The internet has made many things more manageable. Among these things are conferences and seminars. In the days before the internet, the best you could do apart from a physical meeting was to schedule a conference call. The internet has made improved our connectivity.
Webinars are seminars that take place over the web. Typically for you to conduct a webinar, you need a service provider. WebinarJam and Zoom are two leading providers of webinar services.
Choosing the better among the two requires objectivity and research. We’ll look at the features of each service impartially and note the upsides and downsides of each. Such extensive research should help you make an objective decision.
WebinarJam upgraded its brand recently and now claims to have more than 30000 active members. It is a powerful webinar platform that will give you, among other benefits, the ability to record your webinars.
The first feature we’ll look at is collaboration. Partnerships help you have several people contribute to a discussion on an equal field. Most other webinar platforms restrict your cooperation. You may have a leading contributor and several minor contributors. The main contributor gets the largest share of the screen while the others are merely thumbnails.
With WebinarJam, you can have up to 6 co-presenters with equal screen share. Furthermore, the layout is dynamic, and you can stream in high definition. It will be up to you to choose how to share the screen. You can go the traditional route of having one presenter getting the largest share of the screen. However, if your presentation involves several experts, the equal screen share should work well for you.
Most Webinar providers don’t take their chatting applications too seriously. You won’t have that in WebinarJam. You can control the chat device in several ways.
Public announcements are a great tool in chatting, but this isn’t the only benefit you get on WebinarJam. You can also have many to many conversations and private messages.
The ultimate control mechanism at your disposal is the fact that you have the final say as the moderator. It is essential to have freedom in a chat room; however, there will always be a trouble maker or two. As a moderator of a chat room on WebinarJam, you can control the conversation.
Presentations can make or break your webinar. It is essential to have high-quality presentations without hitches.
The two most prominent presentation tools are PowerPoint and Keynote. WebinarJam enables you to effortlessly import any files from these tools and show them to your audience. You also get several slide animators. These slide animators allow you to move backward and forwards through your presentation.
The feature that enables these slide animations is called Slides in the Cloud. Slides in the Cloud gives you smooth movement between slides and top-notch readability.
Another aspect of presentations is the use of a whiteboard. Whiteboards are essential for technical presentations, such as software demos and lectures. WebinarJam enables you to highlight text and write annotation on screen effortlessly. You, therefore, can have a more productive and interactive session than typical presentations.
The Video Engine
WebinarJam’s video engine gives you newsroom capability. You can roll in the footage as they do on TV. You can preload and arrange up to 12 video files. These files will play in a click, and in the order, you set them out.
The Video engine shuts off all other services as the videos are playing. Your webcam won’t broadcast, and neither will your microphone. The audience gets to experience the videos without any interruption.
You can incorporate these video segments into your presentation to make it lively. The video segments are also an alternative way of delivering information. Some people are more visual than others and require their knowledge to be in motion pictures if they are to understand.
As an example of an extreme yet doable option, you can deliver a whole webinar with the video engine. You could go for this option if you want to break up the monotony of regular webinars. Your audience will appreciate the break but at the same time will still get to learn something.
For a platform to be effective, it should be compatible with all the major operating systems. You can communicate with people on both iOS and Android devices. The process of setting up these communication links is automatic.
This compatibility extends to computer operating systems. You can connect with Windows, Mac, and Linux systems without any hassle.
Lastly, you can also use WebinarJam on browsers. WebinarJam can work on all major modern browsers without any hitch. If you have an event, your audience can view it in any browser platform, even in Opera.
Express Jam is your best way to broadcasting. With Express Jam, you can be online in as little as 30 seconds. Express Jam not only allows to broadcast quickly, but it also enables customization.
You get customization through a feature called Smart Preferences. With Smart Preferences, you can customize your Webinar. You can get it to operate according to your specific needs.
There are two levels of configuration. Express configuration is the faster level. On Express configuration, you can get your broadcast ready and running in 30 seconds. It is the quicker option and one you should go for if you want fast connections.
The next level of configuration is the Standard level. On the Standard tier, you’ll take longer to get your broadcast ready. Though it is slower than Express configuration, it is still powerful and flexible. You will yet have decent broadcasts.
On WebinarJam, you get a tool called the Broadcast Distribution Technology. This technology creates a universal signal. With this signal, you can do live transmissions to thousands of attendees to your webinars. Such communication cannot fail due to a platform mismatch; the technology uses all platforms and technologies to ensure success. Therefore all sorts of technologies your attendees might be using will not be incompatible with the system.
Additionally, you can broadcast to your audience wherever they are. You can stream to YouTube Live or even your network.
Zoom is a webinar solution that guarantees your reliability and security. You get a host of products and solutions to make your webinars a success.
