Friday, May 29, 2009

Webinar

Webinar is short for Web-based seminar. It is basically a workshop or lecture delivered over the Web. Webinars may be a one-way Webcast, or there may be interaction between the audience and the presenters.

Webinar's are just like a conference room based seminars, however, participants view the presentation through web conferencing software or their Web-browser and listen to the audio through their telephone. A key feature of a Webinar is its interactive elements -- the ability to give, receive and discuss information. Contrast with "Webcast", in which the data transmission is one way and does not allow interaction between the presenter and the audience.

Hosting a Webinar requires the use of specialized software that enables presenter(s) to deliver an interactive presentation via the Internet (or Web). Many vendors offer Webinar services. These software applications vary tremendously in features and price. Examples of differentiating features include the ability to:
  • Use integrated audio conferencing or audio via the public Internet (VOIP) which comes out your headphones or computer speakers.

  • Let the audience see the presenter's computer screen for live product demos, training, desktop showing, presentations, and more

  • Record for later playback

  • Attendee pre-registration and reporting

  • Present audience polls and questionnaires

  • Manage live question and answer dialogs during a presentation, via group chat.

  • What are Webinars used for?

  • Webinar's are primarily used to train a large number of people or build brand and generate sales leads. Additional uses are: corporate announcements, training, focus groups, and press conferences.

What are the benefits?

  • Reach a large(r) audience

  • Reduce cost (travel, etc)

  • Digitally record, archive and allow future playback
What do I need to start a Webinar?

  1. A computer
  2. Internet access
  3. In invitation which includes a link to the webinar
  4. Web Conferencing software (free trial available for one month at http://www.via3.com/)
  5. Web Camera with built in microphone (many of them come built-in with recent laptops)
  6. A scheduled meeting (You have to send a hyperlink of your specific meeting to attendees) Usually you will want to make sure you put all attendees in “Audience Mode” so that they hear and see but cannot transmit their own audio and video. Audience mode members can interact with the webinar through group chat.
  7. A phone line for transmitting the teleconference portion, if a conference bridge is being used. (Free conferencing option inside of VIA3).

What do I need to attend?

  1. A computer
  2. Internet access
  3. In invitation which includes a link to the webinar
  4. Web Conferencing software (Temporary download for attendees)
  5. Computer speakers for audio.
  6. A phone line for listening to the teleconference portion, if a conference bridge is being used.

How can I get started?

You can get started with web conferencing software that enables webinars today. Visit http://www.via3.com/ to download the latest software, free for one month.