The meaning of the word 'webinar'

Remco
21 July 2015 - 3 min

What does the word ‘webinar’ actually mean? For all those people that are wondering, I’d like to give a clear and conclusive answer to this common question. Let’s figure out the meaning of the concept ‘webinars’ together.

The definition of the word ‘webinar’ is an aggregation of the words "web-based" and "seminar". Some people also refer to the concept as an online seminar. A webinar is an online presentation without a live audience, in which all participants can log in from a random location.

The only thing attendees need is a computer with internet connection. During the webinar you can also show a presentation or share your screen, besides showing your webcam. Attendees can ask questions by chat live, so you really have interaction.

As the presenter, you’re also able to ask questions directly to the audience. This is made possible through the use of polls and theses. If you’d like to persuade the viewers to perform a certain action, you can use (often built-in) call-to-action functionalities. This contributes to the conversion effectiveness of the webinar.

Where does the word ‘webinar’ originate from?

The word 'webinar' is an aggregation of the words 'web-based' and 'seminar'. There are also people that refer to it as an 'online seminar', but this is an older definition of the same concept. The webinar proved its worth to many business-owners and attendees, which is more than enough of a reason to give the concept its own name.

Okay, but what exactly is a webinar?

A webinar is an online presentation, in which all participants log in from their own mobile device or computer to join in. There is no live audience available during the presentation. One or more hosts give the people that joined an online presentation, during which the audience is able to ask questions via chat. During a webinar, it is also possible to feature a poll where participants can vote on, allowing for greater interaction.

How does a webinar differ from an online seminar or webcast?

An online seminar insinuates the presence of a live audience. During a seminar, you invite people in a physical location to gather and watch and listen to one or more presentations from different hosts. A webcast is more often than not a recorded physical event that is being broadcasted live through the internet. This allows people to consume the content of an event without actually being physically present on the event location.

Benefits of a webinar

  • Webinars are interactive: webinars offer real time interaction between participant and host.
  • Increase your reach: a webinar gives you the capability to easily reach your target audience.
  • Affordable: webinars are affordable. There are no travel costs, no location and all added costs for renting a location are irrelevant.
  • Accessible & flexible: with our webinar software you can prepare a webinar in a short amount of time and directly interact with your target market.

A webinar is a win-win situation for both the presenter and the participant, everybody benefits from a webinar.

Usually, participating in a webinar provides a good lesson to the audience. The presenter offers people a platform to ask questions to a professional, which is often very beneficial.