September 27, 2009
You may already have recognized the need for web conferencing within your organization. You have heard all about the many benefits and have decided it is the way forward for your company. Now all you have to do is decide which type of web conferencing would best suit your company's needs.
A quick investigation into the types of web conferencing available will result in a myriad of information. For the uninitiated, unraveling what is available can be confusing and time-consuming.
Below you will find a quick guide to the types of web conferencing currently out there. Each organization will have its own individual requirements and it is important to be clear about what you hope to gain from web conferencing. For example, is it a fully interactive virtual meeting place that your organization needs, or do you require a document sharing system that will allow employees in different geographical locations to work together on projects? Once you understand how you want web conferencing to work for you, analyzing the types of web conferencing and how they could work for your organization will become much easier.
With growths in international business and a growing trend towards home working, the need for a virtual meeting place is increasing. A web meeting is just what it says – a meeting that takes place over the Internet. This facility has the capabilities to hold real-time conversations and share documents. Web meetings can be fully interactive, allowing participants to converse in real time and for information to be exchanged between delegates.
Web meeting set-ups vary in terms of sophistication and a very rudimentary system can be set up using just a digital camera and a broadband connection.
As the name would suggest, a webcast is a type of broadcast similar in nature to a television broadcast except, of course, a webcast takes place over the Internet. The broadcasting nature of this facility means that there is little opportunity for the presenter and delegates to interact with each other and therefore its function is primarily as a presenting tool. The other main feature of a webcast is that it can be broadcast simultaneously to hundreds of recipients.
If your requirement is for a presenting tool that also offers the interactive features of a web meeting, then you should consider a webinar.
As the name suggests, the webinar is a facility that allows you to conduct a seminar over the web. Allowing a greater level of interaction than the webcast, a webinar enables the presenter to conduct question and answer-type sessions with delegates. However, you should remember that a webinar does not afford the same degree of interaction as a web meeting.
Other Uses For Web Conferencing
Web conferencing can also be used for conduction online presentations. Online presenting is ideal for sales pitches, performance reporting or providing training for other members of your organization. Add on features include slide shows, web based conversing and audio/video streaming.
This is by far the most commonly used type of web conferencing and is the ideal solution for organizations who have multi-location sites yet require collaboration between their employees on projects and documents. Online collaboration has file sharing capabilities that updates changes and alterations to documents in real-time to avoid errors.
Diane Parker is a web content writer who specializes in internet related topics. Her conferencing articles include: web conferencing software, choosing a web conferencing tool and internet conferencing.