Chat and Meetings
With Zoom, you get quality access to video conferencing and messaging. Connections are compatible across all devices. You can set up or join a meeting anywhere on any device without a hitch. You can also have different kinds of gatherings, from training to consultations with ease.
While you’re conducting your meetings, you can use an advanced feature to take notes. Zoom uses auto-generated searchable transcripts to enable real-time note-taking during meetings. You can, therefore, focus on your session entirely.
Another considerable advantage is the fact that you can transmit content without uploading it. You can share video and audio content with your colleagues without uploading it. It is much cheaper to work this way than to upload all the content you want to share.
Lastly, you can use virtual backgrounds to make your meetings stand out.
Zoom has a unique focus on mobile platforms and for a good reason. Mobile is quickly becoming the preferred platform for many internet users. It is easy to use flexible, and you also get much cheaper rates.
Zoom ensures that you get the same level of quality in a phone meeting as you would on a desktop. You can use virtual backgrounds and select from several images. Also, you can use the safe driving mode to conduct consultations while in transit. Lastly, you can share your screen with other participants and co annotate during meetings.
If you already have video conferencing room systems, you can integrate them with Zoom. The conference room connector can operate with any of the two endpoints available. If you have SIP or H.323, you can connect directly to Zoom.
No matter the number of conference rooms you integrate, you can manage them all from one central point. The admin console gives you access to all conference rooms. You can check on the status and manage all the rooms at will.
For Polycom and Cisco systems, your workflow is much simpler than on other platforms. If you want to join or start a meeting, you click once, and the set up is complete.
If you don’t have existing conference rooms, then you should choose Zoom Rooms. Among some of the benefits you get from Zoom Rooms include:
Wireless sharing: You can easily share content with one click of a button. Such fast connections ensure that your meetings will be productive as you won’t have any delays from sharing issues.
Zoom enables you to integrate with Google Calendar, Office 365, and Exchange. You can set up meetings and book rooms with these calendar apps.
Joining meetings isn’t a hassle at all. With one simple touch, you can join a meeting, be it audio or video.
High-Quality Video and Audio
You get the highest quality of video and audio across your meetings. The quality of audio and video isn’t dependent in the platform. Whether you’re on mobile or desktop, the quality remains constant.
Zoom phone is your ultimate solution for communication. It is a cloud-based phone system that supports the traditional business communication system. However, with cloud backup, it can give you streamlined user experience.
Here, you also get a central management portal. From the portal, you can manage users and monitor interactions.
The cloud system enables unprecedented levels of security and reliability.
Zoom phone works on both mobile platforms as well as your desktop. You can also quickly transform your phone calls into Zoom meetings without hanging up. Apps for different platforms such as Android and iOS prioritize the quality of voice and are also easy to use.
Additional benefits you get include voicemail and call recording. You can also set up auto attendants to deal with your calls or do intelligent routing.
Zoom has a dedicated app marketplace where you can find all manner of apps that integrate with Zoom.
The marketplace has categories according to the nature of the app. You have sales and marketing, educations, collaborations, health apps, and many more types.
You also have the option to develop your custom app and include it among your integration options.
Once you have chosen an app to use, you can set it up with any of the services you get from Zoom. You can integrate with Zoom meetings, or Zoom rooms, or any other service on the platform.
Pricing and Plans
Zoom has a free plan. You can host up to a hundred participants and have unlimited one to one meetings. You also get video and web conferencing features.
Zoom Pro costs you $14.99 per month per host. The number of participants you can have is also 100, and the duration of meetings is 24 hours. You get 1GB of MP4 recording, reporting, and user management. All these features are in addition to those on the basic free plan.
For you to subscribe to the business plan, you must have a minimum of ten hosts. This plan is ideal for medium to large business establishments. The number of participants you can have is 300. You also get custom branding, priority support, and cloud recording transcripts. You’ll pay $19.99 per month per host.
The enterprise plan also costs $19.99 per month, but you cannot purchase it directly from the website. You have to contact the sales team for a purchase. The minimum number of hosts on this platform is 50. You get a dedicated customer success manager in addition to all the benefits in the business plan.
WebinarJam allows you to pay once for webinar services for a year. The cost of this plan is $479 every year. You can also choose to pay thrice in a year. You’ll pay $189 in three installments in this plan.
Unlike Zoom Webinarjam, do not discriminate based on the plan you are on. Once you sign up for a plan, you get all the benefits of the platform.
WebinarJam wins in this comparison. Both tools are decent and are similar in many respects, but WebinarJam wins with its host of marketing features.
Zoom is useful if you want a straightforward webinar and meeting solution with no need for marketing and other extra features. WebinarJam had technological issues early on, but they fixed them. If you intend to use webinars heavily for marketing, WebinarJam would be the best option for you.