Webcasting is a valuable tool for enhancing business communications by distributing messages to larger audiences while reducing travel budgets. The decision to use webcasting is a simple one, but deciding between a live or on-demand webcast is more challenging.
If you’re unsure which route to go for your company’s next webcast, consider these live and on-demand benefits:
What Are Live Webcasts?
A live webcast is an event broadcast to your audience in real-time, as it happens. The live presentation can include slides, a question-and-answer segment, and participant polling or surveys, as well as video of the speaker.
Live webcasts can reach large audiences at the same time, across the country or across the globe. Webcast attendees can ask questions and interact with presenters, as well as share reactions live via social media channels.
While a live webcast can be archived and shared for on-demand viewing upon completion of the event, any time-sensitive content, Q&As, or polling answers may be lost to on-demand viewers.
The majority of events are run as live webcasts. In most cases, a live broadcast is the most practical way to produce an event, and the result is the most authentic. In some cases where a live broadcast isn’t possible, recording the event and presenting it as live is still a good idea. Too often customers try to record the perfect presentation, only to lose sight of the value in the realness of a live presentation. Nine times out of ten, your first take is the best one.
There are other reasons to go live, such as the timeliness of your content. If you’re making a newsworthy, market-changing announcement, you’ll want to broadcast live to convey the significance.
What Are On-Demand Webcasts?
An on-demand webcast is a pre-recorded presentation that can be watched at the viewer’s convenience. Like a live presentation, an on-demand webcast may include slides, but these broadcasts cannot include live Q&A segments, polls, or surveys. There was a time when on-demand events were viewed more skeptically than their live counterparts. However, with busy schedules, more people have begun attending on-demand events and they have lost some of their stigma.
Although on-demand webcasts don’t allow for real-time discussions and reactions, they are an excellent choice for content that requires specific details or statistics (such as technical, medical, or financial messaging). It can be difficult to relay such precise information live, as it may require more than one take. With on-demand webcasts, presenters can edit their presentations before releasing them to ensure complete accuracy, so there is a lower risk factor than with live webcasts.
On-demand webcasts are well-suited for repurposing existing content. This is how many pharmaceutical and continuing education providers handle their communications, getting the most out of a busy researcher or doctor’s time and creating a stockpile of presentations for later release. It’s an efficient use of both time and money.
Whether it’s a live or on-demand solution, webcasting lets companies open the lines of communication with constituents.
Guest post by Nick Balletta, CEO of global communications technology company TalkPoint. With over 25 years experience in media and technology, Balletta is a pioneer in unified communications and interactive webcasting.