What is the difference between an online meeting and an online webinar?

Most video conferencing platforms (Zoom, WebEx, GoTo products etc) have two ways you can interact virtually with an audience via video chat:

  • Meetings. Typically one person hosts the meeting and people can join as peers. Everyone will have a video feed and audio input into the virtual meeting. This is a good format for actual meetings, and small workshops with fewer than 30 people or so. 

 

  • Webinars. This is a format for managing a large audience (30+). There is a distinction between "panelists" and "attendees". The panelists have full video feed and audio input just like in a meeting. Attendees do not have a video stream for the panelists to see (because it can be overwhelming). They also cannot use audio unless explicitly granted permission from the host (or co-hosts - more than one person may host a webinar). The audience can interact with panelists via polls issued by the host OR via typing in text questions. 

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