What’s the difference between web meetings and webinars?

When you’re searching for the right product to run your meetings on, there’re a few names that you may come across. Conference calling, video conferencing, web conferencing, online events, webinars, webcasts… The list goes on.

But how do you find the right tool for you? A good place to start is to know the difference between some of the key terms. A common question that people ask is ‘what’s the difference between web meetings and webinars?’ So here’s how you can tell the difference.

Web meetings

Web meetings allow multiple participants to join a shared virtual space and hold a meeting in a similar way to how they would in a real-life meeting room. Features generally include both VoIP and conference call dial-in options, screen share, video and recordings. Teams, colleagues and clients often use these to discuss projects, brainstorm, plan, or interview. It’s effective because it cuts travel costs, keeps remote workers engaged with their teams and can be joined from almost any device.


A webinar tool allows the host to present to a larger audience. The name comes from running a seminar on the web, hence ‘web-inar’. It usually includes a registration page for gaining leads and following up with participants after the event, be it a training session, presentation, town hall event or product launch.

The difference

The main difference between the two is that an online event is typically used for presenting to a larger group of participants in a more formal setting whereas virtual meetings are run more regularly in a more interactive and informal setting with multiple participants.

Examples could be a brainstorm for content ideas, for planning the release of a new product or any general meeting that you may hold in your company. Examples of webinars could be a company-wide update about key information or a number of presenters sharing insight about industry trends where a follow up email will likely go out to participants or new leads.