When COVID-19 struck not so long ago, everything changed, especially the way of doing business. Companies went digital, and online meetings became the norm. Marketers had to embrace the virtual world as well, taking advantage of webinar software to reach and stay in touch with their audience.
Webinars offer a convenient and efficient way to connect to clients, customers, students, and even staff. Hosting successful webinars can help you promote your brand, attract new leads, increase your conversion rate, and sell products and services. It also helps build your reputation in a competitive business world.
With dozens of options on the market, how do you pick the best webinar platform for your business? In our post, we review the top seven webinar software options of 2021 and cover everything, from pricing plans and features to capabilities and what each tool is best suited for.
What Is a Webinar Platform, and How Does It Work?
A webinar platform allows you to educate, interact with, and sell to an audience via live presentation. Such tools let you (the host/presenter) include video, slides, and other interactions like offers, chats, and polls.
Not to be confused with a video conferencing platform, a webinar platform is purpose-built for hosting webinars or online seminars. It allows a presenter to connect with a large audience and share demos, training, and other information online.
Participants can see the presenter, but he or she cannot hear the participants – except on some platforms that combine both video conferencing and webinar features.
Participants can interact with the presenter by submitting their questions in a chat window or responding to polls. Users can also register and pay within a webinar platform.
Video conferencing tools like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Google Meet are specifically designed for running meetings virtually.
What Are the Benefits of Webinar Software?
When looking to drive sales through webinars, you need the best webinar platforms to engage your target audience and deliver a seamless experience. Webinars are a powerful tool for every marketer given the benefits they provide, which include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Increasing lead generation. Webinars are ideal if you want to improve your lead generation strategy. For starters, attendees must register for your webinar via a registration form, plus you can gather audience engagement insights throughout the event. As a result, webinars are one of the top ways to generate high-quality leads.
- Increasing audience engagement. Webinar software facilitates direct interaction with your audience through various features, like Q&As, chat, polls, and surveys, making it suitable for increasing customer engagement.
- Delivering quality training and continuing professional development (CPD). Most webinars are designed for training purposes given their interactive nature. Presenters can utilize interactive features like graded polls and built-in tests and assessments for trainees.
- Informing about product launches. Statistics show that 72 percent of customers would prefer learning about a product or service via video. No wonder more companies are using webinars to launch products and enable customers to envision them.
- Promoting thought leadership. Webinar platforms allow thought leaders to share their expertise with thousands of attendees, boosting their credibility on a global scale.
With that in mind, what platform is the best for webinars?
The Best Webinar Platforms of 2021
Livestorm – Best for Automation and Demos
Livestorm stands out from the rest when it comes to running live, on-demand, or automated webinars. It lets you hold live events, detailed product demos, video podcasts, online courses, customer training, hiring sessions, and more.
The platform is accessible from any device – PC, mobile, or tablet – and works on any browser. What’s more, it lets you host up to 1000+ people for any event.
If you facilitate product demos and training sessions regularly, you’ll like how easy it is to get started on Livestorm. The tool takes care of most of the planning by providing auto-generated registration pages and event reminders. It even lets you send promotion emails, check their status, and personalize your emails.
The software collects data and insights from sessions, and they are viewable from the dashboard or in your CMS, integrating with your account.
- Custom registration pages, branding, forms, and more
- Detailed reports and analytics
- Works on any browser, with just one click
- Screen sharing capabilities
- All webinar options, including live, demo, on-demand, and pre-recorded
- Uses Zapier integration to connect to over 1,000 apps
- Slack integration
- Excellent for product demos and live training
- Supports multiple languages
- Allows attendees to join by phone (when there is no internet connection)
- Customizable backgrounds to make your presentations look more professional
- Sound and picture quality can be affected by your internet connection
- Starter – free for up to 10 live attendees
- Premium – $109 per month (billed monthly)/$99 per month (billed annually) for up to 100 live attendees
- Enterprise – custom pricing based on your requirements
ClickMeeting – Best for Small Businesses
If you’re looking for a high-powered webinar platform without a high price tag, ClickMeeting is your best choice. It’s a web-based, feature-rich platform suitable for small- to medium-sized businesses.
It works on any device and is suitable for training customers and in-house staff, marketing, sales, and educating your audience about your products. You’ll find step-by-step instructions to set up an event, so you can get started on your first webinar effortlessly.
- Custom branding and registration page
- Google translations of chat conversations
- On-demand, live, automated, and paid webinars
- Waiting room with agenda
- Screen sharing
- Integrations with Zapier, PayPal, and Moodle
- Competitively priced
- Simple user interface
- Supports huge virtual events of up to 10,000 viewers
- Mobile application that makes it accessible to most attendees
- Feedback via polls and surveys
- Webinar content monetization, with PayPal integration making it easy to manage funds securely
- Breakout rooms that allow each group to work on specific topics
- Too basic webinar templates compared to what some other webinar tools offer
- Uses high bandwidth, especially for HD video
- Free 30-day trial, up to 25 attendees
- Live Plan – $25 per month (billed annually)
- Automated Plan – $40 per month (billed annually)
- Enterprise – custom pricing as per your requirements
GoToWebinar – Best for Large Organizations
GoToWebinar is one of the oldest platforms on the market, and it remains one of the best webinar platforms 14 years later. It works on any device, including your desktop, mobile phone, and tablet.
It allows you to invite up to 3,000 viewers to join your live stream directly from their browsers – no download required. What’s more, you can promote your virtual event on GoToStage to draw a bigger crowd.
GoToWebinar lets you create on-demand, live, and pre-recorded events and custom email invitations, surveys and polls for participants.
