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What is Webinar Software?

By G. Wiesen
Updated May 16, 2024
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Webinar software is a computer program that helps arrange, run, and manage a webinar held by one person and attended by others. This type of software is often used in extensive business presentations, as well as public unveiling of new products and online press conferences. A single license for this type of software may cover up to hundreds or thousands of users who can often be connected through the Internet or even listen over the phone. Webinar software can be fairly expensive, though it often has uses well beyond webinars and allows for other professional applications.

A webinar is a type of online seminar typically broadcast live over the Internet or a secured network. Much like a traditional seminar, it will often consist of one or more speakers who address a large crowd of individuals, with varying degrees of audience participation. There can be supplemental materials that go with the actual presentations, and the entire webinar may take several hours or even days to complete. Webinar software is typically utilized to make the process easier and more reliable, though this type of program is not always mandatory.

One of the most common features that webinar software includes is the ability to easily stream a webcam image across the Internet. This is done in a way that can be secured so only those with a password are able to access the image, much as a traditional seminar can only be viewed by paying audience members. While there are many ways for a person to host webcam broadcasts on the Internet, this added security is not always available by such means. This type of webinar software can also allow multiple streams of content to be accessed simultaneously, to provide captioning for what is being said or even text and images that accompany the primary presentation.

Webinar software can also often allow varying levels of audience participation with regard to the presentation being made. Interactive polling, questionnaires, and other features can be incorporated into a webinar broadcast to allow the audience to provide feedback and ask questions during the presentation. Since the webinar is being held in real time, the presenter can also immediately provide answers as well as expand upon points being made in his or her presentation through multimedia and links to further resources. Webinar software can also often be used for applications other than webinars, to allow videoconferencing within a company as well as make smaller presentations over long distances.

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Discussion Comments
By Charred — On Jun 11, 2011

@SkyWhisperer - Go online and do a webinar software comparison. There are quality products out there; the one I use works without a hitch.

By SkyWhisperer — On Jun 09, 2011

@David09 - I am fan of online webinar software-only when it works. I can’t count the number of times I’ve had audio dropouts, or screen freezes or a host of other technical issues that have rendered my otherwise well-planned presentation completely useless.

Maybe I need to shop around for a better program; I haven’t been too happy with the results I’ve been getting.

By miriam98 — On Jun 08, 2011

@David09 - I use web conference software too, but not for technical or training purposes. I have to give a business presentation once a month to executives in our local and field offices, and like you, online meeting software is the only practical way to do it.

I also use webinar recording software to record the presentation, either the entire video portion or only the audio. That way recipients can replay the presentation at a later date to make sure they haven’t missed anything.

By David09 — On Jun 07, 2011

I work in a software company and often use web conference software to schedule an online meeting. The purpose is either for training or technical support. I can set up the meeting and invite viewers to log on while they dial in to hear my presentation.

It’s very convenient because they can see what I am doing and they can take control as well, showing me what they’re trying to do with their software. If there’s an error in the software I can see the error message instantly and this enables me to immediately debug the problem on the spot.

It’s been indispensable for training. We have some clients overseas and this is the only practical way for us to train. We set up in the conference room and conduct all day training just as if we were there in person. Our company has saved a lot of time and money using webcast software.

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