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Adobe Connect Review editorial staff editorial staff

Adobe Connect is one of the best webcasting services with its wealth of versatile and sophisticated tools that make it easy to give presentations that look professional. While it does not feature every tool, this webcasting service has extensions you can obtain or purchase for even greater utility. Although it lacks its own teleconferencing capability, its practicality as well as its many innovations earn Adobe Connect our praise.

Adobe Connect

Adobe Connect

The Verdict

Adobe Connect is a versatile webcasting service that offers considerable attendee participation, helpful tools to build webcasts and comprehensive help.

Adobe Connect lets you completely manage a presentation from a tablet, allowing you to expand or shrink windows, put together new polls while the event is underway, and share applications with the share desktop feature. Attendees can watch, listen and participate from a computer monitor, laptop, tablet or even a smartphone. You also can create meetings that allow attendees to call in at an additional fee.

Adobe Connect does not provide a teleconferencing platform, so you need to purchase a separate teleconferencing service if you want attendees to phone in. Adobe works with third parties for this service, which can add expense and inconvenience. One standout feature of this webcasting service is its versatility. Adobe offers a store where you can get various apps to add to your events. Some require an extra cost, but many are free.

To draw people to your event, you can promote your webinar presentation on an event catalogue, prepare a custom microsite, send emails and promote via social media. This service also allows you to track what invitation vector draws people in to register. This helps you determine how well your advertising and promotional dollars are spent.

In comparison to the other services on our lineup, we found that Adobe Connect’s large selection of webcasting features and tools gave the service a steeper learning curve than the other top-rated webcasting software. However, the service’s vast knowledgebase and dedicated support team help you master the service either on your own or with their assistance.

You can record and edit your webcasts. You can then archive them for on-demand viewing or give them to your sales or training staff, who can add materials of their own while retaining the structure, branding and other flourishes that you placed in the webcast initially. Adobe keeps your recordings, within space limits, for the life of your account.

Overall, the features rank on par with the best webcasting services. For example, Adobe Connect includes public and private chat as well as audience emoticons to show approval or to request the speaker speak up or slow down. You also have the ability to mark slides or use a white board. Adobe Connect has features found only within a few webcasting platforms. For example, it contains a widget to let you share website links and offer multiple types of files for your audience to upload. One of its drawbacks is the lack of translation ability. Some webinar services have translation features in the chat.

However, this webcasting software has numerous features and the ability to obtain extensions to integrate with other third-party services. This can make for a complex platform. In order to make using it easier, Adobe's interface emphasizes the most common features with the ability to drill down to the specialized tools.

Adobe Connect offers strong moderating features, including a Q&A feature that lets the moderator screen questions and a raise-hand feature in chat. You and your presentation team can communicate "backstage" without the audience knowing. You also can screen slides before showing them (so that you can skip slides or pull one up out of turn without the audience knowing), hide any personal written notes that you are using and examine attendee responses to questions before deciding whether to share them with the audience.

If you get a teleconferencing bridge along with the webinar software, you can moderate phone-in attendees, muting or removing them as needed. If you need additional help because you are short on time or just want professional assistance for that first webcast, you can pay an extra fee for personalized service. Adobe offers start-to-finish assistance including live event webcasting support, testing and rehearsals, video production and editing, post-event editing, and archiving. With this level of service, you also can get customer and technical support around the clock every day of the week.

Adobe doesn't provide you with a way to bill your guests unless you purchase an extra module, but it does integrate with Salesforce to allow you to connect attendee information to this popular customer relationship management (CRM) software. You can find additional extensions to integrate with other CRM and sales software in the Extensions page.

This webcasting service offers some excellent reporting features that not only compile information from the registration, polls and surveys but also analyze the webcast itself to let you know when your audience was most engaged. This helps you identify what topics were the most interesting.

Adobe has feature tutorials you can access when you enter the webcast. These tutorials are specialized for your role: host, presenter or attendee. The support section includes manuals, how-to guides, a knowledgebase, and training and certification programs. You can get chat support during business hours, and Adobe expedites email requests for help.

Adobe Connect is an excellent webcasting service with more options for users and hosts than any other product we tested. Its smooth interface makes it useful for businesses or schools. Some of its features require a different or additional program, and you need a separate teleconferencing platform if you want to allow phone-ins. Nonetheless, it's a service worth considering if you need a highly professional and feature-rich webcasting service.

Image Credit: Getty Images
Adobe Connect

Adobe Connect

The Verdict

Adobe Connect is a versatile webcasting service that offers considerable attendee participation, helpful tools to build webcasts and comprehensive help. editorial staff editorial staff Member
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