More recently, many other webinar tools have also cropped up, and one of them might be better for your purposes than GoToWebinar. However, GoToWebinar does provide some very useful features that not all the other webinar services provide. Here are five:
- Screen sharing: You can show the audience anything on your screen, not just your PowerPoint slides. That means you can show them your Web browser, Excel spreadsheets, Word documents, PDF files, and more.
- Audience microphones: Participants with microphones can speak out loud during Q&A sessions and discussion time. This is far more personal and engaging than just typing questions into a box.
- Automatic e-mail reminders: GoToWebinar sends automatic reminders to participants a week, a day and an hour before the webinar. This will save you a lot of time, especially when you run a lot of webinars.
- Webinar series: You can run a series of webinars for the same group. People subscribe once, and then you can run as many webinars as you like for them. This is perfect for marketing purposes.
- Time zone calculation: When an attendee registers, they can see the time in their own time zone, and GoToWebinar sends its e-mail reminders using that time zone. This saves a lot of administration time for you and confusion for your attendees.
GoToWebinar has a tiered pricing structure, with the $100/month plan allowing you up to 100 participants. That should be plenty for a while, unless you know you have a very big database of people who are keen to attend your webinars. But for most of us, it takes time for your list to grow, so the lowest plan is more than enough.
GoToWebinar also has a younger brother, GoToMeeting, which is a cut-down version of GoToWebinar. It's much cheaper, but has a much smaller limit on the number of participants, and doesn't have some of the webinar features you will use later (such as audience polls and registration pages). In any case, for your first webinar (and perhaps your first two), you'll be able to use the 30-day free trial, so you might as well use all the features of GoToWebinar.
One other drawback of GoToWebinar is that some of the features aren't available on a Mac, because of limitations in the Mac operating system. For example, at the time of writing it isn't possible to record your webinar on a Mac. But keep in mind that there are usually workarounds for these Mac limitations (for example, running the webinar on a PC, logging in on a separate PC just to do the recording, or asking a PC user to record the webinar for you).