Best Webinar Software
Webinar software is exactly as it sounds: software designed to enable you to provide online conferences and seminars.
Such software includes features that improve the overall customer experience and enable individuals to interact.
‘Webinar’ is a portmanteau of ‘web’ and ‘seminar’; it is an internet-based discussion or training meeting, usually hosted over internet conferencing software.
All you really need for a webinar is an internet connection, a good webcam and a microphone.
Webinars can be used for the following:
- Product launches
- Client meetings
- Staff training
- Question-and-answer sessions
- Review meeting
With more people working remotely, companies have come up with new ways for them to be able to meet with employees and potential clients.
Webinars enable businesses to meet with individuals all over the world from the comfort of their offices or homes. This is usually done on an invite-only basis and can be in the form of a conference, lecture, event or presentation.
For smaller businesses, webinars can be a powerful tool for expanding their reach and client base.
Hiring conference centers or large office locations can be expensive. By holding webinars, small companies are able to meet with clients in an affordable and flexible way.
When trying to decide which webinar software is best suited for your business, there are many things to think about. These can include your audience, the type of business you run and the events you are planning on hosting.
This is why there are so many different providers of webinar software to choose from.
With something for everyone, you are sure to find one which will suit your needs and style of business.
Below are some things you should consider when choosing your software.
Think about how many people you want to be watching your webinar.
If you want to host large-scale events, you need to be aware of potential restrictions. Some webinar software will have limits regarding the number of participants who are allowed to join.
Make sure that the software you choose is able to host the number of people you want.
Just as in real life, you may have more than one person presenting a talk at your webinar and there may also be a mediator who introduces speakers and controls the flow of the whole event.
An example of this would be if you are hosting an event with special guests or guest speakers.
Some webinar software allows multiple people to be given a special role as a ‘speaker’, which allows them certain control over aspects like visual presentations or mass muting of viewers. Other software only allows one ‘host’, meaning they will be required to manage all aspects of guest speakers’ talks.
Check if the webinar software you are considering allows enough speakers to cover your usual conferences.
During an online event, there is nothing more frustrating than software that drops out or loses connection.
Low streaming quality can affect the clarity of images, video and audio quality.
This can mean that attendees miss important pieces of information. It may even mean that they choose to leave before the end of the event if the streaming quality is particularly low.
While you cannot control the strength of your attendees’ wifi connection, you can mitigate it by ensuring your webinar software streams at a consistent, high-quality rate.
Attendee participation makes people more likely to pay attention, as they don’t know when they will next be expected to do something.
If you are likely to host events that work better with attendee participation, then make sure that your chosen webinar software allows for this.
Features will vary from platform to platform but may include specific question-and-answer options, voting with flags or a simple chatbox.
People are less likely to attend an online event if they have to download extra software to do so.
This is especially true if you are trying to host a webinar including members of the public who may not have the same access to technology as your business’s employees.
Check whether your chosen online platform is available without extra plugins or extensions for attendees.
If attendees must install new software, consider whether the features that webinar software offers are worth it. Perhaps there is a less feature-rich option that does not require viewers to install anything, or perhaps the features offered by the plugins are key to the webinar experience you want to offer.
Either way, make sure that you choose a platform that is as user-friendly and easy to use as possible.
The modern world is a busy place, and not everyone has great time management skills for keeping on top of their day.
Email reminders are a useful feature when it comes to getting the maximum number of attendees to an event.
People will often reply to an invitation saying that they will attend and then forget about it.
By sending out reminders before the event, you will be making sure that your webinar is at the forefront of as many people’s minds as possible.
Not everyone will be able to attend at a given time. Even if you schedule your webinar during the workday, unexpected events can arise when working from home that mean that certain people can no longer attend.
Does your webinar software offer the option for videos to be uploaded and watched later on demand? Or must sessions be held live?
Perhaps the best may be a combination of both, where live participation allows asking questions and being involved but the stream is saved to be watched later by those unable to attend.
Consider what would work best for your needs and then find a software provider which supports this.
Technical glitches happen, so it is always a good idea to check the level of support and customer service available from your chosen platform.
If you know that you are likely to spend a lot of time hosting webinars with attendees all over the world, then it may be best to look for software that offers 24/7 support.
