Webinars offer tremendous value to any business. In fact, around 20% to 40% of attendees turn into qualified leads. However, you need to follow the market’s best practices and use reliable webinar software to achieve these numbers. One question you’ll face sooner or later is whether you should use a platform’s web or desktop client. More importantly, you need to decide which one to recommend to your attendees.
Before jumping into how these solutions differ, let’s start with their similarities. Both provide similar interfaces for attendees to easily join and participate. They also allow attendees to follow your presentation, watch shared videos, speak with others through the built-in chat, and more. The main difference between the two, however, is the number of hosting features and overall performance. Of course, there are a few platforms that operate entirely online, such as Demio, Livestorm, and ClickMeeting. But for other popular software, such as GoToWebinar, things aren’t as straightforward. In this case, it’s vital to know the benefits and drawbacks of each solution.
Advantages of Webinar Client Apps
The main reason to host webinars through the client app over its browser version is the number of features available. Most browser-based webinar platforms don’t allow you to take advantage of more advanced tools, such as video sharing, creating breakout rooms, or recording webinars. Because of this, it’s highly recommended that you host webinars through a platform’s desktop app.
Desktop software is always a bit smoother than its browser counterpart. This is true for all types of platforms, including webinars. In other words, you’ll notice that video and audio have better quality on the dedicated downloadable client. Moreover, if you’ve set up a survey to appear when attendees leave the webinar, it may not pop up if attendees are using a browser and leave mid-session or simply close the browser. So, when possible, always ask your attendees to join in through the desktop app.
Advantages of Browser-Based Webinar Software
Joining a webinar through a browser is far more straightforward than downloading and installing a desktop app. You just need to send a link to attendees, and they can automatically join. Additionally, if you’re running B2B webinars, this might be the only way for your attendees to join in. Many companies prevent employees from downloading and installing software due to security concerns, which means they might not be able to install the desktop app.
For the most part, attendees won’t notice the difference between using the desktop app and the browser-based software. Most features that aren’t available in the platform’s browser version are more important for the host, after all. Despite this, attendees may face some problems if they use an obsolete browser or have outdated computer drivers. To counter this, we recommend always adding a small note reminding subscribers of the system requirements for a smooth webinar experience, such as which browsers (and versions) are recommended.
What’s the Best Option?
There isn’t a definitive answer to this question, as it depends on the situation. Hosts should always go for the solution that provides all the needed features. So, when using a webinar software solution where you have the option between browser-based software and a desktop app, always go for the latter. This is the only way to have the ability to make adjustments while hosting the webinar, record the session for later, etc.
On the other hand, while webinar client apps may provide a slightly better experience for attendees, the truth is that they won’t install them most times. This might be because they don’t have the authorization to install software on their work computers or simply because joining through a browser is far more straightforward. Nonetheless, it’s always important to offer them the option to choose between the two.
Of course, if you use an entirely browser-based webinar platform, you don’t need to think about this. Providers such as ClickMeeting and Demio are specifically built to work on browsers, which means they will provide all features and run as smoothly as possible without the need to install any software.
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