There might be times when you find yourself being asked to do a live stream and it is mistaken for something like a live press conference, talk show or panel discussion. How can you differentiate them? In this video, John Dudley discusses how to differentiate between webcasts, webinars, and video conference calls.
- Now that we've covered the top line concepts behind live video streaming, let's set the record straight on what it is and what it's commonly mistaken for. Having both an agency and vendor background, I can't tell you how many times I've been approached to deliver a live press conference, talk show, or panel discussion under the misnomer of producing a webinar or video conference. Whether you're an executive decision maker, project manager, or executor, it's critical to know exactly what you're asking for and what you want to accomplish.
All of these concepts involve a multimedia streaming component, and let's face it, the lines between webcasts, webinars, and web conferencing continue to get blurrier thanks to functionality overlaps. With this in mind, let's set some parameters for each concept and establish some clear-cut definitions to help you determine the right path for your project. Let's begin with the webinar concept. According to Webopedia, a webinar is an educational presentation, lecture, or workshop that's transmitted using a video conferencing software platform such as WebX, Adobe Connect, or GoToWebinar.
In most cases, a slide deck like a PowerPoint presentation is the primary visual supported by audio narration. In some cases, a camera component such as a webcam is integrated. In contrast, traditional webcasts are similar to television broadcasts where audio-visual transmissions travel exclusively in an outbound direction. Now, you can also integrate elements of interactivity into a webcast. I'll touch upon this in greater depth as we get further into the course.
Another term that's loosely tossed around is web conferencing. What separates this concept from webinars and webcasting is that web conferencing tends to function more like a multimedia conference call. Web conferences involve smaller groups of people interacting in a private forum. They can include an audio and video component as well as desktop or screen sharing functionality. Unlike a webcast or webinar, web conferencing is usually more collaborative, allowing a transfer of meeting and content control between participants.
In most cases, web conferencing setups do not feature broadcast or even prosumer-grade cameras, lighting, or sound equipment. These are tools that would be used for a pro webcast. In a nutshell, a web conference uses similar streaming technologies, but its functionality has a closer resemblance to a multimedia conference call. Let's quickly recap what sets webcasts apart from webinars and web conferences. Webinars are usually slide-driven, educational, informative, or sales-oriented presentations that resemble more of a seminar than live television.
Web conferencing is more interactive between a select group of participants and it share more characteristics with a virtual meeting than a broadcast program. Livestream webcasts, on the other hand, bear more of a resemblance to television. Instead of being beamed over the airwaves, it's being delivered via the world wide web.
- What webcasting is and what it's not
- Determining if live streaming is a good investment of time and resources
- Defining consumer, prosumer, and enterprise webcasting
- What's a CDN? The basics of content delivery networks
- Production equipment, hardware, and software
- Front- and back-end roles and responsibilities
- Integrating an on-demand content strategy
- Measuring impact: Using analytics to develop actionable insights for the future