If the vast majority of your webinars will take place within your own time zone, then support that occurs during office hours may be a suitable fit.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, it seemed like everyone switched to using online conferencing tools – and nearly all had negative experiences with zoombombing.
This is why it is important to have some level of security for your webinars, to keep uninvited and unwelcome visitors out and minimize their disruption.
This is particularly important if you are likely to be sharing sensitive data or other information that is private to your company. Then you will definitely want to make sure that the webinar can only be accessed by the people you want.
Check if there’s a secure login format or if anyone can access it with a link.
If you are not going to be using webinar software regularly, then you may be considering one of the many free options available.
But, while these are good for occasional use, many will only offer a limited amount of extra features and a reduced number of possible participants.
For those who are likely to use webinar software regularly and wish to host a wide variety of events, it is worth considering paying for software that promises a higher level of performance.
Price: $14.99 to $19.99 per month per license, with discounts for paying annually
Zoom is one of the most popular video conferencing and webinar platforms out there.
It offers multiple tiers of premium, as well as a free offering where meetings are limited to 40 minutes.
The $14.99 Pro tier is suitable when you only want to host one meeting at a time in your business, while if you will need to host more than one 40+ minute meeting simultaneously, then the Business tier will be more appropriate ($19.99 per license, minimum of ten licenses).
Pro tier webinars are limited to 30 hours, but this will likely only become a problem if you are hosting a weekend-long event. The Business tier does not have any length limits.
Pro tier can have 100 participants per meeting, and Business tier 300, plus both can purchase additional add ons for up to 1000 participants per meeting.
Zoom Pro/Business offers an expanded range of management and admin controls, plus comprehensive analytics and reports.
Furthermore, you can stream directly to Facebook and YouTube, with attendees not required to download anything to access. They can simply click on links emailed to them.
Zoom does offer the ability to require credentials from attendees, such as passwords. This should always be enabled, as it reduces the risk of uninvited people gaining access to your webinar.
Finally, meetings hosted on Zoom can be saved and shared again later, for those unable to attend at the time.
Price: $49 to $234 per month, with a 30% discount for paying annually
Similar to Zoom, Demio also does not require participants to download anything to join your webinar.
Further, Demio is focused specifically on being a webinar software and not a more general video conferencing tool.
Demio offers built-in analytics and insights functions into how well your webinars perform.
This information can then be turned towards their marketing offerings, such as being able to fully brand your webinar. It also easily integrates with other marketing tools.
You can set up automated emails and reminders to your attendees to help ensure they attend. And, if you are connecting with customers, such reminders keep your brand fresh in their mind.
All plans come with a free 14-day trial.
Price: $99 per month, with a discount for paying annually
While Livestorm does also have a free tier, with its 20 minute limitation per event, you really need to go for their premium tier if you want more than a quick check-in with your small team.
Livestorm is another offering where attendees do not need to download anything or make an account to join your event, meaning only the host needs an account while the unlimited number of participants do not. It also works on all browsers.
It is best suited to product demonstrations and sales pitches.
It offers live streaming and on-demand functions, and the hybrid of automated starts (useful for pre-recorded material).
However you host your event, you can make sure your attendees remember using their personalized promotional email system to automatically remind them.
Its analytics are detailed, and if they are too complicated or you require help, its customer support is multi-lingual.
Price: $41.58 to $83.25 per month, always billed yearly at $499 to $999 per year
WebinarJam is an ideal offering for beginners or those with limited technical knowledge to offer their first online events.
One of its unique features, only available at the $699 tier and up, is an Always Live room – an online room saved just for your company that’s ready to go at a moment’s notice.
You can stream directly to YouTube, and it integrates well with other social media platforms. Within WebinarJam, there are advanced live chat options that the host can reply to attendees through.
Plus, if you are selling products, participants can buy them directly from your webinar, reducing the number of clicks from view to sale.
It does not offer automated or on-demand options.
The Basic tier allows for 500 attendees and the Professional tier 2,000, which should be a good offering for a small business.
WebinarJam offers comprehensive customer support and a large wiki of documentation for you to help yourself.
