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Zoom Meeting vs Webinar: Which One is Best for Your Online Event?

Nowadays, the remote and hybrid working continues to grow in popularity. Video-first collaboration solutions keep people connected, engaged, and productive regardless of their location, so yes - they are really convenient options. And for most companies, the question is not whether they need video - but what kind of video is right for them. Unfortunately, not every company knows what the differences are between them.

Companies can use Zoom meetings and webinars for video collaboration. What should you pick then? Zoom meeting vs webinar? And why? Let's look at the pros and cons of each tool.

What is a Zoom meeting?

So let’s start from the beginning. Zoom meetings are kind of video meetings. The purpose of these events is to interact with each other through screen sharing, audio, and video, as well as to be able to see who else is in attendance. You can use Zoom meetings for interactive sessions with lots of audience participation, or you can break your meeting up into smaller groups.

It’s perhaps the most popular product from Zoom. In such meetings, you can have conversations with employees, colleagues, and even friends and family (we will discuss the difference between Zoom meeting vs webinar later). Basically, Zoom Meetings is designed for group collaboration, team conversations, sales demonstrations, online learning, and office meetings.

Through Meetings, everyone can participate in a virtual discussion, screen share, and interact with video and audio. In addition, the program allows you to interact with a video and chat, answer poll questions, and apply virtual backgrounds. 

What is a webinar?

And now it’s time for webinars. In contrast, webinars are similar to virtual events. A webinar provides you with the opportunity to present ideas and content to a larger audience. Hosts have complete control over what audience members are allowed to do, including whether they can share video and audio. In this way, attendees can interact and share files during webinars or sit silently watching the event.

So the host, as well as any designated attendee, may be able to share their video, audio, and screens. What’s more, through Q&A, chat, and polling, they can interact with each other. But sometimes, those who attend a webinar can only watch - this situation is possible too. In the other cases, they can be unmuted by the host. 

We can say webinars can be compared to virtual lecture halls. For events with a large audience or those open to the public, they are the ideal way. But, unfortunately, webinar attendees rarely interact with each other. Even with Zoom's options for getting more social with your attendees, your typical webinar will have just one or a few speakers. Another fact is webinar participants are not able to rename themselves. 

Generally - these are the most important things. But what are the similarities?

Similarities

We already know the general stuff about Zoom meeting vs webinar. However, you may have noticed by now that there are some things they have in common. 

Zoom meeting vs webinar - what are they similar in:

  • The type of use - Both software is designed for online meetings with other users.
  • Cost - Zoom meetings and webinars have free and paid subscription options available.
  • Screen sharing - Sharing your screen is possible for webinars and Zoom meetings on any device during meeting sessions.
  • Chat - Also, chatting is available for both types of online meetings. Attendees can communicate during the meeting and webinar by using the chat feature.
  • File transfer - In-meeting/webinar chat allows you to send files to other meeting participants during the meeting or webinar. Files can be sent to everyone or directly to a participant.
  • Whiteboard - Another thing possible in Zoom meeting and webinar also. If you choose to use the whiteboard feature, you will be able to share a whiteboard that you and other participants can annotate.
  • Annotation - Zoom meetings and webinars allow you to add annotations to your screen during your video call - an ideal tool for remote teams to collaborate and brainstorm.
  • Polling and surveys - create polls and surveys during the meeting/webinar. It is a quick method of contacting participants and getting answers from them.
  • Livestream - Livestream is possible for applications such as Facebook, YouTube, Vimeo, Periscope.
  • Registration - to attend a meeting/webinar, participants will be required to sign up with their email address, name, and other optional information.
  • Closed captioning - Virtual closed captioning can be created for both options to provide participants with an easier way to follow the conversation or for accessibility purposes.
  • Recording - Recording is possible with both programs. Participants can play the recording later and use it as much as they want.
  • Require password to join - Passcodes can be required for meetings and webinars as an additional layer of security. Passcodes can be set for one meeting or for all appointments.

