Many people ask us about the differences between web conferencing and video conferencing. This article aims to clear up any confusion and help you understand which form of collaboration will most benefit your business.
All forms of web and video conferencing involve both an audio and visual connection. Which tool is best for you will depend on the purpose of your meeting. Below we describe the main types of online visual and audio collaboration.
Video conferencing allows high-quality visual communication via an audio and visual link-up between two or more people. It requires a specialized setup including a TV, camera and phone, which can be expensive and cannot be moved around easily. Participants simply dial in to the video conference to see each other face-to-face. The host can also share their screen and other relevant resources.
A live camera stream allows speakers to communicate with each other in a way that most resembles a traditional face-to-face meeting environment, but with all of the time savings of online conferencing. Video conferencing is most useful for discussion-type meetings and collaborations.
Web conferencing is actually a blanket term for several forms of online collaboration, including webcasts and webinars.
Web conferencing is much cheaper than video conferencing and allows you to collaborate from wherever you are in the world. All you need is a computer with a decent internet connection and a webcam.
Here are a couple of different ways you can use web conferencing in your business:
A webcast is a type of web conferencing that involves a one-way transmission and is non-interactive. The host presents information via an audio stream and may use visual aids like power points, screen sharing and videos along with other visual aids. Each participant connects to the host's webcast via their own computer or device.
Webcasts are a great way to hold a presentation with many viewers. They are useful for training, giving demonstrations and providing commentaries on company performance. A webcast transmission is usually given live but can also be set up for on-demand viewing.
Short for 'web-based seminar', a webinar is a type of web conference that allows for more collaboration. They allow the host to give an interactive presentation, where communication is possible between all participants via live chat and whiteboard features.
Polls and surveys, Q&A sessions and content-sharing features also facilitate communication between large groups. It is possible to stream audio and share videos, documents and applications with other participants during the webinar.
Webinars are incredibly flexible and useful tools for presenting and collaborating on information and projects. You can work on projects in real time without teams having to be present in the same physical location.
Which Is Right For You?
It is important to understand that there is no single best web conferencing solution. Rather, you should think about the goal and structure of your meeting and choose the option that will help you to hold a productive and efficient conference.
- If you want to hold a non-interactive presentation in which you will be the sole speaker, a webcast is the best option.
- If you need to collaborate on a project or document, then a webinar will work better.
- If cost isn't an issue and you only ever want to conference from one location, then choose video conferencing.
Experience a high-quality web conferencing service with Express Virtual Meetings.