What’s the difference between video conferences and webinars?

21 November, 2020
3 min

At first glance, video conferences and webinars are similar. But this is not exactly true. We’ll review the main differences between them in this article.

Video conference is audio and video communication between people who are far apart. The cloud video conferencing software is used for online meetings, online learning or product presentations. It provides two-way video and audio communication in real-time between two or more people in different locations. For successful video conferences, participants on both sides must have a laptop (or mobile device) and an Internet.

Webinar is a special type of web conference with limited interaction. Webinars include speakers and viеwess. For interaction between the speaker and the audience there are surveys, chat and the “raise hand” function.


Is there a difference between a webinar and a video conference?

Although both conferences and webinars are used to communicate and share information with a large number of people around the world, they are different. 

The main advantage of videoconferencing is that the audience is in constant interaction with all participants. Thus the effect of “live” communication is achieved. Videoconferencing increases productivity, saves time, reduces travel costs and promotes effective cooperation.

In business, face-to-face meetings are very important. Especially when you need to discuss financial policy, marketing strategies, contracts. Audiovisual communication in real-time is always most effective, as it allows us to follow nonverbal signals of an interlocutor, to get a deeper understanding of his thoughts and emotions.

The Proficonf cloud video conference software allows business organizations to hold high-level online events in real-time. After all, you only need a computer (or mobile device) and an Internet connection to start a conference. The recording functionality will save all details of your event.

Webinar services require different features which usually include:

  • lending, describing the themes of webinars and speakers;
  • forms of registration;
  • email of invitation and reminders;
  • demonstration files and videos;
  • questionnaires;
  • chat;
  • streaming opportunities;
  • auto webinars.

You need a laptop or a mobile device connected to the Internet to participate in the webinar. The participants of the webinar hear and see the host, and only the speaker can demonstrate and speak. Participants can write questions in a chat or use the “raise hand” function.

Webinars on Youtube or Facebook via Live streaming became increasingly popular. With Proficonf you can create a webinar, invite the hosts, and broadcast the event on one of the social networks.

In videoconferencing, all participants are equally active. Unlike the webinars, almost everyone has the full functionality of the conference room, each of the participants can be appointed as a speaker. Active interaction is, in many ways, the main reason for the conference. The format of video conferencing still does not exclude the educational element. Like the webinar, video conference can be recorded.

Comparison of webinars and video conferences

Comparison of webinars and video conferences

To sum up, video conferences and webinars’ main difference is in the format of the event, although they both used to communicate with large audiences around the world. Sometimes these terms are used interchangeably, but their features should not be confused. 

Video conferences can be used for two-way direct communication, while webinar is primarily designed for one-way communication with limited abilities for interaction.