Webinar services option for my business

I’ve been researching webinar services options for my business and have been experimenting with a few of them over the past few months.

If you have webinar experience I would be interested in reading your comment and recommendations as we finalize our selection.

We have narrowed our selection to the following options:

  1. Webex
  2. GoToWebinar
  3. iLinc
  4. ClickWebinar
  5. VIA3

From a usage standpoint, I’m most familiar with Webex having just delivered a 5-day IT Manager Institute for a group of IT managers from Croatia and Slovenia and several 1-hour training sessions leading up to the Institute, , , see Class #47 at https://itlever.com/it-manager-institute-photos/

Webex worked well and was easy to use, but I still have a bit of learning curve. I’m also a bit familiar with GoToWebinar and a couple of other services I have sampled.

The Institute webinar went well overall, but 5-hour sessions over 5 days is a challenge for students although it was much easier for me. I didn’t have to stand up all day, no airports or hotels to deal with, , , simply show up in front of my PC at 8:00am to deliver the class (3:00pm their time).

A couple of students stated the webinar approach worked exceptionally well for them, but one student said it was not that effective for him, partly because he may have had a poor connection, , , so reactions to long classes are a bit mixed at this point. I’ll plan to do another Institute by webinar soon to see if we can get a clearer picture.

I plan to deliver a whole series of 1 and 2-hour training sessions in 2012 so finding a webinar service that works well for me is important which is why I’m spending extra time to scope out the alternatives.

Here is a short list of key features we are looking for in a webinar service:

  • Low cost
  • Scheduling and reminder capability
  • Audio via Internet
  • Video (webcam)
  • Ability for administrator to control the audio and video
  • Preferably no user download requirement (but not an absolute requirement)
  • Easy to navigate
  • Desktop sharing
  • Annotation
  • Messaging, Raise Hand, etc.
  • Recording and playback
  • Ability to collaborate with several people in a meeting

If you have experience in any of the vendor products mentioned above and want to provide insight, we will appreciate your comments.

Stay tuned for my decision.

2 responses to “Webinar services option for my business

  1. We have used WebEx for several years and are very happy with it. In addition to meeting most of the needs you listed, one of the versions they offer also has the ability to determine if the particpant’s pc has “focus” on the WebEx presentation. This allows you to know that the person wasn’t surfing the web or reading their email messages. t can determine if the WebEx client is the active application on the pc.We thought this was important because if someone is logged on but not paying attention there might be some thought as to whether they should get credit for the course or not.
    Hope that helps,
    Richard

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