In the era of remote work and virtual communication, webinars have become a powerful tool for businesses and individuals to connect with audiences worldwide. Webinar platforms offer a range of features to host engaging and interactive online presentations, workshops, and virtual events. In this blog, we will explore the world of these platforms and delve into their functionalities, advantages, and suitability for different use cases. Whether you’re a marketer looking to reach a larger audience or an educator aiming to deliver impactful online training, this comprehensive guide will equip you with the knowledge to choose the right webinar platform that aligns with your goals. Get ready to unlock the potential of virtual communication and create memorable experiences through these platforms.
What is a Webinar Platform?
A webinar platform is a software that allows individuals or organizations to host webinars (online seminars or presentations). A webinar platform typically provides tools for scheduling, hosting, and recording webinars. Many platforms also offer promotion, registration, reminder, and follow-up capabilities, as well as features for audience engagement like chat, Q&A, and polling.
Webinar platforms can be used for various purposes, such as webinar marketing, internal company meetings, sales presentations, training sessions, educational lectures, and more.
What to Look for in a webinar platform in 2023
Every business will have different requirements for its webinar tools. But here’s how to choose a webinar platform in 2023.
Consider these core elements and your needs for each to help you pick the best platform to host a webinar:
Some webinar platforms offer some form of audience engagement. This might include live chat, Q&A, polling, emoji reactions, hand-raising, and breakout rooms. Some webinar tools also offer advanced opportunities, like virtual networking. So, consider what experience you want to provide.
Analytics and intent
You’ll want to ensure that the webinar platform you choose allows you to convert more attendees into customers. Look for analytics not only on the webinar content but the attendees themselves. Event intent data can help you identify high-intent buyers.
Your platform should make customizing the registration forms, emails, and webinar recording rooms easy. Some companies might prefer basic branding that can be done in minutes, while others will expect full-scale white labeling.
Tech stack alignment
Small businesses prefer a single platform that offers landing pages, email communication, recording, replay sharing, and other webinar production needs in one place (to reduce the need for integrating it with their other systems). Large brands might want to integrate their webinar platform with their sales and marketing tools (to have a single source of truth for each customer) and only use the webinar software for the live event instead of promotion and follow-up.
Best Webinar Platforms for 2023
We’ve rounded up the best webinar software to help you decide which platform is right. Check out the pros and cons and pricing details.
Passive, templated experiences are usually pointless. In 2023, it’s all about attendee delight, engagement, and personalized experiences.
And that’s what Airmeet is here for — to empower you to host one-of-a-kind experiences tailored to your prospects that can’t resist but attend again and again.
If interactivity, engagement, and accelerating pipeline and revenue are what you’re after, then Airmeet is the best webinar software for you. Because when you delight and engage your buyers, amazing things happen for your business.
Airmeet has 4.6 stars on G2.
- Ability to capture up to 64 intent signals to score leads, personalize experiences, and accelerate deals.
- Life-like networking spaces like virtual lounges, breakout rooms, and Fluid Spaces enhance the attendee experience.
- More opportunities for sales reps and advocates to connect with prospects during the live webinar
- Ability to invite attendees to the virtual stage
- Polls, quizzes, Q&A, gamification and other gamification elements
- Extensive branding customization and white labeling
- Integrations with sales and marketing tools
- Best webinar analytics available, with 64 intent signals to help sales and marketing teams convert more attendees into customers
- One free webinar with up to 500 attendees
- It can be expensive for small business owners
- The free plan accommodates only 500 attendees for a free webinar for one time and up to 50 attendees afterward
The Starter plan costs $500 monthly, giving you access to most features and 200 attendees per event. Or opt for the Professional plan at $1,500 monthly and unlock multitrack events, premium branding, and 500 attendees prevent. On both plans, higher attendee maximums are available for purchase. You can sign up to host one webinar for free before choosing your plan.
Airmeet is the best platform for hosting modern webinars—meaning interactive webinars that put the attendee first while giving you all of the intent data and integrations you need to drive more sales.
