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Back to basics: What is webcasting and how to get started?

What is webcasting?

Webcasting: it’s a term that gets thrown around in lots of different industries. You smile and nod when someone talks about the webcasts they’ve watched or gives their opinion on whether your company should be using them - but if someone actually asked you ‘What is webcasting?’, would you be able to answer?

We’ve put together this back to basics post to give you a clear understanding of what webcasting is and how to get started with your own webcasts.

So, what is webcasting?

 What is webcasting? Question GIF

The Oxford Dictionary definition of webcasting sums it up pretty well: “The action or practice of broadcasting an event on the Internet.” Broadcasts can be audio, video and presentation content, or a mix of all three.

The type of events included in these online broadcasts is hugely varied. Conferences, training sessions, industry presentations, board meetings, product demos and more are now regularly shared as webcasts, both live and on-demand for people to view at a later date.

Why do people choose to webcast events such as these? It opens them up to huge audiences, makes them inclusive for anyone who can’t be at the event in person and also offers a simple way of working and sharing ideas with people across the globe. This way of doing things can reduce costs of hosting events too - there is less need for travelling, accommodation, food and all the other added extras of putting on a large scale event.

What’s more, it’s interactive and engaging. Webcasting doesn’t have to be just one person delivering a talk to a silent audience; it can be a two-way conversation. For instance, features like audience polls and Q&A formats engage viewers and invite them to be part of the conversation.

Is there a difference between webcasting and webinars?

Difference between webcasting and webinars

 

A webinar is just one form of webcasting. Think of webcasting as the technology and webinars as one product that technology produces.

Webinars are closed events where the audience are specifically invited to sign up and join in, usually offering up educational or training-based content. You’ve probably had emails land in your inbox asking you to register for webinars from leaders or experts in your industry.

They are more likely to be a two-way set-up for smaller groups than other forms of webcasting. The bigger the audience size, the less chance there will be the opportunity for conversation between the host and viewers.

How to get started with webcasting?

Essentially, all you need to deliver a webcast is a webcam, microphone and a hosting service. To deliver an awesome webcast though, you need to consider these details:

Venue

A professional setting for your webcast is a must. The main room of your office where you have to shout over the sound of keyboards tapping away and Bob from Accounts strolling past in the background isn’t going to cut it. Choose somewhere you don’t need to worry about interruptions and that has a nice backdrop.

Lighting and Sound

Spend time ensuring you have good lighting and quality sound - no one is going to sit through a webcast where they can barely see or hear you. It’s worthwhile investing in quality technical equipment, if you want your webcast to go without a hitch.

Internet Upload Speed

Slow internet connection GIF

 

How to ruin a webcast in three words? Dodgy internet connection.

Check you have a decent connection, most importantly with a quick upload speed, or risk losing your audience. Attention spans are short and we are used to high-definition streaming, after all.

Where you go from this starting point will depend on your individual requirements - what kind of webcast are you planning? How big is your audience? What are you hoping to gain from the webcast?

Once you’ve nailed down your objectives and requirements, we’re on hand to help you plan the perfect first webcast. Get in touch to chat about our solutions and services - we’ll bounce around ideas and make sure you’re feeling confident about getting started with webcasting.

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