Widely regarded as one of the best platforms for hosting webinar meetings, is GoToWebinar able to rival the competition with its video conferencing software too? Read on to find out.
If you’re familiar with GoToMeeting, or LogMeIn, you may already be familiar with GoToWebinar. The companies aren’t direct competitors. Both GoToMeeting and GoToWebinars belong to LogMeIn and are part of the Citrix family. The only difference with them is that the two platforms offer unique features and cater to separate audiences as a result. As the name suggests, GoToWebinars’ primary focus is providing one-way presentations, widely known as webinars. But that doesn’t mean to say that the platform can’t be used to host virtual meetings.
Depending on your audience, there are a number of different reasons why you might prefer using GoToWebinar over other video conferencing providers. We’ve used both GoToMeeting and GoToWebinar for video conferencing, so which did we prefer?
What Does GoToWebinar Offer?
GoToWebinar is more suited for group presentations as it allows you to host up to 1000 individual participants in a single meeting. Yes, you read that correctly: one thousand people in a meeting, although nowhere near that amount of webcams are supported (how would they fit on the screen, after all?).
This makes GoToWebinar perfect for meetings where you’re expecting a lot of guests. Unfortunately, GoToWebinar doesn’t have much else to offer for video conferencing calls other than that. This is down to the fact that it's got a separate platform, GoToMeeting, that’s more suited for – you guessed it – meetings. As a result, GoToWebinar doesn’t offer the same functionality you’d expect from other video conference providers for 1:1 video calls.
Thankfully, you can always expect video and audio of the highest quality from any virtual meetings or webinars that take place on the GoToWebinar platform. This is because both the GoToMeeting and GoToWebinar platforms offer HD video conferencing and are able to provide and maintain quality connection speeds that never compromise the quality of your audio or video due to the vast number of people they’ve been designed to cater for. An added benefit here is integrated audio, allowing you to dial into meetings using your phone and communicate using VoIP.
You can host video conferences using your Mac or Desktop PC, while your guests will be able to join any virtual meetings they’re invited to using their Chromebook devices as well as mobiles and tablets. One benefit of using GoToWebinar for your virtual meetings is you won’t be tied down to the number of meetings you can host, as the platform offers unlimited online meetings and webinars. That said, many other competitors offer unlimited meetings at a much cheaper price. Let’s take a look at what we think of their prices below. Be warned: these pricing plans are some of the most expensive out there if you’re just interested in basic video conferencing software.
GoToWebinar has four different pricing plans, the cheapest of which is a monthly subscription plan starting at $89 a month. Yikes. That’s almost ten times more expensive than its competitors, but it’s worth noting that GoToWebinar hasn’t been created to fulfill video conferencing needs as its primary purpose. So what do you get for all of that money?
Starter Plan - $89 per user / month
GoToWebinar’s starter plan allows up to 100 users to join your video conferences or virtual meetings. As these meetings are essentially webinars, you’ll also benefit from some additional features such as polls, handouts of digital materials and the ability to host Q&As. This plan allows you to record video conferences and offers VoIP, Phone and Toll-free dialing, so attendees can access the meeting no matter where they are in the world by using their mobile phone.
This plan also contains lots of webinar-specific features such as the ability to publish recorded webinars, as well as create a bespoke-branded landing page that people can visit to watch your videos. These are neat features for anyone interested in pursuing a career as a thought leader or webinar expert, but essentially useless if you’re just looking for a way to host virtual meetings with a couple of people.
Pro Plan - $199 per user / month
Double the price of the starter plan, the pro plan does increase the number of people that are able to join your call from 100 to 500, but all of the other features are catered towards webinars. These build on the branding options that are available in the starter plan, including the ability to create a custom URL for your webinars, record events, access and distribute transcripts, and use a video editor to trim down your webinars.
Plus Plan - $429 per user / month
The price doubles again, this time to offer up to 1000 people to join your call. That is a truly impressive number, but we’re struggling to think of any circumstances under which 1000 people would be required to join a single meeting, or why you’d want to pay $429 a month for the privilege. On top of all of this, there’s also the enterprise plan, which can be used to host events for up to 5000 people. Prices aren’t publicly advertised on the GoTo Webinar website and you’ll have to get in touch for more information.
GoToWebinar does offer virtual meetings and is able to fulfill video conferencing requirements – but as a cost. We’re not downplaying any of the features that GoToWebinar has to offer by the way; if you’re interested in a platform for hosting webinars, you’d struggle to find others that beat it. Unfortunately, GoToWebinar simply isn’t a platform that you should be using to meet your video conferencing needs, and especially not when it has a starting price of $89 per month. If you’re a fan of the software services that the Citrix family offers, go for its sister platform GoToMeeting. As the name suggests, it’s much better for 1:1 calls and smaller virtual meetings.