If you want attendees to be able to network with each other and interact with speakers, Airmeet is your best choice.
Livestorm is a simple and one of the top webinar platforms for hosting live webinars and recording podcast interviews. If a low-learning curve, and fast setup are your top priority, this platform is worth a deeper look.
Livestorm has 4.4 stars on G2.
- Works for both live and pre-recorded webinars
- Works for automated webinars
- Customization for registration pages, event rooms, and more
- Easy to use and set up
- Live Q&A with question uploading
- CRM integrations
- Pre-event and post-event email scheduler
- Branding customization is limited to templates, which locks you into certain styles for pages and events.
- Pro plan can get expensive because of contact-based pricing
- Cost is high for relatively simple webinar features
- Doesn’t offer ways to engage attendees before and after events
On the free plan, you can have up to 30 live attendees for up to 20 minutes per session. Or, choose the Pro Plan for $410 monthly for up to 500 contacts and 4 hours per session.
Livestorm has many positive reviews and is generally seen as a reliable solution. This could be a good option if you’re just looking for basic features like event Q&A and CRM Integrations.
With On24, you can produce virtual and hybrid conferences in addition to simple webinars. Marketing, customer success, HR, and other teams can use the enterprise-grade platform.
On24 has 4.3 stars on G2.
- Host multi-session events and conferences as well as basic webinars
- Advanced webinar and attendee analytics
- Extensive integrations with sales and marketing tools
- Create ad hoc group discussions and round tables
- Great customer support and hands-on
- Outdated UX for platform users and attendees
- Limitations when it comes to customizing the digital experience
- Lots of add-on costs for engagement features
- A relatively high price for a platform that overall isn’t modern
On24 only offers custom enterprise pricing based on the number of attendees and add-on features you need.
With its old-school UX, On24 might not be suited for software buyers accustomed to extreme ease of use and enjoy setting up things themselves. But the robust feature set and hands-on support make this a great option for enterprise event planners that would rather work directly with the customer success team than manage everything themselves.
BigMarker is an enterprise solution that can be used for small webinars and large-scale events (including paid).
BigMarker has 4.7 stars on G2.
- Supports live, on-demand, and automated webinars as well as summits
- You can purchase an event license for one-time use
- Offers basic engagement features like chat, polls, Q&A, and handouts
- Allows you to accept payments for paid events
- Plans are too costly for small businesses or those who only need a small number of attendees
- You have to interact with sales to purchase the product
- Lags behind other options on this list in terms of innovation, UX, and attendee interactivity
BigMarker doesn’t publish its pricing information publicly, so you’ll need to get in touch for a custom quote.
If you want to produce a large event but don’t have an ongoing need for a webinar platform, a one-time license with BigMarker might work for you.
With Demio, you get everything you need to run simple webinars in one place.
Demio has 4.7 stars on G2.
- Offers webinar pages for registration, email notifications, surveys, and other virtual event essentials
- It makes it easy to set up rooms with slides, handouts, videos, and other resources before the event
- Great UX that is easy to learn (which is helpful if you have a lot of guest speakers)
- The registration pages are extremely limited and offer hardly any customization
- The post-event surveys are also very limited in terms of style, format, and segmentation
- Offers little ways for attendees to participate
- To be able to customize rooms, you have to choose the Growth Plan
- The per-host pricing can get expensive for event teams
The Starter plan gives you basic features and up to 50 attendees for $499 annually. For premium integrations and white labeling, choose the premium plan, which costs $4,400 per hose per year for up to 1,000 live attendees.
You can also try Demio for free for one webinar (with under 1 hour run time and 20 attendees).
Demio is super easy to use, making it one of the best webinar software platforms for event planners low on time. But if you want to go beyond passive webinars, opt for something that lets you engage your attendees before, during, and after events (like virtual round tables or virtual networking between webinar sessions).
With Zoom Webinars, you get a bare-bones solution for running webinars to passive audiences.
As a webinar hosting platform, the Zoom Webinar plan doesn’t bring many capabilities but might still be suitable for some use cases.
