Welcome to From the Community, where we highlight questions from our community members. Join us each Friday as we dive into the featured inquiry.
One of the most compelling things about cloud-based software and the internet in general is their ability to minimize the barriers to entry on doing really complex. On the most basic scale there isn’t any better example than the way voice over IP (VoIP) technology has allowed organizations with multinational operations to communicate on live and on demand basis regardless of the geography between facilities.
In addition to being a utility for big multinationals, VoIP allows for all sorts of smaller organizations to broadcast messages to an audience they wouldn’t have been able to organize in person because of scheduling issues, distances and other factors. This week’s question from Kevin J. asks, “We are interested in doing our bible study as a webinar both live and on demand and would like some options.”
Before answering this one let’s go into what the difference is between live and on demand webinars.
A live webinar is a one-off broadcast where the organizer presents a seminar to a group of attendees in real time. The chief benefits to doing a live event is spontaneity and interaction. When you’re live you can go the extra distance in reaching out to your attendees by engaging them in discussion and Q&A time.
An on-demand webinar is a recorded session, which may or may not have been a live event originally, that’s hosted on a server and available for download/streaming anytime
Both types of webinar have distinct strengths, and offering a combination of the two is often the best way to go when you’ve made a commitment to producing these spots on a regular basis. While both types can be monetized, an on-demand webinar can often have a greater chance of earning revenue over a longer span of time–when the media remains available for streaming, provided the material is of lasting value and not prone to going obsolete, you as the organizer can count on people continuing to go back and find that content later down the line.
Here are three standout webinar products that let you produce, host and publish live and on demand webinars:
As we mentioned in our previous From the Community post about the best web-based webinar software, Citrix has managed to put together what could really be considered one of the best-of-breed solutions in this space. One of its strongest features for small organizations (or congregations in this case) is that you get a ton of generous features on the free version alone.
8×8 Virtual Meeting
While 8×8 is not the most affordable webinar and web conferencing solution out there ($29.99/month for up to 15 participants) it definitely has one of the most comprehensive feature sets at its price point. Most notably it has great video display options that include remote desktop control and document annotation, an amazingly useful feature for a Bible study group that goes notation heavy.
We like FaceMe for its ability to hosted webinar for up to 25 attendees, flat-rate monthly cost and one of the cleanest interfaces we’ve come across in the webinar/web conferencing space.
For more detailed information on specific webinar and web conferencing software take a look at our Top 10 Web Conferencing software report. You can also explore our comprehensive web conferencing resource page, the headquarters page for all our related blog posts, research, product profiles and community members.
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