Webinar is the shortened form of web based seminar which could be anything from a seminar, lecture, workshop or a presentation. Webinars are:
- a means to exchange ideas, thoughts and information at almost real time.
- a very effective mode of sharing information to remote locations over the internet.
- different from television in the terms that on television, one sided flow of information or data (to be precise) is allowed.
Webinars allow you to interact with other members or public over the internet in a large number. Interaction of these people or the participants of the webinar are just like the participants in a seminar where a participant asks a question from the presenter or the lecturer.
Video conferencing is more or less the same thing, but it allows only a small number or group of people to communicate at the same time. Webinars on the other hand, allow a larger public to communicate effectively, but it does come with the additional cost of software and hardware capability requirements.
Participants need to have PCs or laptops with working high speed internet connections as the basic hardware requirement to participate in the webinars. They also need to have the same software as the one with the presenter, which can be easily downloaded from the internet or may be provided by the presenting authority or organization.
A number of people feel that the webinars are only a one way mode of communication and they discourage participation from the people. However, the one way presentations or lectures are more appropriately called webcasts. As far as the quality of communication or interaction is concerned, many presenters include question and answer or polling sessions in between or at the end of the webinar to improve the participation. While the IP/TCP is a basic requirement for a webinar VoIP is not and hence the question and answer or polling session must be preferred in the text form.
Innovation forms an important component in almost every other form of business to keep it going. Webinars also require new and innovative models to keep the general public interested in participating and thus making it a success. Webinars are performed over VoIP, which is voice based communication, almost inevitably to improve the level of communication among the participants. Webinars must offer the opportunity to the participants to interact with each other in order to keep the webinar going and turn it into more of a professional meeting rather than a lecture which could have been done via video recording itself.