There are as many different webinar software suites and services as there are types of webinars, so it is important to know what you will need before hand so you can shop around effectively to get the best deal at the best price that will do all that you need the technology to accomplish.
Some features you might require include:
+PowerPoint presentation linking
+sharing your desktop
+audience participation, such as question and answers
Here are some of the main companies that we have used
Webex.com — This system is run by Cisco Systems group, which is a leading provider of telecommunications hardware systems. Since webex does not require any downloading of large files of software to your computer because they host everything related to the service on their own servers, you can be anywhere, at any time, whenever you wish to host or participate in a webinar.
Their features include many presenters and participants, a white board, easy to use interface, screen sharing, PowerPoint, and much more. Prices are flexible, from per minute, to per month unlimited. It allows you to record your presentations, works on mobile devices, and connects quickly, with little lag time even on mobile devices still running 3G.
GoToMeeting.com — Developed by Citrix Online, this is one of the most popular choices in the webinar space because is is so easy to use. You simply register an account and then you are authorized to host an unlimited number of online meetings even if the participants do not join GotoMeeting. You do have to download software to your computer, however, it is compatible for PC or Mac and is simple to use.
You can share your desktop, connect with other presenters, record your webinar and more.
Adobe Acrobat Connect allows polls, PowerPoint, audio, video, whiteboard, Q&A, desktop sharing, recording and more. The small business plan pricing is cost effective and flexible, either per use or per month. Check the number of attendees and presenters allowed.
All of these services offer a free trial, so if you are not familiar with webinar software and services, first make a list of what features you would like and then take each one for a test run with a group of fellow presenters and employees, joint venture partners and affiliates, and put each system through its paces. Then narrow it down to the service that makes the most sense for you in terms of your business and how large you want it to grow with the help of your hosted online webinars.
One other thing to consider before getting started is if your PowerPoint(TM) presentations are as professional as they can be. They are ideal for the ‘camera shy’ presenter, IF they are done correctly. They are also ideal as a paid product, free one, or an added bonus and takeaway for your webinar guests, a present for them having taken the time and trouble to attend. You can also use them on presentation sharing sites such as slideshare.com or turn them into videos to post on YouTube and other video sharing sites.
Just a few moments of video or a few slides from your webinar can serve as a great marketing tool to build your brand and business.