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How Do I Choose the Best Webcast Service?

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  • Written By: Helen Akers
  • Edited By: Jessica Seminara
  • Last Modified Date: 14 November 2016
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    Conjecture Corporation
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Webcast service creates a virtual online conference environment for companies, small business owners and educational institutions. The service can be used to administer live lectures, presentations and share visual information in a conference call setting. Selecting the best webcast service is highly dependent upon the technological capabilities and needs of the organization.

One of the more important considerations when choosing a webcast service is cost. Determining how much can be spent on a software package is vital since add-on capabilities can make an otherwise affordable package too expensive. It also helps if a list of needs is made before selecting a potential package. Some organizations will need a basic application that simply brings attendees into a common chat room, while others will need more sophisticated sharing, recording and payment collection features.

Some webcast service hosting software is compatible with certain applications and computer platforms. When selecting a program, consider what external applications may need to be integrated into the webcast service, such as spreadsheets and word processing software. If the organization cannot predict the type of computer platform that participants might be using, it is important that the service support a variety of remote operating systems. Security and personalization might be critical features, which some webcast service providers offer.

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Besides conducting online searches for potential webcast service providers, it's a good idea to speak with representatives about what the company is looking for. The size and type of organization may come into play when selecting an appropriate service provider. Some cater specifically to educational institutions while others offer several packages for a diverse range of clientele. In addition, there are some providers that offer a range of solutions for small to large organizations, while others cater specifically to small businesses in order to keep the costs low.

The organization's current technology will also need to be considered when selecting a service provider. Internet broadcasts can occur over regular telephone lines or a broadband, voice over internet protocol (VOIP) connection. Making sure that the service and software is compatible and operates smoothly over the existing communication network is critical. The service should also be able to accommodate the amount of potential users that will be logged into the webcast.

Ease of use is another important consideration when selecting a service provider. Some require that each computer download and set-up webcast software, while others use a virtual platform that is provided to attendees as they log in. For businesses that use the service to generate revenue through virtual conferences, an on-demand platform may be more appropriate. Educational institutions or companies that require that the same users log in to regular presentations may find that a permanent install on each user's computer is more efficient.

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