Checklist: How to Choose Best Webinar Software?
Last year businesses were forced to conduct webinars, staff training, and video conferences via the Internet. It has become a necessity that has probably changed the market forever. Customers expect a lot more flexibility, and webinars provide it.
None of these events can take place without one thing - webinar software. It's what takes care of your technical background and provides your attendees with the highest quality experience. No wonder, then, that you should want to find the webinar software solution that best meets your needs.
Do you want to create an online event? Maybe you would like to prepare a course for your users?
Whatever the reason for conducting research into the best webinar software, you should find a solution that won't limit you at any point along the way.
You're in good hands! We want to show you all of the things you ought to consider when making your choice - key elements to pay attention to and essential features.
Let's find the best piece of webinar software together.
What is webinar software?
Webinar software is a tool that simplifies conducting, recording, sharing, and monitoring webinars with ease.
With such a tool, you’ll be able to run both live and on-demand webinars. They allow attendees easy access to the content, provide high-quality audio and video, and have collaboration features. The right webinar software solution should provide the best possible experience for hosts and listeners.
Five significant benefits of webinar software are:
- Simplifying managing webinars
- Ensuring high audio and visual quality
- Providing collaboration features that enhance attendees’ engagement
- Enabling analytics and many other additional features
- Facilitating access to webinars and video conferences, etc.
How to start?
Before we get to the point and start to look for the best webinar software, you should take some steps that streamline your further research. First, you should begin this process with your business. What does that mean?
It would be best to take a close look at your business needs to be sure about what exactly you’re looking for. You can use our short step-by-step checklist to ensure that you don’t miss any essential information or moves. As a result, the choice you make is likely to be even better since it will be based on proper preparation.
Which steps should you take before starting to look for webinar software?
- Determine the purpose -wWhy do you need such a tool, and how will it help you?
- Establish a budget - without one, you may end up spending more than you can afford or paying for features you don't need.
- Identify necessary features - consider which features you care most about and those you don't need.
- Choose potential providers - which ones caught your eye?
- Narrow down the choice - this is the most challenging part because you need to choose just 1-3 webinar software solutions to consider most thoroughly.
Unfortunately, this is just a small part of the total esearch. It would be great if you knew exactly which tool you should choose after taking all of the above steps. Of course, you're getting closer to making a decision, but steps 4 and 5 are the most complicated parts of the process. All of the chosen providers may seem to be good options, but don't be misled. There is one more (very important!) point before you:
How can you make the choice easier and assure yourself that it will be the right decision? We have prepared a list of key features that are essential for any tool to be considered the best webinar software solution, so look for one that meets these criteria. Let's examine webinar software functionalities more closely.
10 must-have features of the best webinar software solutions
Keeping these in mind will help you make the right decision.
This is the first thing you should pay attention to. Choosing a tool that you cannot test out before making a purchase isn't a good idea. Information given on its website will praise the tool, but you can't take their word for it until you've tested it yourself.
Keep in mind that many tools work on a subscription model, and they reserve the right to resign before the end of a year. So you can be sure that if a tool has nothing to hide, it will offer a free trial, demo, or even better - a free version.
Even the most well-prepared webinar will not be effective if it is of poor quality. Imagine (or better, don’t) that the attendees can only see pixels instead of the speaker’s face. You need to do your best to avoid such awkward situations.
The best webinar software should provide the latest technologies allowing for the highest possible connection quality. Ideally, it should be stable even when the Internet connection is not. Make sure that the webinar software that you choose can deliver high-quality live video even under the worst conditions.
You can divide webinar software into two groups: desktop and web applications. Both of them have their pros and cons, but in general, operating within a browser is much more comfortable for attendees. What’s more, they won't have to download any additional software or plugins for their device - just click on the link to join an event or webinar and that's all, they are in.
Some providers also offer the possibility to use their tool on any device (LiveWebinar does!). Thanks to that, the host and attendees can participate via Smart TVs, tablets, or smartphones, from anywhere they want. It's a flexible and convenient option for all.
You probably know how beneficial on-demand webinars can be for businesses. It’s a great way to generate leads long after your online live event is over. First, check whether or not your chosen webinar software has a feature to make recordings and, if so, how it works and what the limitation on the number of hours is.
The best webinar software should provide an easy-to-use recorder and sufficient space to store recordings. You should also be able to adjust recordings to your needs - editable frame rate, layout, quality, and an option to download might be useful. Another feature you may find helpful is generating links to direct sharing.
Collaboration features may have once seemed to be an add-on, but now they have become essential. People don’t want to just sit and listen; they want to interact with the speaker. So you should provide an experience as close as possible to a live one.
What features should you look for? At first, the most basic ones, like chat to simplify communication between participants. Then, look around for some more advanced - e.g. breakout rooms that allow you to split the main meeting room into smaller ones.
Many webinar software solutions offer such features as pools and surveys to increase audience engagement and obtain their feedback at the same time. It’s also the time to focus on features that you definitely need - maybe you can’t imagine working without screen sharing or a whiteboard? At this point, it is worth carrying out some in-depth research, so that nothing will surprise you later.
Webinar software can give you much more - a custom solution tailored to the specific needs of your business. But not all tools can, only the most advanced ones.
If you need a white-label solution, you might have the possibility of building a platform under your own domain - adjust the appearance and other functionalities so that the platform provides a personalized user experience.
However, remember that a white label solution in the offer is not enough. You need to find webinar software that will listen carefully to your needs and whose provider has a team of people willing to help you. Check this out by reading various opinions and reviews (of course, not only those on the provider’s website) about your chosen tool.
The best webinar software doesn’t have to provide you with very complex data. Nevertheless, it’s helpful if the tool has certain features that allow you to view some results of your webinars. This data will help you organize more effective meetings and help your business grow.
For example, LiveWebinar provides the option to generate detailed reports with complete insights into webinar statistics. Users can download reports in CSV, XLS, or PDF formats. In addition, session reports contain information about the locations and devices used by attendees during a webinar.
Support for technical issues
What if something goes wrong? That’s when the support team comes in. Their role is vital to ensure that everything during your webinar or online event will go smoothly.
If the provider offers someone to fix any bugs, you need to make sure they will do so. Ensure that it’s not a chatbot or email support, as you might require assistance 24/7.
Safety first applies to webinar software too. No one without permission should have access to your webinar (note: invitations are a valid option). Ensure safety is the provider's top priority.
Check out what kind of security and protection is applied to meetings. For example, does the software provide double encryption and single sign-on features? Look for confirmation that you will be able to host your webinars in a safe environment.
Integrations are one of the final features that are extremely important if the chosen webinar software is to become a part of your business’s existing toolbox. The best solutions will support a wide range of external tools that can be easily integrated with your system. For example, webinar software can be combined with messaging apps like Slack as well as with CRMs and marketing automation tools.
It’s time to make a decision
Choosing the best webinar software isn’t easy, we’re well aware of that. Attendees will not judge the provider of the tool you choose, they’ll only judge you. Any delays, poor quality, or other issues that you might have no control over will ultimately fall on you as the organizer.
That is why you have to take care to choose a webinar software solution that will not disappoint. Checking for the features we have drawn attention to above should act as a kind of guarantee that you have done everything in your power to provide the best possible experience to your attendees.
Are you looking for a tool that ticks all of the boxes on our checklist? We’ve already found it. LiveWebinar is a piece of webinar software that you can trust. Try out the free version and see for yourself - you might’ve just stumbled upon the best solution.