RAQ: Recommendations for Webinar and Video Services?

Here’s a recent question from the inbox:

Hi Lee…I attended one of your sessions a few months back – Was terrific and learned much. Wanted to ask you – We are looking into doing webinars where consumers can register to attend, see either video or PPT slides while a moderator is chatting at the same time. Do you have any recommendations of a company or product that would allow us to do webinars? Some kind of webinar host company?

A. First, I’ll give you the MacGyver method, as demonstrated in Twitter 152. Use a video streaming service like Ustream.tv and embed slides using Slideshare.net. That lets you show slides while streaming video from your webcam. It’s all free. A little clunky maybe, but free.

I recently had an experience with my friend Lucien Engelen (@zorg20) in which he showed me a product call VuRoom, which is a plug-in for Skype that allows up to 8 people to be in a video chat together. The same company also has a product called VuCast which I haven’t tried, but looks like it can handle 10,000+ participants.

Other choices are WebEx, GoToMeeting, Windows LiveMeeting and Adobe Connect. I have used all of these as a guest presenter, but haven’t signed up for a contract with any of them. Here’s a chart (consider the source) from the VuCast gang that compares features.

What is your experience with these services? What do you see as the pros and cons of each?

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Author: Lee Aase

Married father of six and grandfather of seven, and the Chancellor of SMUG - Social Media University, Global. By day I'm the Director of the Mayo Clinic Social Media Network. Whatever I say here is my personal opinion, and doesn't reflect the positions of my employer.

3 thoughts on “RAQ: Recommendations for Webinar and Video Services?”

  1. Ustream has a hosting service called Watershed (watershed.ustream.tv) that I will be using for an upcoming forum. So far (i.e., as I am practicing) it seems like a worthwhile investment. The different pricing options are helpful (including pay as you go, which is great for small or infrequent events), as is the ability to brand and overall produce a slicker webinar.

    BoinxTV (http://www.boinx.com/boinxtv/overview/) is another, similar option. The software seems to give you a wider set of controls, and the cheaper version (called Sponsored Edition) is generally sufficient. Sponsored means there is a five second commercial in the beginning, and it’s quite unobtrusive.

    The MacGyver method also works well, particularly if the moderator/speaker is seated in front of a computer.

    It depends somewhat on how produced you want/need the event to be. And the video/sound equipment you have at hand. But overall there are great options for relatively little investment.

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