Live Webinar vs Pre-Recorded Webinars – What Works Better?

In this Article

  • The age of webinars
  • What is a live webinar?
  • Pros of hosting a live webinar
  • Challenges of hosting a live webinar 
  • What is a pre-recorded webinar?
  • Pros of pre-recorded webinars
  • Challenges of pre-recorded webinars
  • Sectors that can benefit from webinars
  • The future of webinars (seminars & webinars)
  • Should you host a live or pre-recorded webinar? Conclusion, what should you choose for your needs? 

2020 and 2021 have redefined working, education, interaction and business in more ways than one. It has enabled virtual operations for all of these. This year (one can safely claim) has been a year of words and technologies. We’ve added multiple unique words to our everyday vocabulary. Be it sanitization, remote working, virtual meetings or webinars, the past year and the ongoing one have made us adapt to a new way of life and work. 

And more often than not, we’ve found ourselves discovering new uses of the erstwhile cameras on our devices. Our pick of the lot for today? Webinars. It is safe to say indeed webinars hold high advantages when it comes to their potential and versatility. They are an easy, tap-worthy way of connecting, communicating and growing. All the while providing the user with the luxury of hosting or attending remotely. 

Since the benefits are many, the goals can be too. And to understand how to attain the best for our aims, it is necessary to understand the path towards it. Before diving into this god-sent feature, it is important to understand the what, why and how of webinars. Let’s start! 

What is a webinar?

A webinar, as the name suggests, is the “web” version of a live seminar. It is a virtual gathering of people where-in an expert of a particular subject gathers, imparts information, knowledge and titbits in an engaging and fun way. In this case, if you wish to host a webinar, you would be the subject expert. So, simply put, a webinar is a seminar held over the internet. You can be at your home, your lounge, or anywhere in the world. And guess what? So can your audience. This makes the technology a simple, accessible and fuss-free medium. 

The age of webinars

The current scenario we live in has deviated from a normal office going routine to a work-from-home one. In the past two years, the pandemic has brought about massive changes in lifestyle, work and every other aspect of society. Being restricted or confined to a space pushed technology to be developed for easier adaptations – to make life simple without compromising on safety. 

With everything turning online, e-commerce sites have been booming with business. It is also predicted that this meteoric rise in sales will not be affected even after the offline retail lines open up. The same can be claimed for social media. Being stuck at home makes people seek changes and leads to more content generation on sites such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. 

However, it can be noted that people seek content from brands that they rely upon and trust. Several new brands have popped up in the market in recent times by grasping this very fact. Now is a great time to start building a brand image and leverage webinars to engage audiences better. Having a virtual video meet is the closest opportunity to creating connections with people from their safe space. 

Types of webinars 

There are two ways of streaming a webinar. Namely, live and pre-recorded.  

What is a live webinar? 

Live webinars are online seminars that are telecast live. They are streamed in real-time and allow for authentic host and audience interaction.  They allow the audience to ask questions or clarifications if any. Live webinars are certainly helpful in conducting demonstrations or teaching practical skills. 

There are several advantages of hosting live webinars. We shall discuss them as follows. 

Pros of live webinars

1. A reflection of authentic communication- They allow for a stronger bond to be formed with the audience. This lends a lot in terms of brand trust and loyalty. When your subscribers have an honest and intimate interaction, they tend to build a stronger reciprocation to your tactics. With live webinars, the sessions have a touch of personal communication. 

2. Instantaneous doubt clarification and discussions – Live webinars allow the audience to raise spontaneous questions if any. They prove to be a platform where brand building is taken to the next level. The answers to their questions can satisfy and compel your audience. 

3. Opportunity to connect with brand loyalists – Live webinars can help you interact with the people who trust your brand the most. This reinforces your relationship with them.

4. Save production time – With live webinars, the resources and time taken to complete a session are relatively low. It strengthens your presentation skills and makes you always put your best foot forward. There’s no need to post-shoot editing either. 

Challenges of hosting a live webinar 

1. Unexpected circumstances- It is not always that external factors are aligned to our schedule. Sometimes, visitors, phone calls, weather issues might seem likely to disrupt your live session (just like in video calls). 

 2. Universal preferred time – It is difficult to accommodate all of your target audience’s time preferences especially if an audience spread across different time zones is considered.  A recording might be used, but lacks the vivacity and engagement of the original live session. 

3. Technical glitches – Nothing can predict a possible technical glitch be it on your hardware or online. Slow internet speeds, software issues and lags might hinder a seamless experience. 

What is a pre-recorded webinar? 

These are webinars that have been recorded live and saved or edited later for further distribution. They allow for greater control over the content put out. 

Pros of pre-recorded webinars

1. Editing your content – You get to edit and present your content exactly the way you want, in a style that you prefer. Editing lets you have control over every aspect of your presentation and lets you remove unnecessary bits.  

2. Flexibility to improve – Redoing bits that you think can be made better is easier when you see the project as a whole. You can add in new segments as well. 

3. Put your best foot forward – Pre-recorded webinars have the advantage to let you bring out your best performance. They let you have a grip on your stage fright. 

4. Makeup for glitches – Sometimes, you might face technical issues like poor internet connection, bad mic, speaker problem, lighting problems etc. Pre-recorded webinars let you makeup for all the glitches that you might face during a live webinar, allowing you to  have a picture perfect presentation!

Challenges of pre-recorded webinars 

1. No real-time interaction – There is no audience engagement with a pre-recorded set. This gives less of an idea as to how the audience is reciprocating to your content.  

2. Difficulty building trust – It’s difficult to urge brand loyalty without making a connection with your viewers. It doesn’t have an intimate aspect to it. 

Sectors that can benefit from webinars

Various sectors, be it B2B or B2C can benefit from the webinars. The communication webinars provide is an extension of the subject that the brand wants to cater to. Be it education with expert webinars on how to teach, or an IT sector providing webinars to improve its employees’ skill set – the reach that communication can have is wide. 

Future of Webinars

Webinars are a great way to introduce profiting schemes. You can utilize the platform to introduce surprise discounts and bonuses. 

With the ongoing scenario and rapid adaption of everyday life, webinars are most likely to take the forefront as primary sources of information. Change and innovative presentation techniques are very welcome. 

Should you host a live or a pre-recorded one? 

Moreover, with webinars, you will always have the option to choose between a live and a pre-recorded one. While the live option will give you a chance to interact and form a stronger bond with your audience, the pre-recorded option will allow you to put your best foot forward and give more control. 

With our platform you can do one better – combine both. Using our simulive feature you can stream pre-recorded videos and get your speakers/hosts live to add more effectiveness to your webinars. . 

Find your comfort zone and find what lets you express your brand in the best manner possible.

We are the Webinar & Virtual event Experts.

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