Web conferencing service
There are a number of web conferencing platforms available in the market today but only a few of them offer the ideal solutions with the adequate level of reliability that is required to conduct successful webinars, online training or presentations.
The features and characteristics you need in a web conferencing system naturally depend on the purpose of your presentations. Offering a weekly sales webinar has different requirements from conducting 6-hour online trainings on a daily basis.
On this page, we discuss the 10 most important features of web conferencing and how they can benefit your business based on our experience with Avenger IT Next Generation customers.
Controllable Document Sharing
You should be able to allow your attendees to download files such as brochures, agendas, presentations and such within the web conferencing interface without having to email them.
Although all web conferencing platforms offer some type of chat (ability for attendees to type messages), many lack some important features that can enhance your online meeting experience. You may want to have the option to privatize the chat so that attendees cannot read each-others’ messages. You may also need a configurable and controllable Private Chat function between attendees.
Powerful Slide Show
Although you can use the application or desktop sharing function available in most systems, it is preferable to use a Slide Show function of web conferencing platforms to show Microsoft PowerPoint presentations.
There are three reasons behind this:
- Your viewers may not have the same screen resolution as you do and they may get scroll bars on presentations if you show your desktop
- Fast animations may not be seen properly through desktop sharing
- When running a PowerPoint show, it covers your entire screen (although this is configurable) and would not allow you to see participants’ messages and questions
The ability to record and archive a presentation is critical. Most systems produce either very large file movies or low quality ones. You need to ensure the recording function provides a compromise between qualities and file size so that your viewers don’t need to download Gigs of data to see a 30-min movie. Another important factor is the ease of accessing the movies.
The back-end administration of web conferencing platform is also very important. You should be able to access reports on attendance, archive views, typed messages… as soon as an event ends. You should also be able to export reports in Microsoft Excel format and/or use APIs to download them automatically and interface with your CRM systems.
Ease of Customization
Our advice is to seek a system that can be easily integrated to your website and be customizable in terms of look and feel as well as functionality. Integration to your site does not only mean a link from your site. It should mean the ability to have attendees access the web conference room with a click from your Members Area. This would make user-management easy for you but also offers a better experience for your customers.
With the advanced VOIP (Voice over IP) technologies available today, you should demand the system have a fully integrated voice system. This means that your attendees would simply listen through their computers without using the phone or any other device Most systems however lack the high quality voice that you need in web conferencing.
Versatile Desktop Sharing
When it comes to sharing your desktop or a particular application, three factors are critical:
- Image transmission should be fast
- It should go through most firewalls.
- It should not use too much CPU (your computer’s calculating power).
No software installs
One of the most important factors is the ease of access and use. No matter what type of webinar or online presentation you want to carry out, you need to make sure your attendees can access your conference room in simple steps. Having a browser based system that truly does not require any software installs is important.
If the key word in real-estate is Location, Reliability applies to web conferencing. No matter how good the features, the up-time of the system and its ability to automatically correct problems will determine your success during your webinars.