Webinars vs Meetings - Which is Best for Your Business?

Webinars vs Meetings - Which is Best for Your Business?

Now that more companies are functioning remotely, online video platforms have helped team members to stay engaged and businesses to more easily reach their shareholders. There are many ways that video can be useful, including video meetings and online virtual webinars. While the webinars and meetings may seem similar, and both can be handy for reaching a group of people from afar, there are actually some important differences. For any given event, one may be better suited for your business than the other.

In this article we will explain the difference between webinars and meetings, which one is best suited for each event type, and how you can go about hosting.

Webinars vs. Meetings: What's the Difference?

To decide whether your company needs to have a webinar or a meeting, you must first understand the differences between the two. While both are gatherings of people online, the two actually have two somewhat different purposes.

Company webinars are larger gatherings where a company leader or representative addresses the group to share information or provide an educational experience. Webinars can be internal—a means of communicating to a large group within a company—or they can be for the public, where your company shares information in an online event.

In contrast, meetings are usually smaller gatherings. In meetings, more people interact than just one host (or a small group of people hosting), and they often require more conversation and back and forth between participants. Meetings tend to have a leader or host, who facilitates conversation between all participants.

While having both online meetings and webinars requires live video streaming technology, webinars may require that only one person have the ability to capture and broadcast the video. Meetings often require multiple people to capture and broadcast video to other participants in real-time, facilitating engagement via the web.

Webinars vs. Meetings: How to Know Which Your Business Needs

Once you have a basic understanding of how webinars and meetings are different, you're prepared to decide which is best suited for your organization. Ask yourself these questions, so you can get a better sense of which type of online meeting will help you reach your business goals.

  • Will you require a lot of back-and-forth conversation or engagement of many participants? If so, you'll want to hold a meeting rather than a webinar.
  • Will you be hosting your team, or people who don't know you? When you're presenting information to strangers at an online event, you'll usually want to host a webinar. If just your team is attending and you want to converse with them, a meeting may be a better format.
  • Will there be a host leading the experience? Will the host be sharing a great deal of information that an audience will need to consume? If so, you may want to host a webinar.
  • How big is the event? If you have over 15 or 20 people attending, you may want to host a webinar in order to stay organized and manage chaos during the online event.
  • Do you want people to pre-register? If you want a list of people who have "signed up" for the online event, a webinar may make more sense. In a meeting, many people can attend without having to register.
  • Do you want to allow smaller breakout groups within the event? Meetings are a good option for your company if you are planning to allow smaller groups to go into "breakout rooms" to continue conversations away from the larger group. Webinars are typically not set up to facilitate interactions between smaller factions of a larger group in real-time.

When to Host a Meeting

You should host a meeting instead of a webinar...

  • When you need back-and-forth conversation in the event
  • When it's just your team gathering
  • When there is a host facilitating but not necessarily doing all the speaking
  • When you have a group under 20 people
  • When you don't need a specific list of people coming beforehand
  • When you want groups to breakout and have smaller discussions

When to Host a Webinar

You should a host a webinar instead of a meeting....

  • When one person will be addressing an audience
  • When you want to invite in strangers or non-employees
  • When one host speaks to everyone, with little other participation
  • When there are more than 20 people attending
  • When you want people to pre-register so you have a list of who will be there beforehand
  • When the event takes place in one big group, with no need for breakouts

Host Your Webinars and Meetings with Viostream

It's the age of remote work, and there's a good chance you're going to have to host an online meeting or webinar soon. Once you understand the difference between webinars vs. meetings, and which one best suits your event, you can use Viostream to help you host.

Viostream is one of the web's best video streaming platforms. It gives you the capability to live stream company events or to hold webinars where you can invite a larger audience from across the globe. Besides a host of excellent live streaming features and capabilities, Viostream also offers video management technology—where you can host, organize, and share your videos online.

If you want a solution that can help you with meetings, webinars, and harnessing the power of online video, contact our support team for more information and to access a trial of the Viostream platform.

Evan Parker
Evan Parker
Chief Executive Officer
Evan is the Chief Executive Officer, with over 15 years of leadership experience across technology, management consulting & military service.
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