Virtual meetings and webcasts are having a real “moment” in history thanks to a growing remote workforce. Business communicators have had to learn lots of new tools all at once, and it’s no wonder there’s confusion about new terms and technology. We want to help.

Previously, we discussed the differences between Live Streaming and Webcasting. In this post, we will answer another common question we get: What’s the difference between webcasting and video conferencing? For those short on time, here’s a handy infographic that will break it down for you, followed by a more detailed explanation below.

Lime Crane Infographic

Defining Trait of a Video Conference

Video conferences follow a one-to-one or one-to-few format. An organizer will reach out directly to a specific person or group of participants that they would like to meet with. Think of it as a telephone conference call, except you can see each other on your screen and interact with one another.

Offering this type of content is an excellent way to build long term trust and appreciation with followers. We advise that you avoid the temptation to sell to viewers in this format, to avoid the risk of turning them off. The goal should be earning trust by producing informative tutorials with a laser-focus on helping, not selling.

What are video conferences good for?

When you can’t have an in-person team meeting, and you want your participants to see and speak directly with one another, try a video conference. They are great for routine check-ins or informal brainstorming sessions and can usually be conducted with screen-sharing software like WebEx, Google Hangouts, Zoom, and GoToMeeting.

Other traits of video conferencing

  • Commonly used, especially in the age of social distancing and remote working/learning.

  • Always happens in real-time.

  • Most offices have some kind of video conferencing capability whether it be webcams in the boardroom or online programs for one-to-one meetings.

  • The content is not available to watch afterward unless the meeting is recorded and uploaded to a webpage.

  • Can be managed and conducted with mainstream screen-sharing software like Zoom.

  • Usually not open to the public or a large audience. Participants have to be specifically invited to join the meeting by the organizer.

Defining Trait of Webcasts

A webcast is a live meeting or presentation that follows a one-to-many format. These meetings are broadcast online in order to reach a larger audience of people. Think of webcasts like a speaker at a podium who is presenting to a group of people – it’s organized at a specific time, and requires pre-event preparation

Webcasts focus on a small number of presenters or remote panelists (usually no more than four) presenting to a larger audience. They often incorporate elements that video conferences cannot. Some examples are:

  • pre-recorded video

  • polling questions

  • interactive features like a live Q &A

  • social media integration

  • polls

  • group chat

  • detailed reporting

  • slideshows

Webcasts can also incorporate Lime Crane’s signature service – an interactive live stream that is viewed in real-time. 

Webcasts are accessible and affordable to companies because they can be published anywhere online. They are not ideal for software designed for small to medium groups like GoToMeeting, WebEx, Google Hangouts, and Zoom. 

What do they have in common? 

Video Conferences and Webcasts are typically more effective methods of communication than a tedious email chain and awkward conference calls. Both provide the immediacy of important messaging with the personable feel of a face-to-face meeting. Both solutions also allow for interactive engagement from participants who want to comment or ask questions in real-time.

Think you might need a webcast? We can help.

Lime Crane creates collaborative and engaging experiences for our clients and their audiences. Our unique webcasting solution enables clients to stream live town halls and panel discussions with every employee in their entire organization – even while all speakers, staff, and production crews are working remotely.

We integrate our webcasting technology with your existing video conference systems to overcome the limited capacities of Skype, Zoom, Webex and others.

We can help you stay in touch with your team. Contact us today to discover how a live webcast can work for your company.