By now, web conferencing has been widely accepted by the business world as a standard tool for communication. However, as someone who works with webinars all day long like I do, it’s easy to take for granted why they are so useful. Then I was reminded of it recently when ON24 came out with this white paper. It’s a great read if you want to nerd-out on some interesting web conferencing statistics.
Or if you’re in the mood for something lighter, I’ve taken the liberty to put together my own qualitative data. Here are my Top Ten reasons why webinars are so awesome–Late Show style.
#10: It’s recorded, so you can re-watch the part you missed when you fell asleep (your boss will never know).
#9: No getting stuck in the back row with the IT guys when you’re late to the All-Hands Town Hall.
#8: Executive board meetings from the beach!
#7: Save that travel budget and buy an office foosball and ping pong table instead.
#6: Loads of tracking data so you feel like you really know your leads.
#5: The word ‘webinar’ just sounds cool!
#4: Show off that PowerPoint 3-D animation effect you just discovered.
#3: Kick things off by playing your new toilet flushing ring tone…followed by a “just kidding!”
#2: Instead of trying to picture your audience in their underwear, you can actually BE in yours.
#1: You can hire a V2 Event Producer to take care of all the details, so just relax!
Author Erin Armentrout is a Virtual Event Producer with V2 who has honed her skills in the world of webinars since 2008. Prior to V2, Erin contributed to the ever-evolving use of technology in the event industry as a Mobile App Product Consultant for the event software expert, Cvent.
An individual’s bandwidth connection speed to the internet is probably the single most important variable in defining a successful attendee experience on an online event. Webinar programs are designed to stream data to each attendee’s console in real time; therefore the amount of bandwidth that is available to each individual user often determines how much (or how little!) an attendee is able to participate. Bandwidth requirements from Webinar platforms are also cumulative, meaning the more functionality you wish to use – data, VoIP, Video, web cams, etc- the higher the bandwidth requirement for attending your event becomes. To top it off, bandwidth can also fluctuate for users depending on other traffic that may be flowing at the same time. Depending on your audience, you may wish to consider what content you will include when designing your event.
One thing we always relay to our webinar presenters is the importance of a solid internet connection when using ANY web conferencing platform. To test your connection speed, use the following speed test link: https://www.speedtest.net/ It tests both your download and upload speeds and allows you to choose the closest server that your ISP uses to get accurate information. Other factors that may affect presenter and attendee experiences are transfer rates, networks, and latency. It is also very important to note that your bandwidth speed is affected by what web-conferencing platform you use. Why? The short answer: Different web-conferencing platforms have different server locations. The more servers they have, the more likely one is located closer to you physically, which means better performance.
Below we have defined some important terms related to bandwidth speed that you most likely have heard about at some point or another. Understanding these terms can help you identify and hopefully solve bandwidth issues in the future.
Download is a measure of how fast your connection delivers content to your computer or local area network. This is the important number to test – it will determine how many or how smoothly different web-conferencing functions will work (audio, downloading content, video, presenter video, etc.)
Upload is the measure of how fast content is delivered from your computer or local area network to others on the Internet. This is important to note if you are a presenter who is uploading content to your web-conferencing platform. Especially when trying to upload those last-minute presentations or changes!
Kbps transfer rate = kilobit per second transfer rate. There are 8 bits in a byte, so we would divide kbps by 8 to get KB/sec transfer rate.
Transfer rate is speed at which data can be transmitted between devices. This is sometimes referred to as throughput. As files to download become increasingly larger, the highest data transfer rate is most desirable. Finally, I like to note that the simplest and most easily available method to measure your connection speed to the Internet is to simply download a large file and see what is the transfer rate reported in your standard download progress dialog box.
In a network, latency, a synonym for delay, is an expression of how much time it takes for a packet of data to get from one designated point to another. In some usages, latency is measured by sending a packet that is returned to the sender and the round-trip time is considered the latency. Low latency is extremely important for businesses and power-users. It’s not all about bandwidth! Conventional wisdom says that increasing bandwidth will lead to improved performance. In fact, the transmission control protocol (TCP) limits the number of concurrent bytes transmitted, regardless of the size of the transmission pipe and effects latency.
We hope you found this post helpful! If you have any questions, feel free to contact the V2 team at: firstname.lastname@example.org
One size does not necessarily fit all.
One of our jobs in event production is to choose a web conferencing technology that will best fit our client’s needs. After years of testing performance and functionality, V2 is licensed and certified on the best solutions for clients: ON24, INXPO, Adobe, WebEx Event Center, Live Meeting, GoTo Webinar, Stream 57 and Lync. It is important to note that V2 has no web conferencing allegiance; technologies on our list come and go based on overall performance and as new technologies enter the marketplace. In event production there are many differentiators that drive the web platform decision process but from a high level there are two primary console archetypes; that of collaboration and that of marketing. At a granular level collaboration is generally done on ‘Progressive Download’ consoles and marketing events on ‘True Streaming’ conferencing solutions.
True Streaming – This refers to technologies which match the bandwidth of the media signal to the viewer’s connection, so that the media is always seen in real time. The word “True” is added to differentiate this type of streaming from “HTTP Streaming” (aka “Progressive Download”). Specialized media servers and streaming protocols such as RTSP are needed to enable true streaming.
Progressive Download – This refers to online media which users may watch as it downloads. Progressive download files don’t adjust to match bandwidth of the user’s connection like a true streaming format. QuickTime’s “fast start” feature is a progressive download technology.
Technology examples of true streaming consoles are ON24 and INXPO where Adobe, WebEx, GoToWebinar, Live Meeting or Lync are progressive download. Those of you wondering what the user interface differences between “true streaming” and “progressive download” just need think about YouTube and the download bar i.e., you know you are in progressive download because you cannot skip ahead and watch areas that have not downloaded. Compare this with NetFlix where you can bounce ahead in the movie the moment it starts playing.
Stay tuned next week when we will delve into why True Streaming tools are better suited toward marketing endeavors.
PS- As alluded to in the title, this is just the first chapter in the console V2 fit process, in the weeks to come we will discuss; tablet and cell phone support, meeting size, social media integration, repurposing and recording, marketing application integration (Marketo or Eloqua), E-Learning reporting (Moodle), CRM connectors (SalesForce), and finish with price.