Webinars are getting progressively more popular, and recently we have seen a rise in their use among businesses. Initially they were mostly associated with courses and education programs run by individual people, but now some companies are using them as a convenient and reliable platform for training their employees, and some firms adopt webinars as the basis of their business model.
Today we shall discuss two of the most prominent players on this market: ClickMeeting and GoToWebinar, and try to find out which of them is better.
GoToWebinar is one of the best-known webinar services and has been so for some time, which probably makes it somewhat complacent and slower to react to changes in the market and user preferences. As a result, it offers higher prices and lacks some features that, although not crucial for webinars, can greatly enhance their efficiency and effectiveness.
On the one hand, GoToWebinar allows you to try its functionality out for free for one month, and to do this you don’t even have to register with your credit card. On the other hand, when it comes to actual regular work, it shows much less flexibility: there are three distinct payment plans, starting at $89/month for webinars with up to 100 participants and rising to a whopping $429.
ClickMeeting is much more affordable and allows for greater customization. Price per month starts at $30 for up to 25 participants (which is usually more than enough for small-scale webinars) and can easily be scaled as it rises by small increments.
Both services offer 20 percent discounts for those paying for a year in advance.
One of the primary things speaking in favor of ClickMeeting is the fact that it is a browser-based solution you can start using on the go due to its intuitive interface. GoToWebinar is somewhat lacking in this respect: you have to download and install the software first, the layout is set in stone and cannot be customized to reflect your needs.
The most notable advantage GoToWebinar has in this respect is that it supports breakout rooms, so if you value this option you should consider sticking with this service. However, ClickMeeting offers a much more comprehensive rebranding feature: you can easily add your logo to the webinar room, waiting room and email notifications, as well as decorate them with your brand colors, thus adding additional promotion for your brand.
Other than that, both services offer more or less the same set of interactive features necessary for a webinar: sharable whiteboard, ability to easily moderate and translate chat messages, mobile integration, registration page creation tool and so on.
GoToWebinar seems to be particular about security and stability: it uses 128-bit AES encryption and supports its software from multiple data centers, thus increasing its safety and reliability.
Browser-based, needs no installation and setup;
Flexible pricing policy makes it a good choice for those who don’t want to overpay, especially for beginners with small audiences;
Rebranding and layout customization features;
Social media integration;
Incorporates Google Translate, making it easy to hold international meetings. Cons:
No breakout rooms;
No phone support.
All essential features are present;
Easy-to-use interface eliminating most organizational problems;
Reports and analytics;
You don’t need a credit card for a trial period;
Rather steep prices;
Incomplete rebranding features;
Absence of some important features such as polls and surveys;
Non-customizable layout and interface.
As is often the case, it is hard to determine an outright winner: both services are good in some or other respects – and, what’s more important, they are tailored to different sets of demands.
ClickMeeting is ideal for small-scale webinar holders who want to try their hand at this activity but are not willing to commit too greatly financially. Although starter plans are limited in scope, if you don’t need more than 25 people participating, you won’t have to pay extra $50 for the possibilities you don’t use. And if your scope does grow, you can easily scale up, still without paying for more than you actually use.
GoToWebinar is more suitable for users with large number of participants, mostly because many useful features offered by this service, such as video sharing, hotjoin and editing tools are locked in the more expensive payment plans. This, however, doesn’t mean that ClickMeeting cannot fill this niche as well.
Also, you should consider the one function that is notably absent from ClickMeeting’s lineup: breakout rooms. If it is necessary for your purposes to divide webinar listeners into groups, GoToWebinar has the functionality you need.
Some people will be discouraged by the fact that ClickMeeting only provides customer support via email and online chat – if you are more used to phones, select GoToWebinar.
All in all, both services have their weaker and stronger suits, and which one to choose depends, in the long run, on which better matches your particular set of goals. In short, if webinars don’t constitute the core functionality of your business and you only need them occasionally, ClickMeeting is a more viable choice. If, however, you run a large company or a business whose job it is primarily to provide educational or other types of services via webinars, the possibilities provided by GoToWebinar make for a better choice, offering broader functionality and more convenient methods of interacting with customers.
Melissa Burns is an entrepreneur with six years of experience in marketing and SEO. Burns began her career as an independent journalist, right after graduating from Iowa State University in 2008. Her favorite fields of research are startups, marketing, and IT--in particular, IT implementation in the sphere of education.