Web conferencing software is good for interoffice meetings, especially if you have more than one location or workers that telecommute. These programs give you an easy way for everyone to come together and collaborate. However, most of these solutions can only handle a small audience: 50 people or less. While more people could log in, the more attendees you have, the more the overall quality of the presentation and program will decrease.
These programs are also good for IT and other customer support issues. Most have a program that allows the presenter to have remote access of the client's computer and either teach or virtually walk through the answers with the client. If you have multiple clients experiencing the same issue, you can hold a web conference and allow more than one attendee to log in to watch your presentation. You can also record the program so other clients can download and access it.
If you discover that you need to host a larger number of people, 100 or more, check out our webinar services review. These are designed to host audiences up to 500 people. Many also include web conferencing features and are featured on both this site and our webinar services review site. One example is ReadyTalk, although you may have to pay more for a higher package that includes features for both conferencing and webinars.
Webcasting is another similar program to web conferencing. Webcasting is designed for large audiences, over 500, and for broadcasting and recording large events, such as press conferences or seminars. These programs allow patrons to log in and view your presentation as it is presented live. However, since you can record the event, you can have it available for participants to access it later, either through your website or as a file share link. These programs are capable of hosting a small web conference.
As with the webinar services, we have reviewed and ranked the top-performing webcasting programs, several that are also included on our web conferencing comparison. Cisco's WebEx has been reviewed for both sites and has ranked high on both lists. However, the cost of using a webcasting service is much higher compared to web conferencing services. It may be more economical for you to invest in the web conferencing program if you plan to hold smaller presentations.
If you are not sure if you should go with a web conferencing, webcasting or webinar software, use the questionnaire located at the top of the page to help determine your needs, to know which program you need and to get a list of possible services that match your business focus. Additionally, we have several articles on web conferencing, including tips on how to create effective PowerPoint presentations.