What is Web Conferencing?

What is web conferencing? Web conferencing solutions are technologies that allow events that normally take place in the physical world to be done online – such as conducting a web meeting, present a web seminar, offer technical support by accessing remote  desktops, and many other uses across the enterprise. Here are the capabilities provided by most of the web conferencing solutions in the market today.

Desktop / Screen Sharing
Perhaps the most basic feature  is the capability for a web conferencing presenter to share his or her desktop. The other invited users has a complete view of the presenter’s shared screen, so they can see all actions taken (i.e. seeing exactly the screen that the presenter is seeing). In addition, some web conferencing systems allow presenters to give control of their desktop to an attendee or co-presenter.

Streaming Video
Presenters can enhance their session content, and give it a more personal touch, with streaming video. The Web conferencing software will display the active pictures, in real time, as they are taken or recorded with any Web cam or digital camera.

Audio Communication or VOIP
Many Web conferencing software providers also offer phone conferencing services, so participants can converse directly over regular telephone lines. Some of the solutions in the market today also provide VoIP capabilities, so attendees can audio conference via the mic/speakers on their computers.

Hands on Interaction
Traditional lecture-style presentations can be stale and boring. With Web conferencing software, session leaders can make their events more exciting and interactive, empowering audience members to participate directly in demonstrations and other key activities by pushing URLs, forms, cookies, scripts, and other data right to them.

Recording and Playback
There may be times when participants are unable to attend a scheduled Webcast, but rescheduling the event is not an option. Web conferencing software helps companies overcome this challenge by allowing sessions to be recorded for playback at a later date. Recordings are made available via the Web, and can be conveniently accessed any time, any where by authorized viewers.

With Web conferencing software, presenters can use diagrams to make notes, create diagrams and charts, or draw pictures to more clearly convey important or complex concepts. Some Web conferencing software solutions even allow whiteboard control to be passed over to an attendee or a co-presenter, for enhanced collaboration.

Chat Facilities
Almost all Web conferencing software vendors offer chat facilities. Audience members can ask questions, and designated presenters or administrators can respond. These discussions can be kept private, or made public for all attendees to view.

Polls and Surveys
Surveying and polling features are popular features available in most Web conferencing software packages. These features allows the presenters to gather information and feedback from audience members. The data captured can not only be used immediately to make the session more dynamic and interactive, but also to obtain insight into how future sessions can be improved. Survey and polling features are also frequrently used to collect data for market research and analysis purposes.

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