Web Conferencing: There's Probably More to it Than You Think
If you’re in business you’re invariably surrounded by conferencing and conference calls in all of their different forms.
The bread and butter remains audio – simple voice-to-ear communication that connects people and allows basic and essential communication and sharing of information. You may have even used web conferencing like Adobe Connect to share projects and collaborate in a more in-depth way.
And, of course, you’ve likely used video conferencing which offers the face-to-face interaction so important for effective meetings.
However, one facet of conferencing that more and more businesses are finding value in remains underused – and that facet is webcasting.
Webcasting (like broadcasting) is the transmission of information and pictures from one (or a few) to many. Hosted on the internet and accessible from a variety of internet-enabled devices, webcasting is a tool that allows businesses to engage large number of participants in an easily accessible, engaging format.
It’s being used in a variety of ways to disseminate information and ensure consistent messaging and adoption across entire corporations. In spite of its value, webcasting still remains a fairly fringe form of conferencing.
So how does webcasting work? And why should more companies be pursuing it as a communication platform?
What is Webcasting?
Put simply, webcasting is broadcasting, just over the internet. It allows streaming media technology to share content from one source to large numbers of viewers at the same time, either live or recorded. It differs from web conferencing which is “many to many” communication.
Like broadcasting, webcasting is an extremely efficient way of sharing information with an audience, providing consistent messaging throughout. It’s used by all the major TV and radio stations who “simulcast” their broadcasts both on the air and via the internet to increase accessibility and consequently viewership.
It’s certainly not a new idea. Apple webcast an online concert as early as 1995. The problem has traditionally been that available bandwidth limited the effectiveness and quality of the webcast, and it was a while before technology and internet speeds were able to catch up and make it a viable solution. Today, internet speeds and mobile technology make it more accessible than ever before.
With the ubiquity of internet-enabled devices, webcasting has become the most one of the most effective ways of reaching an audience. Just like streaming a YouTube video, you could access a webcast on your phone, home computer, or any number of devices. That’s why businesses are finding value with webcasting. But how are they using it?
How Businesses are Using Webcasting
The value of webcasting has not gone unnoticed for many companies, although it is still underused as a tool.
One of the main uses for webcasting is for enterprise-level companies looking to hold large presentations (like Annual General Meetings) or share information with investors.
For global organizations, it can be difficult for all attendees to be physically present at one location. However, with a webcast, participants can virtually attend a presentation from anywhere, streaming it on any device connected to the internet.
Just like a physical presentation, webcasting software allows you to ask questions and engage with the presenters during an assigned Q&A session. Of course, this only works for attendees viewing live – webcasting also allows the flexibility to access a recording of the presentation too for either re-viewing or simply ensuring the audience can participate at their convenience.
Another way companies are finding value from webcasting is through e-learning and training. Much like a professor or instructor teaching a class, webcasting can be used to engage students across a geographical expanse without the need for a physical classroom.
Again, this is especially valuable for large, global organizations who can offer in-depth, successful orientation of new employees, all while reducing travel costs.
From an education perspective, webcasting greatly increases the impact experts can have. Prior to the adoption of webcasting it may have been impractical to have an expert in the field speak to employees as part of their training. However, with webcasting, accessing expert knowledge and communicating it to a class is easier (and less expensive) than ever before.
Webcasting expands an organization’s ability to reach a large audience.
It breaks down barriers that have traditionally made reaching large groups of people simultaneously difficult. Geography, travel, and budget are all eased with the application of webcasting services.
Webcasting isn’t a new idea – the basics of the technology have been around since the 90’s. But it’s only just starting to pick up in popularity when bandwidth and streaming technology was able to support it consistently and in high quality.
Now, companies are using webcasting for big presentations like investor relations meetings, AGMs and e-learning or training opportunities. But there is still a lot of room for adoption, especially among large companies.
If your organization ever does large presentations and want to increase audience accessibility, don’t hesitate – contact us today to see how webcasting can benefit you business.Recent Posts