- Expert event planning and support
- Custom registration forms and branding
- Webinar templates
- Flexible scheduling
- Supports multi-presenter webinars
- Attendee reports and event analytics
- Source tracking to see which channel drove the most sign-ups
- Offers integration with popular apps, like Salesforce, HubSpot, and Google Calendar
- Doesn’t require much training to start using the platform
- Allows participants to interact with presenter by raising their hands
- Engagement dashboard to measure audience engagement and check remaining time
- More expensive than other platforms
- Constant updates, which can cause some frustrations
- Outdated and clunky interface
- Starter – $89.00 per organizer per month, billed annually, for up to 100 participants
- Pro – $199.00 per organizer per month, billed annually, for up to 500 participants
- Plus – $429.00 per organizer per month, billed annually, for up to 1,000 participants
EverWebinar – Best Automation Features
EverWebinar is a powerful automated webinar platform that lets you broadcast a pre-recorded event that looks and feels like a live one. It’s built into its sister product WebinarJam, allowing you to easily turn your live sessions into evergreen webinars that run on autopilot.
The software offers a fully automated solution and lets you interact with your audience via chat for enhanced engagement. It even lets you schedule pre-recorded webinars on a recurring basis and on a specific schedule to cater to audiences in different time zones.
- Works on all devices in HD quality
- Flexible scheduling system that caters to audiences in different time zones
- On-demand webinars
- Switch easily between WebinarJam and EverWebinar
- Handle questions in real-time via live chat
- Convert your webinars into money-making events with live offer displays
- Customize email reminders and create emails based on attendees’ actions
- Send SMS to participants
- Fake your audience count to attract more participants
- 60-day trial for $1
- One-time fee that some people might find too high
- Monthly Plan – $99 per month, billed monthly
- Annual Plan – $42 per month, billed annually
- Biennial Plan – $34 per month, billed every two years
Demio – Best for Live Events
Demio offers one of the most modern, user-friendly webinar platforms to drive your business sales. Attendees can join from any browser and from any location – no download needed.
The founders of Demio adapted it to meet the demands of modern businesses, offering both automated and live webinars. It also offers fully customizable domains so you can brand your webinar experience.
Demio is a highly interactive platform, and it even lets you record your webinar and send it to all registered participants who didn’t make it.
- Event analytics
- Launch offers and call-to-actions specifically designed to convert sales on the spot
- Live, hybrid, automated, and on-demand webinars
- Automated email reminders
- Integration with other marketing apps, like HubSpot, AWeber, Mailchimp, and Marketo
- Allows you to upload slides or share videos right within the platform
- Built-in analytics and insightful data like attendance and focus (in percentage)
- Tons of tools to enhance engagement, such as chat, Q&As, and polls
- Easy registration process
- Higher price
- Starter – $34 per month, single host (billed annually) for up to 50 attendees
- Growth – $69 per host, per month (billed annually) for up to 150 attendees
- Premium – custom payment, billed annually, for 500+ attendees
WebinarJam – Best for Ease of Use and Selling
If you have zero knowledge of how to set up a webinar, WebinarJam is the best platform for you. Furthermore, it’s quite affordable, with a 14-day trial for $1. The platform lets you stream directly to a YouTube page and offers secure, password-protected meetings.
It’s best suited for selling a product or offers thanks to call-to-actions popping up while the webinar is running. It also supports live chat with attendees during webinars for seamless two-way communication.
The platform is designed for huge audiences and lets you create a one-time recurring webinar or an always-on room to go live instantaneously.
- Excellent 24/7 customer support
- Stream directly to YouTube
- Pop-ups and countdowns to encourage participants to take action
- Advanced live chat
- Can handle up to 5,000 attendees at one time
- Automated recordings
- Flexible scheduling
- Works on multiple devices
- Advanced email and SMS system
- Easy to set up
- User-friendly interface and dashboards
- Vast library of templates for easy customization
- Available for iOS and Android devices
- Enables attendees to join in while presentations are in progress for improved interaction
- Automated recordings of your live webinars
- Requires purchasing EverWebinar for automated on-demand webinars
- Lacks third-party app integrations
- Starter – $39 per month, billed annually, for up to 100 attendees
- Basic – $79 per month, billed annually, for up to 500 attendees
- Professional – $229 per month, billed annually, for up to 2,000 attendees
- Enterprise – $379 per month, billed annually, for up to 5,000 attendees
Livestream – Best for Educational Institutes and Corporate Clients
Are you a big business that has already built relationships with your target audience? Look no further than the Livestream webinar software. The tool focuses on more than just webinars. It hosts live streaming productions of the highest sound and picture quality.
You can stream from any device across social media platforms, like YouTube or Facebook Live, or on your own website to engage customers, staff, or clients from around the world.
There’s no limit to the number of participants, and users praise it for great audio and video quality.
- Unlimited events, attendees, and storage
- Brand control
- Live stream monetization with subscriptions, apps, and PPV
- Enhanced privacy and security
- Intuitive, easy-to-use interface
- Engage with audiences via custom registration forms, Q&As, moderated chat feed, and live polls
- Stellar 24/7 customer support
- Best video and audio quality even with limited bandwidth
- Lacks some marketing features typical of webinar platforms
- Premium – $75 per month, billed annually
- Enterprise – custom pricing package
- Vimeo OTT – contact sales team for more details
Free Webinar Platforms
If you do some basic webinars, you can use a free webinar platform. However, keep in mind that free services offer limited features and a limited number of attendees. Therefore, they might not be the best options if you want to reach a wider audience.
That said, what free platform is best for webinars? There are several, the top ones being
- Zoho Meeting,
- Facebook Live,
- Adobe Connect, and
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