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Categories: AV Installation Digital Signage Event Professional Seminars Hybrid events Icon News Uncategorized Webcasting
It’s amazing to think that the World Wide Web turned 20-years-old in August this year. In just a few decades since its birth, we’ve become accustomed to using an incredible range of new technologies for business and pleasure.
However, many of us struggle to keep up with it all. There are so many buzz words flying around describing each new technical craze. As a result, it can be very easy to misunderstand or be misunderstood when it comes to commissioning new technologies for business.
As an antidote to this on-going avalanche of geeky guff, we thought it would be helpful to provide a straight-forward monthly guide to the latest event technologies.
This month, we’re going to start with a brief guide to webcasting.
So, in a nutshell what exactly is a webcast? Put simply, think of webcasting as broadcasting over the Internet. A video, audio or mixed media presentation is broadcast from one computer/website and is made available to many simultaneous listeners or viewers either live, with a time-delay or as a pre-recorded piece that can be played back anytime.
Webcasts can also be referred to as ‘live streamed video’. Previous to streamed video, a viewer would have to download an entire video file to their computer before they could view it from the Internet. Streaming video technology enables video to be sent over the Internet in an on-going stream of lots of little data files. As a result, this technology now allows us to view video live as it happens over the Internet.
A webcast can include live video, but it can just as easily be a live audio broadcast or it may include a combination of audio, a PowerPoint presentation and perhaps some pre-recorded video.
The simplest webcasts will be broadcast on a web page, and the viewer simply hits the play button on the Video or Audio player when they want to start watching or listening. If the event is pre-recorded the viewer has the added advantage of being able to stop and start the presentation as they like. It’s worth bearing in the mind that if the viewer stops the video or audio during a live webcast, they will lose sight of the presentation. When they hit play again they will join the event at its latest point of broadcast.
Webcasting is not to be confused with web conferencing. Web conferencing software allows us to have live conversations or meetings online where any participant can speak to the rest of the group. The latest versions of web conferencing allow participants to join by web cam so it can be easy to see why some people might confuse it with webcasting.
Webinars can also be classed as a type of webcast even though they use web conferencing software for delivery. Unlike a typical web conference, webinars will usually broadcast the presentation of one or two presenters to an audience of many, but the audience members will not be invited to appear by video or speak live as part of the event. Webinar attendees won’t have instant web access to the presentation and will be required to register to view the event. Once the viewer signs in online, the presentation or video of the speaker will be shown within a webinar window which includes lots of interactive extras. For example, there is usually a chat panel which enables attendees to type and send questions to the organisers. Attendees may be invited to participate in on-screen polls during the online event and attendees have the option to listen via their computer or via a dial-in telephone number if they don’t have computer audio access in the office.
But which webcasting option will work best for your next up-and-coming presentation?
If you’d like to learn more about webcasting and the solutions we recommend for different types of events then why not join us at our Introduction to Webcasting for Event Planners seminar which we’ll be hosting at Drapers Hall in the City of London on 12th December 2011 at 5pm.
As well as explaining more about setting up and running webcasts, we’ll also be providing demos of some of the options discussed.
To register, please fill out our contact form, and add the name of the event in the message box.
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