What is a Webinar?

What is a Webinar?


A webinar is an online seminar or workshop.

If you’ve never attended a webinar before, it can sometimes be hard to imagine exactly what a webinar is. Well, perhaps you can imagine yourself sitting sitting in a room while someone stands at the front and presents to the audience. Perhaps they are using some videos, or pictures or a powerpoint presentation to help them make a point. OK,  imagine that instead of sitting in the room, you are now sitting in front of your computer. And instead of standing in front of the audience, the person presenting is sitting in front of their computer. The presenter speaks into a microphone and may even decide to allow you to see them via video. As an audience member, you hear their voice and see the video (if they’ve enabled this option), and you will most likely see some kind of visual presentation – often the powerpoint the presenter has prepared.

How Does This Work?

The presenter will be using some kind of webinar hosting service or webinar software. There are numerous companies who provide webinar hosting services, and they all provide a platform for the host to present, and the audience to view.

The Basic Webinar Process

The presenter invites people to register for the webinar, via email or any kind of marketing channel. These attendees will be provided with a link to a site where the webinar will be hosted. Depending on the hosting software, this may be an open online conference web page, or a unique URL just for that particular webinar. At the designated time, the host and guests all login and voila! They are connected.

Why Use A Webinar and Who Benefits?

1. The Webinar Presenter

A webinar presenter can reach an audience that is located anywhere in the world and deliver from another location anywhere in the world. The size of the audience can therefore be much greater, and the costs associated with setting up the presentation are much lower than organizing a similar sized real world conference or traveling to visit multiple presentation venues.

2. The Webinar Audience

Important offline presentations are often inaccessible to due to either cost, time or logistical constraints. In these cases, a webinar provides an ideal solution to give people access to a trainer or presenter who might be too far away geographically or too expensive.

Webinar vs Webcast – What’s the Difference?

Basically: webinars are live and webcasts are pre-recorded and made available online.


  • Only available in real time
  • Statisically, a greater percentage of the audience attends the whole presentation
  • Allow the presenter to run live polls and questions on the run
  • The attendees can potentially contribute to the presentation

Webcasts / Webinars on Demand / Online Seminars

  • Available on demand – anytime
  • Statisically, the audience skims the content and a low percentage watches the whole webcast.
  • Some software packages – particularly those designed as an elearning platform – allow the author to insert pre-designed forms into various slides. More basic webinar software often only includes a video recording of the live webinar

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  1. Johanna Sweeston
    4 years ago

    I’ve never used a webinar before… I’ve heard of them but always was a little skeptical but you’ve made them sound so useful!