It's very common to confuse web conferencing and webinar software. Their interfaces are pretty similar, and there's a fair share of features that both platforms offer. However, they were developed for different reasons and should be used accordingly. While web conferencing software's main objective is to improve participant collaboration, webinar software focuses on interactive presentations for a wider audience.
By understanding the main purpose of each type of software, understanding when you should use one or the other is self-explanatory. Web conferencing software is the perfect tool for holding meetings among colleagues or with customers, provide one-on-one training, solve a customer problem, or even teach a small class of students. Webinar software is best suited for larger events such as showcasing a new product, presenting a service update, or even teaching an online course to a significant number of students. Consequently, they both provide features dedicated to their own main objective.
The main difference between web conferencing and webinar software you'll find right away is the number of attendees supported. The former goes up to around 200 to 300, while the latter supports up to thousands of attendees online simultaneously. However, the opposite happens when it comes to the number of supported video and audio feeds being shared at the same time, where web conferencing software supports up to the dozens, and webinar software sticks to around five.
Although web conferencing and webinar software have some features in common such as screen sharing, remote control, and a whiteboard (among others), each platform has its own unique set of tools. For example, web conferencing software provides the ability to lock meetings for the participants' security and concentration. Moreover, it's also possible for you to break the session into smaller rooms and aggregate everyone again as you see fit. On the other hand, webinar software offers the ability to run paid webinars, create calls to action, and pre-record recurring webinars.
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