcasting operations are eliminated or significantly reduced. There are options to create a private channel, with no ads, for internal use and communication. The matter of location becomes irrelevant, as communication can be extended worldwide.
Cisco Webex offers high quality video transmission, phone conferencing and desktop sharing, so that everyone can see the same thing while conversing. The requirements are a computer or device that is connected to the Internet (e.g. smartphone), an audio connection and the optional webcam. They mention the advantages of saving money and time from traveling, easy collaboration with partners from the other side of the world, eliminating the need for long emails and follow-up phone calls, as well as an overall increase in productivity. Webex can be used to hold a press conference or demonstrate a product, conduct online training or make a sales presentation, provide support on a matter or work collaboratively. The tool is free to use for 14 days, after which you can purchase it for $49/month.
Live Meeting is part of the Microsoft Office suite and it offers web client support, desktop sharing as well as whiteboard tools, multi-party video, rich media presentations, high fidelity recording and web-cam characteristics. Although part of such a big name like Microsoft, this tool gets a bit lost among other options. Not very much information is offered about it online, which may prevent customers from choosing it over another tool.
Go To Webinar comes with a 30 days free trial, which is excellent if you’re trying to decide which software to use. The webinars supported by them can include up to 1,000 participants from around the world. Setting up a webinar only takes minutes and it doesn’t require IT knowledge. You set up the webinar with a few intuitive steps, and it automatically creates your invitation and registration. You can invite people to register and they can do so in the customized form. Automatic reminders will be sent on their email before the event. The platform is easy-to-use and appealing for both the host and the participants. The costs of Go To Webinar per year start from $948.
Researching your platform might take a while, especially if you are willing to try more demos. However, picking the wrong tool might be even more time consuming to recover from. Overall, it is better to invest time at the beginning rather than to waste time during the process.