Before discussing how systems can be designed to track attendance in webinars and webcasts, it is necessary for us to understand what these new concepts are. Webinars and webcasts have been around only for a short time and have been gaining popularity at a phenomenal rate.
Webinars are web-based seminars that allow people from different places in the world to come together on a common platform for a virtual conference. Typically, webinar hosting creates online events or virtual events that facilitate businesses to accommodate people in discussions irrespective of their physical location. There are different webinar providers that offer this service to businesses across the world.
Webcasts are web broadcasts of a business that serve the purpose of marketing material and help in generating sales leads. Webcasting features a single channel of communication and is not intended to provide platforms for discussion. Webcast recording is an easy process and most web service providers have webcast solutions and webcast support systems.
There have to efficient systems that can track attendance in webinars and webcasts, though the mode of tracking is completely different. Webinar services allow the users to do an advanced registration for online events. Depending upon the nature of the meeting, the presenter allows people to register for the meeting in advance or accept joining requests when the meeting is in procession. Sometimes, there may also be a limited number of seats for online seminars, limited by the speed and capacity of the server in which case people will be required to sign up in advance.
Tracking attendance in webinar software applications is made possible by incorporating a system of employee time clock which records the time at which a particular person signs in and the time at which he signs out. There are separate systems that work on analytics – these systems assign each attendee a specific audio call-in code or a PIN number that they have to fill in before entering the conference. Webinar support services may have different systems to record attendance; some systems may even generate complete reports of the attendees which makes the following-up process easy. Since recording webinars and archiving them is possible, it is far easier to track people who view them.
It is relatively hard to keep track of people in webcasting because of the immense population that is targeted by them. Though it is hard to record the details of people who view video webcasts, it might be possible for the system to collect the email addresses of people that are interested in a particular webcast.