What is the best value webinar tool?

What is the best value webinar tool that’s both affordable and enables you to present to large audiences? We review the best, and the rest.

best value webinar tool


Update, Sept 2017: We have been using GoToWebinar now for five years without any problems. This justifies our initial research, below, where it came out top.

What is the best value webinar tool that’s both affordable and enables you to present to large audiences?  I’ve spent some time trying to find the answer to that question and thought I would share my findings to save you the trouble.

Google Hangouts and Skype offer basic group video calling functionality, but for a more comprehensive range of tools you’re going to have to look towards specialist webinar offerings.

GoToWebinar, WebEx, Infinite and Adobe all have software that lets you present and share your desktop with up to 1000 attendees, but they don’t come cheap.  There are low-priced alternatives out there, but are they up to the task? We tried out several, but each had a downfall.

ClickMeeting

ClickMeeting supports up to 500 attendees and is fairly priced, but our tests showed that it didn’t work on all web browsers.

ISL Online

With a smart layout and a discounted price, ISL Online looked a promising option, but at the time we discovered it has not been tested with over 150 attendees. They couldn’t guarantee the quality with an audience of 500, though this may have changed now.

Meeting Burner

We also tried Meeting Burner, but quickly discovered that it didn’t allow presenter hand offs – i.e. our presenters couldn’t “pass the mic” between each other.

Meeting burner

Other options

Of the rest, most couldn’t record the webinar for attendees to access after the event, some required every guest to download the platform (a major put-off for attendees) and others didn’t let you customise the registration page and confirmation emails with company branding, or didn’t enable Q&A’s, polls and handouts during the webinar.

I should mention that we also had to learn some new terminology. In the UK a ‘meeting’ is a small group of people. For the webinar tools (which are mostly US-based) ‘meetings’ can involve hundreds, or even thousands, of attendees. This just added to our confusion during our research.

Of course, not all of the features I’ve listed are essential and if you’re looking to bring in a smaller audience there are some good options: Any Meeting even offer a totally free version (with ads) that holds 200.

But it’s clear why the companies at the top charge the prices they do. The alternatives either do not have high capacity or are missing features. Nonetheless, some aren’t far off and with a bit of development they just might fill the gap.

The verdict

For now, we chose Go-To-Webinar. For large webinars it seems to be reliable, pretty easy to set up, easy to edit, easy to run, and support is always available if you have a problem.

We managed to get a good deal by negotiating down from their 12-month tariff. We also signed up for their affiliate programme – and though this isn’t a pointedly promotional post, if you click the link above and sign up with them we will get commission.

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6 comments

  1. Mike Roger Reply

    Gomeetnow is very good. It is very easy to use and costs only $12.95 / month, next to free.

  2. Alan Vertue Reply

    Jeremy, ClickWebinar is feature rich and very cost effective. It has one very BIG drawback though – support is virtually non-existent! I have been trying for three days to get a response via their live (dead) chat and have sent three unanswered emails. Pity because the product is really promising, but I guess we’ll be staying with omNovia for the time being. More expensive, but support is there when needed.

  3. Manish Kainth Reply

    There is a reason why 27.8 per cent (Frost $ Sullivan) of all webinars run in the world are on the ON24 Webinar-based Marketing Platform. You pay for what you get. If you want to see an ROI… then you GoTo is not the one to go to.

  4. Xenia Reply

    For myself, I definitely chose etutorium.pl (there is also english version) after the free trial period. Further price fully justified itself.

  5. Gloria Reply

    Thanks for this list! I use myownconference.com for my webinars.
    I love it because I can hold unlimited webinars, share presentation, video and screen, interact with audience, record webinars and don’t pay too much.

  6. Kevin Reply

    I love Business Hangouts. It has a ton of features like charging for events, calendar management, and recording to youtube. It’s easy for my attendees to use – all they do is select the link I send them. A lot of great features to stay organize and increase attendees and awareness.

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