There’s a LinkedIn discussion getting a lot of action on the “Webcasting & Webinars Best Practices” group. John put out a simple and succinct one-line question: “I’m curious to know who the group thinks provides the best Webinar product?”
I can never understand how LinkedIn manages security settings, so you may need to sign up as a group member before being able to see the thread. Or maybe anyone can see it and only group members can post. Anyway, click here for the direct link or try going through the group search function for the group title I listed in the first sentence.
I was the first to answer, and gave my thoughts related to products most often used for one-to-many or few-to-many presentations with some interaction, involving audience sizes of roughly 50-200 people. From my experience, that tends to be the most common scenario when people say “webinar.” But John may have been interested in any number of other scenarios:
- How about simple screen sharing or coordinated presentation viewing for two or three people? Heck, there are plenty of free solutions for that.
- Maybe he wants to run formal training and education online and is interested in features to support that?
- How about ultra-large webcasts where the key criteria is showing streaming sound and video to thousands of attendees?
- What if his main criteria is a “no-fail” technical platform that is guaranteed to work for every attendee on every platform, with no fine print or special circumstances that could prevent someone from joining?
- Is vendor support and services a critical factor, or is John more self-reliant?
The variety of answers from helpful group members show that there are plenty of great contenders out there from the software side of things. It’s nice to see that people mostly wrote in with praise and satisfaction for their selections rather than complaints and warnings of “Don’t use this, it’s terrible!”
But it also shows that making a vendor selection can’t be reduced to “What is the best webinar product?” You need to think through your own priorities and criteria, considering how you plan to use the conferencing product. And what is best for you may not be best for another company or even another department!
By the way, I’ll be addressing some of these concerns in a free public webinar next week. Adobe is sponsoring me to talk about “Webinars For The Large Enterprise.” I’ll bring up these kinds of selection criteria along with guidelines for thinking about enterprise use and support for your users. If you are trying to manage the use of conferencing within a big organization, the session is right for you. We’re holding it on January 14, and you can read details, see time zone conversions, and register on my Webinar Success Upcoming Events page (www.effectivewebinars.com).