As the terms “web conferencing” and “webinar” are used interchangeably, it's becoming unclear for beginners to see the difference between them aside from their distinctive features. This leads to confusion on what service they should use. Understanding both of their capabilities and limitations is crucial to meeting business goals.

Web Conferencing vs. Webinars: What’s the Difference?

According to SearchUnified Communications, web conferencing refers to the real-time sharing of computer screens, individual applications, or web-based content via the Internet. This promotes a two-way communication typically between two or more participants that enable collaboration or discussion using interactive tools like desktop sharing, slide annotation and whiteboard, presentation control passing, and media share among many others.

Web conferencing is typically used for online meetings, remote training, and presentations conducted via the Internet. This business communication tool enables participants to connect either by mobile or computer from different parts of the world which improves demographic disparity.

Webinars, on the other hand, are seminars held via the Internet where participants can hear the audio either via a conference line or through their computer speakers. Webinars usually offer a registration system so that you can keep track of who is going to participate and allows for a secure and versatile environment to eliminate confidentiality threats like uninvited guests, hacks, and compromised information.

Various webinar formats that promote interaction are strictly controlled by the host and attendees are oftentimes muted throughout the call. Participants usually get the chance to participate and communicate via chat features, polls, and managed Q&A sessions.

Like seminars, a webinar is a presentation, lecture, training, or workshop but exclusively held for the online audience. This involves structured components like invitations, marketing, registration, possibly collection of fees, and email reminder distribution.

Other common terms used for “webinar” include web event, online seminar, and web lecture. This could be live or recorded for on-demand access.

Both web conferencing and webinar offer distinctive features advantageous to businesses across various fields. It’s just a matter of using the right online collaboration tool that will give the maximum impact towards project or business success.