As certain types of training migrate online, administrators must quickly put in place an Internet-based delivery system for their programs. The de facto mechanism for most external trainings is a webinar service – it’s typically scalable, interactive, easy to use and more than adequate from the participants’ perspective.
With most systems, presenters can navigate PowerPoint presentations, click through web pages or play videos – all while talking through the subject matter. Chat windows and two-way audio (mutable, when necessary) allow them to take questions or open the floor for comments. All of the major players allow for user registration, file transferring, polling, recording, password protection, real-time screen sharing, webcam compatibility, VoIP and platform compatibility (well, except Microsoft Live, which doesn’t work with Apple’s OS – surprise!).
These services work so well for training, product demos and sales presentations that they have grown exponentially in the past decade. Today, there are dozens of providers – a market reality that can make picking the right webinar service a bit of a challenge.
Before you start shopping, determine a few key requirements of your program, such as:
- monthly budget
- expected participants per month
- need for a mobile application
- need for attendee payment
Then, turn to Google. You should immediately find articles like this Top 10 review, which includes webinar service ratings as well as complete reviews of ten popular providers. If you expect to reach a large number of participants – say hundreds per month – this is most definitely a great place to refine your search.
If, however, you have more modest needs (and a more modest budget), be aware that there are free webinar service providers on the market. Among the many free offerings are AnyMeeting (free for up to 200 attendees, but ad supported), MeetingBurner (host up to 10 attendees free, with no ads), FreeScreenSharing.com (free for up to 96 participants per meeting) and freewebmeeting (limited to seven connections). Just plug “free” in your search and you’ll get more than enough information to find a suitable solution.
ABC Signup now uses GoToWebinars (GoToMeetings) for its monthly training sessions and registration software product demonstrations. We find it simple to set up, easy to use, and very professional from the participants’ view. We arrived at GoToMeeting after dropping a service that (at the time) didn’t support Apple. We had switched to that service after deploying a pay-per-use product that quickly became expensive.
If you have questions about webinar providers, ABC Signup or registration software, give us a holler by e-mail or phone (866.791.8268x0). Better yet, if you would like to share your experience with webinar services, please do so by posting your thoughts in the Comments section below.