I haven’t seen anything on the wires yet, so this may be your first chance to hear of a new lower price option for Cisco WebEx Event Center. If you are not intimately familiar with the WebEx family of web conferencing products, you can easily get confused by the different names and versions. There is Meeting Center, Training Center, Remote Support, Remote Access, and a Beta product called WebEx Meet. Confusing, isn’t it?
The version that I always end up using for formal scheduled webinars is Event Center. It adds features to support registration, reporting, tracking, attendee communications, Q&A management, eCommerce, and other things necessary for complete control and analysis of a webinar. It also has an integrated telephony and streaming audio option for attendees that includes some very nice international access features.
One of the biggest negative perceptions of WebEx Event Center has been its high price. Traditionally the company focused on selling big enterprise accounts allowing many users to host webinars. These commanded premium pricing that practically excluded smaller users who just wanted a single account to do a webinar or two.
Today my Cisco representative gave me a new pricing option on Event Center, available immediately. A single user (webinar host) can have an Event Center room with up to 100 person capacity for a flat rate charge of $99/month on month to month billing, or as low as an equivalent $79/month when you prepay for a year of service.
Higher capacity rooms are also available. A 500-attendee maximum costs $399 or $319/month (per month vs yearly billing) and a 1000-attendee maximum goes for $499 or $399.
These prices include attendee audio through their choice of computer audio or toll telephone access. Presenters can speak via their preference of a VoIP computer headset or a toll telephone call. Toll free and local international access numbers can be added at an additional charge. There is also a one-time optional charge for branding your room with corporate logos, hyperlinks, and a domain-specific URL.
I’m quite pleased to see WebEx becoming practical for small business webinars through Event Center. There are a lot of great features in the product and the low flat rate usage option should be attractive to many who had previously eliminated WebEx from their selection short list based on price.