Using Zoom for Public Events: Meeting vs. Webinar License

Last modified: June 9, 2020

Zoom Meetings & Webinars Features

The Zoom Meeting and Webinar platforms offer similar features and functionality but have some key differences.

Meetings are designed to be a collaborative event with all participants being able to screen share, turn on their video and audio, and see who else is in attendance.

Webinars are designed so that the host and any designated panelists can share their video, audio and screen. Webinars allow view-only attendees. They have the ability to interact via Q&A, chat, and answering polling questions. The host can also unmute the attendees. Attendees in webinars, cannot rename themselves as well. 

Meetings versus webinars

Meeting Webinar
Description Zoom meetings are ideal for hosting more interactive sessions where you’ll want to have lots of audience participation or break your session into smaller groups. Think of webinars like a virtual lecture hall or auditorium. Webinars are ideal for large audiences or events that are open to the public. Typically, webinar attendees do not interact with one another. Though Zoom provides options for you to get more social with your attendees, your average webinar has one or a few people speaking to an audience.
Best Used For Small to large groups (2+ participants) for:

Customer-facing meetings

Sales meetings

Training sessions

Large events and public broadcasts (50+ attendees) such as:

Town halls

Quarterly updates

Educational lectures

Cost Free for Faculty/Staff Contact your IT Representative for pricing
FEATURES Meeting Webinar
Capacity 300 Up to 50,000
Participant Roles Host & Co-Host

Participant

Host and Co-Host

Panelist

Attendee

Audio Sharing All participants can mute/unmute their own audio

Host can mute/request to unmute participants

The Host can set all participants to mute upon entry

Only the Host and panelists can mute/unmute their own audio

Attendees join in listen-only mode*

The Host can unmute one or more attendees

Video Sharing All participants Hosts and Panelists
Screen Sharing Yes Yes
Participants List Visible to all Visible to host and panelist
Email Reminders

 

N/A If registration is enabled
Chat In-Meeting Chat Webinar Chat
Nonverbal Feedback Yes Only Raise Hand
Q & A N/A Yes
Breakout Rooms Yes N/A
Closed Captioning Yes Yes
Recording Yes Yes
Polling Polling for meetings Polling for webinars
Livestream Facebook, YouTube, Workplace by Facebook, Custom Streaming Service Facebook, YouTube, Workplace by Facebook, Custom Streaming Service
Registration Registration for meetings Registration for webinars
Practice Session N/A Yes
Waiting Room Yes N/A
PayPal Integration N/A Yes
Require Password to Join Yes Yes
International Dial-In Numbers Yes Yes

*Note: If the host or co-host enables Allow to Talk for an attendee, they will be able to enable their microphone as well as mute and unmute themselves.

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