Zoom Meeting Vs Webinar

With Covid19 running rampant, most of us have had to change the way we do business. The majority of you are or have been working remotely now for a good deal of time. Somehow Skype, Teams, Google, GotoMeeting and pretty much all remote conferencing software companies dropped the ball and Zoom which at the time was fairly unknown has become the product of choice for most people. Everyone knows about zoom now. What happened out there?

Not only are people using Zoom for the online meetings, but to lead and teach fitness classes, socialize, podcasting and much more. For years now my organization has held webinars to discuss and share important topics with our community.

Lately, we have pulled away from Webinars and shifted towards podcasts, but on occassion we still hold a webinar. Zoom meetings are great, but they are just that, meetings. What that means is that you and everyone in the meeting can participate and interact in the meeting. But what if you want to have a proper webinar as you could do on GoTowebinar? What if you want to use a format where there are only a few people on camera with more of a “one way” communication feel to it?

Well, Zoom actually has a tool for that, their webinar platform. It’s not available by default and you will have to pay for it, however it works similarly to the other webinar platforms.

Unlike a Zoom meeting which has a host, cohosts, and participants, the webinar format has attendees, a host and panelists. On a webinar, the only individuals who appear on camera are the hosts and panelists. The attendees are in a “view only” format. There is a way to allow them to “talk” with the panelists, but without being panelists, they do not get the camera or mic indefinitely.

Webinars allow you to have a Q&A session. Zoom meetings have a chat room, but you do not get the management capability that you have with the Q&A option in a webinar.

The desktop or web client that you use to run the meeting is pretty much the same as you would use in a webinar, if you are familiar with one, you will be good with the other. The only differences are the aforementioned roles, the Q&A and a few other settings that don’t show up on the meetings format.

I hope that this clears up some of the confusion between these two Zoom offerings. Think of it this way, it’s basically the same thing, but only panelists are on camera. That’s the biggest difference and a reason people may use it. If you have any questions, you can always reach out.

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