Advancement in technology has brought a paradigm shift in some aspects in life, be it academic, social or commercial. One key shift that has to a great extent affected the academic and business world is the replacement of seminars by webinars. Some skeptics though have not given in to this new trend and still, prefer the seminars over webinars. Let us delve into their intricacies and point out what it is that sets them apart.
A seminar is defined as a form of instruction meant for educative purposes usually carried out by an academic institution, commercial or professional organization. It is designed to bring together groups of people at a particular location for repetitive meetings while basing on a single topic of discussion. An instructor or leader oversees this through research or presenting formally. In summary, it is an interactive segment where participants raise questions and have discussions and debates on, particularly assigned readings.
A webinar is presentation, lecture or workshop that is relayed over the web platform with the help of video conferencing software. The participants in a webinar do not physically meet; rather the meeting is virtual where audio and visual documents can be shared with the help of relevant technology. One prominent feature to be noted is that information is given and received in real time.
1. Meeting Context
This distinction stands out clearly between the two. A presentation usually requires the participants to be in the same context. In a seminar, people physically meet under the same roof, and the interaction is purely in person. Participants basically have to assemble at a given location for it to happen. On the other hand, a webinar is carried out through video conferencing, therefore, allowing the attendees to be at different geographical locations during the process. The virtual meeting is made possible with the help of modern technology.
A seminar is more suitable for people to focus on the ongoing presentation. Physically being in the same venue alongside other participants with the presenter at the front limits distractions. This means a good measure of your attention will be on the material being presented. A webinar has more distractions depending on where you are logged in from. Whether in the office or at home, distractions come in the form of colleagues bothering you with work issues or your kids, neighbors or spouse interrupting you with domestic issues. This interferes with your concentration on the presentation.
A seminar provides a very good opportunity for the participants to interact on a personal basis with the presenters, fellow attendants and even experts of the topic of discussion. This is the best way to build your network and get valuable information especially if you have a vested interest in the subject matter. In a webinar, networking with other participants is fairly limited due to little interactions. This should be the biggest advantage a seminar has over a webinar.
With the help of technology, a webinar can reach a wider audience due to the ability to overcome geographical limitations. As long as a participant can access the audio-visual conferencing equipment required, they are good to go. On the contrary, a seminar can only be attended by people proximal to the venue of the seminar. The further you are from the venue, the higher the chances you won't take part in the seminar.
5. Cost and Convenience
Webinars can be very convenient. You can attend the session from the comfort of your home without having to worry about traveling to a different location. The only cost you incur is the time spent during the video conferencing. Seminars will cost you more; you have to budget for the traveling and in some cases hotel expenses. Imagine what a loss it would be if due to an unforeseen circumstance, the seminar is canceled after you have assembled at the venue. Clearly, you will have to set aside a budget for a seminar as opposed to a webinar.
We all know how uncomfortable it can be sitting in a video conferencing room. The furniture is not always fluffy, and it gets worse if participants have to sit elbow to elbow. Imagine the difference in attending from home, seated on your couch with a cup of coffee on the side.
The distinctions are clear between a seminar and a webinar, and that depending on your situation, either can be at an advantage or a disadvantage. If you have to choose between the two, your decision will greatly be influenced by the different aspects mentioned above. Knowing them is, therefore, an integral part in making the right choice.
If you are considering holding a webinar, contact ezTalks Cloud Meeting for a superb and comfortable video conferencing experience.