Clair Pearson, Global Product Manager – Events & Multimedia discusses virtual solutions and various common terms including web conferencing, online meetings, webinars, virtual events, streaming and webcasts.
A webcast, by definition, is a broadcast on the web. Similar to TV or radio, it’s a one-to-many communication that allows you to reach hundreds, thousands or tens of thousands of viewers, or participants, all at the same time. A webcast can also be referred to as a “virtual event”. Webcasts are highly scalable and reliable — ensuring your big event runs smoothly. They are designed to address widely dispersed audiences, often all over the world. Web conferencing is a solution designed for smaller meetings and presentations. Is it normally used in conjunction with an audio conference. Web conferencing is a highly collaborative solution which is perfect for less formal day to day meetings and normally has fewer attendees.
A webcast, on the other hand, uses audio streaming or video streaming to allow participants to listen or see the presenter over the Internet, without the need to download or install anything or use a telephone. The attendee just clicks on a link and joins the “virtual event” with potentially hundreds or thousands of fellow viewers listening through their computer’s speakers. As a presenter, a webcast with streamed audio can be run using just a plain old telephone. The beauty of this is that multiple speakers in different geographical regions can all be presenting on the same event in real time.