The Webinar Platform Scorecard
As part of your Digital Pivot, it’s important to get the tech right for your needs, it’s easy to get distracted with researching lots of different solutions. To save you time, we’ve compiled a list based on research done by members of CREO, product reviews and comparisons on Capterra.com, respected tech reviewers and crucially, through personal experience or that of our network.
The platforms reviewed are based on the goal of running large group digital events from 100-500 attendees – ie not smaller digital roundtables, eMeetings or 1:1 meetings, although some of the platforms will enable that functionality. Assumptions:
- Your webinars will be sponsored or part of a subscription/membership value proposition
- You will be running a mix of webinar styles – Keynote, Digital panel, fireside chats, all in remote locations
- You require a mix of video, audio and screen-share capabilities
- You need on-demand capabilities
- The tech needs to be intuitive and easy to master
We have left off platforms that are clearly without these capabilities, and excluded any free options. Tempting as free may seem, there are significant risks in it. Thankfully, there are some great options that are really cost-effective.
You don’t need perfect, but you do need ‘good enough’.
We looked at:
- Marketing / Sponsor Features – e.g. customisation and on-screen promotion
- Engagement features – e.g. live Q&A polls, onscreen messaging
- Funnel pages and process – customisation, automation and conversion tools
- Recording / on demand: Can be recorded and archived for future use, can pre-record for broadcast at a later date but with live Q&A
- Analytics / Reporting – Vital for sponsors
- Reliability – Elimination factors including known recurring glitches, stream quality, etc
- Reputation – A sentiment score based on personal experiences in our network
- Scalability: Webinar platforms can have technical or pricing limits on the number of attendees who can join at once. Many offer pricing tiers based on audience size. It’s a good idea to estimate how many participants you are likely to have now and in the future before choosing webinar software.
- Reliability and customer service: Even the self serve platforms provide a really good support network. Chances are the more established the webinar provider, the more reliable they will be. We have left off any with ‘well known’ streaming quality issues
- Making it easier on your users: Some webinar platforms are easier to join than others. Does the system require your stakeholders to download an app? Do stakeholders need to create an account? These hurdles complicate the user experience. Consider participant level of buy-in when choosing webinar platforms.
- Need to provide a secure environment? Some webinar tools offer built-in, end-to-end encryption. This feature protects privacy and business data. Encryption is especially important in the healthcare and financial services industries.
On24 is the premium service here, but it comes with a very high price tag too – this makes it difficult for us to recommend for our Scaleup clients.
The best all-rounder and value for money is currently Crowdcast, but Big Marker and Webinar Jam have also both received strong recommendations.