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What is a Webinar?

By Michael Rogers

As a Professional Association, chances are you have a membership that is geographically diverse in their location. What’s the best way to get to these people? Better yet, what’s the best way to educate?

Webinars have gained an increasing amount of attention in recent years, but getting your board of directors on board for this new technology can always be a challenge. Understanding the variations and applications of the technology can be a great starting point for a successful webinar event.

But before we discuss specific application, we first need to understand: What makes a webinar a webinar?

According to Wikipedia, “The term webinar is short for Web-based Seminar, a presentation, lecture, workshop or seminar that is transmitted over the Web, specifically a portmanteau of web and seminar, to describe a specific type of web conference.”

To add additional clarity, we will add defining features to the term “webinar”

  • Live - A webinar is always broadcasted live to its audience, and is not the replay of an earlier recording. We call a replay of an event an “Event Recording”
  • Interactive – A webinar allows for multi-way interaction between the audience and the speaker, and is more than a one way broadcast. We call a one-way broadcast a “webcast”

To summarize, we define a webinar as;

“A live-online presentation featuring audio, video and presentation materials that allows for multi-directional interaction among presenter and participants”



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