Can you name one company with skyrocketing growth during the pandemic? Did you say Zoom? That’s right. The video conferencing tool has been a favorite among remote workers. Zoom saw a surge in daily active users. From an already impressive 10 million to a whopping 200 million.
Why is Zoom that popular? And, should you run your next virtual event with Zoom? Are there Zoom Webinar alternatives?
Is Zoom Webinar for you?
There are two Zoom platforms. Zoom Meeting and Zoom Webinar. Let’s break them down to understand the differences.
Zoom Meeting is the name of the popular video meeting tool. It works well for customer-facing meetings, sales meetings, and training sessions. Do you have a physical office overseas? Chances are Zoom facilitates your meetings with your overseas colleagues. The tool helps with collaboration. Mainly through features such as screen sharing, chat, and annotation. This led to wide-spread adoption by universities and governments alike. Zoom Meeting supports up to 100 participants on a free license. Depending on your plan, you can increase this to 1,000 for large group meetings.
Zoom Webinar is a Zoom Meeting spin-off. It aims to facilitate virtual events of up to 10,000 attendees. Zoom Webinar has event features that include polling and Q&A. It has been used for town halls, quarterly updates, and lectures. Truly the one-to-many type of events. Zoom Webinar supports streaming to live platforms. Whether you’re on Facebook Live, YouTube Live, or any custom streaming service. Break-out sessions for smaller groups can be enabled by the event planners.
The massive growth of Zoom has caught some serious shade by privacy concerns. Security researchers weren’t mild in their judgment. They publicly called the tool a ‘privacy disaster’. Clients got worried. It fueled them to tell their workforce to refrain from using Zoom any longer. Thus it gave both Zoom and its daily users a serious headache.
Without a doubt, Zoom Webinar has solid features. It works on all platforms and has a great mobile app version. But, if you’re like us and take security seriously, weigh the pros and cons. You might want to opt for safety. There are plenty of Zoom Webinar alternatives. Hence, it can be worth considering to avoid potential backfire later on.
G2 Score: 4.5 (84 reviews)
5 Zoom Webinar Alternatives for Virtual Events
Let’s look at 5 Zoom Webinar alternatives for virtual events. In the reviews, we focus on User Experience, Features, and Security.
GoToWebinar is similar to the popular GoToMeeting app. It was built by Citrix GoTo and launched in 2004. GoTo products were for years at the forefront of their space. They received quite the recognition and fame in those years. The video conference market rapidly became more crowded. In response, GoTo merged with LogMeIn in 2017. This merger made sure that GoTo products stayed strong players in the market.
GoToWebinar is thus a solid and proven choice for virtual events. Features include HD video, file sharing, whiteboard, Q&A, and polling. It features a centralized webinar hub for your on-demand event content. This virtual event tool supports up to 2,000 participants.
Is security the reason you are looking for a Zoom alternative? GoToWebinar would give you peace of mind. Data transmission is protected with high-end encryption. On top, it has advanced security protocols in place. The company only works with SOCII certified data centers. This is seen as proof of its security efforts.
Thinking about GoToWebinar? Check out our alternatives guide.
G2 Score: 4.2 (560 reviews)
SpotMe brings all your event needs under one roof. The virtual event platform is called SpotMe VX. It helps in creating high-quality virtual events. SpotMe gives you the choice of native streaming or third-party. It uses add-ons to integrate registration platforms. You truly have all the tools to create a live and on-demand experience.
SpotMe comes with webcasting, video breakouts, and personalized agendas. There’s a step-by-step wizard that lets you create a fully branded app. The whiteboard feature is great for collaboration sessions. All combined, it creates the feeling of an in-person event experience.
SpotMe recently added templates. Templates are comparable to the well-known Themes in WordPress. They come with navigation, page layouts, sample designs, and content. You have your event app up and running in no-time.
When it comes to security, SpotMe goes the extra mile. As a company, it’s SOCII type 2 certified. SpotMe applies security measures in the app as well. Users can go as far as to add a passcode to their event app. The passcode is only securely stored on the user’s device. A great contender as Zoom alternative.
G2 Score: 4.6 (100 reviews)
#3 Adobe Connect
Adobe Connect is a video conferencing platform. It aims to deliver a tailored user experience (UX) for each session. This makes the platform interesting for remote educators. They form the majority of the Adobe Connect user base. Educators can easily deliver virtual lectures and training.
The Adobe Connect sweet spot is live lectures. But, there are great features supporting webinars. Herefore are video chat, desktop, and document sharing available. Want to add more features? Then you’ll need to add third-party apps. These are available via the Adobe Connect Apps page.
Third-party apps include Q&A, polling, clapping, and thumbs-up. Interesting enough, these features are key to interacting during events. Adobe chose not to include them as standard features.
In Adobe Connect, you can host up to 1,000 participants. These can be split over rooms that have a capacity of up to 100 people. As for security, this is taken care of. Adobe offers multi-layered security.
Are you organizing a big conference? More than 1,000 attendees and multiple breakout sessions? Then Adobe Connect isn’t your best bet.
Want to know more about Adobe Connect? We did a full review!
Looking for alternatives? Check out our Adobe Connect alternatives guide.
G2 Score: 4.1 (553 reviews)
Discord is an outsider in the Zoom Webinar alternatives. The platform started out for the gaming community. Recently, it has pivoted to suit virtual events of all kinds. In the pandemic, it received mainstream recognition. Both personal and business usage was growing. With 100 million monthly active users it is a serious contender.
Don’t be fooled by its quirky look. Discord comes with a unique interface that is very intuitive. The cartoon-style graphics and layout will remind many of Slack. You’ll start by creating a room for your event, called Servers. Each is opened for a particular topic. Then you can split these main topics into sub-channels. It is easy to think of sub-channels as break-out sessions.
Features include screen sharing, chats, and voice calls. Video conferencing can be used free of charge. There’s also a personal and a server agenda during events.
As for security, this is very similar to Slack as well. It doesn’t have end-to-end encryption for private messages. Their security team has the ability to see messages. That means, in both public and private channels. Discord says it only does that if it is investigating user reports.
Discord is perfect to organize community events. It can support up to 5,000 attendees per channel, but it rarely does. Discord aims for interaction and collaboration. Besides, and perhaps more important, it’s just a lot of fun to use!
Looking for a fun platform for a smaller community event? Privacy not a big issue? Discord is your choice.
G2 score: no reviews
#5 BlueJeans by Verizon
BlueJeans is a video conferencing tool. In June 2020, it was taken over by Verizon.BlueJeans is ideal for the enterprise market. It can support up to 50,000 attendees!
BlueJeans has an easy user interface. This aids in the interactivity of events and webcasts. The tool comes with immersive video, Q&A, polling, and large meeting controls. Those meeting controls are key if you reach high numbers of attendees.
BlueJeans is more secure than Zoom Webinar. Virtual events are secured with encryption. It uses standards-based protocols including SIP, SRTP, TLS, and H. 323.
The recent acquisition by Verizon might be a worrying signal for some. It is the might of a giant corporation that can repel users. Others might be more assured by the backing of a major company. Which side are you on?
G2 Score: 4.2 (61 reviews)