Differences

Both Zoom meetings vs webinars offer similar features and functionality, but they do have some key differences.

Zoom meeting

The primary purpose of Zoom meetings is to host interactive sessions in smaller groups than in webinars, so basically, this solution it’s suitable for a maximum of 10 participants. It’s best used for customer-facing meetings, sales meetings, company sessions, and what’s more, typically used by general employees, training groups, and management.

Zoom meeting offers audio sharing where all participants can manage their own audio. The host can mute or request to unmute participants. They can set all participants to mute upon entry. Video sharing is also on its own conditions - all participants can share their video, and in webinars, this case is indifferent. This tool also offers a waiting room and breakout room.

Webinar

With webinars, the case is a little bit different. 

The primary purpose - like you know - is to connect with a large audience and provide online events or remote classes where the whole class can join the meeting. Unfortunately, Zoom meetings are not that well equipped for such endeavors. On the other hand, webinars can also be used for small meetings in the company or between the boss and specific subordinates. So it works well both in extraordinary events, but it will also be suitable for small gatherings.

So the best use of webinars is for significant events and public broadcasts, like 50 attendees and more, such as town hall meetings, quarterly updates, and educational lectures. They are typically used in the education sector, politics, event hosts, etc.

It gives you the opportunity to use audio sharing - the host and panelists can manage their own audio-only, attendees join in listen-only mode, in the most time, and only the host can unmute attendees. Video sharing also has excellent features. For example, hosts and panelists can only share their videos in webinars, so they control the whole event better.

The last great feature is Paypal integration. Attendees will be taken to PayPal to complete payment once they register for your webinar. Upon completing the payment, they will receive information on how to join the webinar.

Why is webinar better for business?

Webinars are better for business because of their features. Online webinars are more about presenting content to a specific audience and teaching them. Companies and educators often use these webinars for extensive training sessions, lectures, and classes without as much constant input from other participants. 

It is a great way to make announcements as well. Are you going to introduce a new product and want your audience to know about it? Or are you preparing essential changes and you don't know how to reach your customers as soon as possible? If these questions come to your mind, then you probably haven't considered the webinar at all!

Online webinars are best for presentations to large audiences when the host wants more control over the experience, and audience members connect without audio or video. The presenter or panelist is the focus of a webinar. As the audience listens and learns, questions are asked at the end.

So what do you choose? Zoom meeting vs webinar?

Choose LiveWebinar

And now we want to introduce you LiveWebinar as the greatest option you've ever seen. Everything we've been saying about webinars (and even more) is reflected in LiveWebinar. Any screen sharing, files storage, live streaming, polls & surveys, chat, CTA, whiteboard, recordings, and so on. We can go on like that for hours, but the problem is LiveWebinar just has it. You can collaborate anywhere you want if you have an internet connection.

LiveWebinar lets you build your own platform by customizing it. Manage your LiveWebinar sessions, add your logo and colors to create a personalized experience for your users, and make your webinars better than before.

With such a tool, you can take your webinars to a whole new level, and the choice between Zoom meeting vs webinar will be solved once and forever.

Last words

After reading this article, you know a lot about Zoom meetings vs webinars. Webinars do indeed serve as promotional tools to acquire new clients and achieve extra heights. However, the use of webinars in your marketing strategy can put you and your brand at an advantage. You can develop connections, build credibility, and engage your audience with them. They also allow you to focus on your target market and potential customers.

It's crucial to ensure you target the right audience with your webinar strategy. In addition to building your brand and creating loyal customers, you need to be careful what to choose - Zoom meeting vs webinar. As you plan your strategy, explore all the options, and don’t forget about the pros of webinars.


Ola Czmut
Ola Czmut

Happily combines a love of writing and new technology as a copywriter, and enjoys the puzzle of putting together a good article. In her spare time she likes to catch up on the latest, greatest books, bake chocolate chip cookies and ponder her next travel destination.

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