Virtual meetings have very quickly become our new norm. It seems like we’re spending all day, every day on Zoom, Webex, Microsoft Meetings, and the like. And for good reason- in a world of social distancing, we need to take advantage of technology in order to connect with our friends and loved ones, not to mention colleagues and clients.
So, when you’re brainstorming about how best to get your value out there digitally, have you thought about the difference between online meetings and webinars? The terms are often used interchangeably, but it’s important to know the difference to ensure you’re reaching your desired audience in the best way possible.
In order to figure out what is the best route to take for your virtual meetings, there are a few things for you to think about:
  • Are your attendees actually participants, or are they viewers?
  • What are you offering your audience?
An online meeting is a collaborative discussion with people who are not in the same location (which is pretty much everyone in our current situation). Online meetings are usually very collaborative, encouraging audience participation. This option is perfect for team calls, meetings with customers, and one-on-one or small-group training sessions.
A webinar, on the other hand, is a presentation to a large group. Are you trying to reach a large audience with your message? If so, you’ll want to consider a webinar. While there are opportunities for audience participation in a webinar, that is something that needs to be considered strategically and sporadically. Webinars are a great way to present a new product to your customers, share your expertise on a topic, or conduct large-scale, organization-wide training.

Do you have the right software available to you? Or will you need to look into a subscription? Keep in mind that, while there are both free and paid versions of online meeting platforms, you will almost always need to pay, or have a subscription to your desired service, in order to conduct a webinar.

Read more about the differences between meetings and webinars HERE