A 14-day trial is available for $1 to test it out, along with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
5. Easy Webinar
Price: $78 to $499 per month, with a 25% discount for paying annually
Easy Webinar aims to be the easiest option for those who are less tech-savvy.
It offers live and automated webinars (webinars that can run without a host present), with HD streaming quality. However, there is no way to have webinars available on-demand to people.
Multiple hosts can present to up to 100 people on the Basic package and 500 on the Pro package. They can join wherever they are using Easy Webinar’s mobile app.
It offers screen sharing, live chat and dedicated question-and-answer features. It can also integrate with email marketing software.
Easy Webinar also offers masterclasses for you to brush up on your skills and grow your business.
Pricing: $99 per month, reducing to $34 per month if you pay every two years
EverWebinar’s unique selling point is its focus on automated webinars – pre-recorded content that simulates a live host.
It explicitly integrates with WebinarJam, which offers live services only, so far as to share the same support system.
EverWebinar can convert past events into ‘evergreen’ events, which can be viewed at any time, and automatically records webinars you run through it.
It has a fully automated email system based on its customer activity statistics to keep you fresh in people’s inboxes and minds.
It is ideal for small to medium businesses. You can try a 60-day trial for $1.
Pricing: $14.99 to $119 per month, with a 20% discount for paying annually
LiveWebinar is a cloud-based tool that allows you to conduct and join webinars without downloading the application.
It can be accessed directly through all internet browsers by attendees without requiring signing up or downloading anything. They will see your completely customized design no matter their access point.
You can also stream live on social media platforms. Live streams can be recorded to be shared again in the future.
To keep your audience engaged, LiveWebinar offers interactivity options such as polls, surveys and live chats to use during your webinar. Plus, there is automated translation available in the chat, helping you grow your international audience.
If all you want to do is keep your very small team up-to-date, the free plan may work for you with its 5 attendees limit, but the Pro tier is only $14.99 a month and allows 100 attendees.
It is at the Pro tier you can start emailing invites using their system, up to 200 per day, and it can integrate with email automation tools.
There is a 14-day free trial to test them out.
Price: begins at $25 (for <25 attendees) and varies depending on the max number of attendees (up to 1,000)
ClickMeeting is ideal for entrepreneurs, small and medium-sized businesses. You can even feature an agenda in the attendee waiting room.
It is accessible through all browsers and as a mobile app.
Through its comprehensive analytics, you can see how well your webinars and meetings are attended.
Attendee participation can be increased through polls, surveys, question-and-answer features and live chat. Further, chat moderation comes as standard, as does live chat translation to help grow your international market.
The host can nominate someone as a presenter by sending them a special link, allowing them to take control of the meeting. The host does not have to be available for the presenter to run a given meeting, which can help with scheduling.
You can also run premium webinars that attendees pay to be at.
There are a variety of templates for different business types, which you can try out through their 30-day free trial.
9. Google Meet
Google Meet is completely free to host and view webinars. All you need is a Google account, and you can host webinars with up to 100 attendees.
However, to use it for business, you need a Google Workspace account, which costs $6–18 a month. This also comes with cloud storage and a business email.
Attendees can access your webinar or meeting through desktop browsers, the Meet mobile app or the Gmail mobile app.
If you have a Workspace account, you can record your meetings to save them for later. Other premium features include breakout rooms, the ability to dial in through a phone number rather than the internet, polls and 24-hour maximum call length.
You can choose to only let other members of your business access through their Google accounts, or allow people to join anonymously – in other words, without a Google account. You can always remove people during a meeting if they should not be there.
Choosing your webinar software will be personal to your own preferences and the needs of your business.
You may find that one software provider is able to offer everything that you need or you may need to consider a combination of software.
It is also worth remembering that new technology is developing all of the time.
Because of this, webinar software providers are constantly updating the range of tools and functions which are available to users. Therefore, a feature that isn’t currently available on your chosen platform may become an option in the future.
Whether you choose to use a free platform or an upgraded one, the benefits of using webinar technology really shouldn’t be underestimated.
The opportunity to reach large audiences all over the world at the click of a button can dramatically change the fortunes of your company; increasing customer quantities and revenue or training large numbers of staff members at the same time without costly outlays such as conference centers or away days.