Here are some pros and cons of the platform.
Zoom Webinars has 4.4 stars on G2.
- Relatively low pricing for the number of attendees
- Reliable quality for live streams
- Registration pages, calendar Integrations, and email reminders
- Breakout rooms, Q&A, and chat
- Attendees have to download Zoom for it to work
- The world has “Zoom fatigue,” and the platform doesn’t inspire people to pay attention.
You need a Zoom account to purchase Zoom webinars as an add-on. The lowest option is to pay $149.90 per year for Zoom One ( which you can use for conference calls) and then purchase the Zoom Webinars 500-attendee add-on for $79 per month.
To purchase the 1,000-attendee add-on, you’ll pay $340 per month.
Zoom is a well-known webinar hosting solution. While affordable, it doesn’t offer a great webinar experience because it lacks engagement features.
If breakout rooms and event chat are all you’re looking for, then this webinar platform is fine. But if you want to impress attendees with networking capabilities and interactivity they haven’t seen before, look elsewhere.
If you’re looking for a platform that offers more webinar features for live engagement than Zoom, WebEx is a webinar software alternative worth exploring.
WebEx has 4.3 stars on G2.
- Ticketing and payment processing for paid events
- Offers more advanced engagement features beyond live chat and polls, such as participant networking and gamification
- Powerful real-time auto-captioning and real-time translations
- Includes a license to WebEx Meet (for calls and team meetings) along with your subscription to WebEx Webinars
- You can’t make registration pages with WebEx and must custom-code something on your website.
- Attendee lists can’t be alphabetized (making it difficult for event organizers that require check-in processes)
- Add-ons can rack up the pricing quickly
- Lack of intent data, segmentation, and advanced audience analytics
For the webinar plan, you’ll pay $275 per month for up to 1,000 live attendees or $795 for up to 3,000.
WebEx is a good option for getting more advanced engagement features at a reasonable price. But with poor analytics and intent data, you might need help to get ROI from your webinars.
As we conclude our exploration of webinar platforms, it becomes evident that they have transformed how we connect, communicate, and share knowledge online. These platforms offer various features, from interactive chat rooms and live polling to screen sharing and audience engagement tools, empowering businesses and individuals to deliver captivating online presentations and events. Whether hosting sales webinars, conducting training sessions, or organizing virtual conferences, the right webinar platform can enhance engagement, expand reach, and leave a lasting impact on participants. So, take the time to explore the different webinar platforms available, consider your specific needs and budget, and choose the platform that best suits your requirements. Get ready to leverage the power of webinar platforms and create impactful online experiences that resonate with your audience.
What are webinar platforms?
Webinar platforms are online software or services that enable individuals and businesses to host interactive live presentations, workshops, or virtual events. These platforms provide features for video streaming, screen sharing, audience engagement, and interactive tools to enhance the overall webinar experience.
How do webinar platforms work?
Webinar platforms work by providing hosts with the tools to schedule, promote, and conduct webinars. They typically offer features such as registration forms, email invitations, live video streaming, chat functionality, and audience interaction tools. Participants join the webinars through a unique link or registration process and can engage with the host and other attendees during the live session.
What are the benefits of using webinar platforms?
Webinar platforms offer numerous benefits, including reaching a global audience, engaging participants through interactive features, and delivering real-time presentations or training sessions. They also provide analytics and reporting to measure attendee engagement, collect feedback, and track the success of webinars.
Can webinar platforms handle large audiences?
Yes, webinar platforms are designed to handle large audiences, ranging from hundreds to thousands of participants, depending on the platform’s capabilities. They typically offer features like scalable video streaming, chat moderation, and audience management tools to ensure a smooth experience for hosts and attendees.
Are webinar platforms suitable for businesses of all sizes?
Yes, webinar platforms are suitable for businesses of all sizes. Small businesses, startups, and large enterprises can utilize them. The scalability and flexibility of webinar platforms make them accessible and beneficial for various industries, including education, marketing, training, and more.