Crowdcast vs Zoom for webinars. Why we're back with Crowdcast!
We’ve been using Crowdcast for webinars since 2017, but admittedly, I wasn’t always faithful. We had a hot minute where we used Zoom instead for hosting webinars buttt we’re back with Crowdcast again.
Today I want to compare some of the features and functions of Zoom and Crowdcast so you can have an easier time deciding which you might prefer to use for any webinars you have coming up!
Here were some of my deciding factors that ultimately led me back to using Crowdcast!
The “Green room”
Just like T-Swift, it’s nice to have a room, right next to your ‘stage’ to prep in justtt before you get out there to deliver your content! Crowdcast has what’s called a ‘green room,’ which when you click the button, you can see yourself on the screen, check your hair looks good, lol, make sure lighting is all nice, and test your microphone in. Basically, it’s as if you’re live, but you’re not.
This green room is actually superrr helpful, you’re able to test everything from mic to video. Then, to go live, you click 1 button and you go from green room to live, but basically the screen looks the exact same.
With Zoom, there’s no green room, once you click to start your Zoom meeting, you’re live right away. It’s just a bit more jarring to start so abruptly TBH.
Chat prior to starting webinar
The other thing I love about Crowdcast, you and your attendees can hang out in the webinar room, before the webinar actually starts. Your participants who showed up a couple mins early can chat with you and others in the comments, submit questions, and participate in your poll. It’s generally considered webinar best practice to get on a few minutes early to get the convo going.
I find if you’ve sort of been chatting with attendees and they’ve been chatting with each other before the webinar started, they’re more likely to chat throughout, which just feels nice to have a proper conversation instead of a one-sided monologue.
With Zoom, again, the Zoom room only starts once you click to start the meeting, so there’s no chance for you or attendees to interact before you go live.
When it’s your first (or even 10th) webinar, it can be a bit nerve wracking, so easing into it with a green room and chatting with attendees before I find a really nice couple of features!
Both Crowdcast and Zoom have an area where people can submit questions, but we found that with Zoom, many of our attendees were confused on how to find the questions box and how to ask a question in it. We were always directing people to the questions box and trying to explain to them how to get there. People would give up trying and just use the chat to ask questions, which sometimes would get missed if the chat was moving quickly with a lot of messages.
This leads me to another point . . .
Cleanliness & ease of use
I think the reason that people found asking questions in the question box in Crowdcast correctly was because just overall, for both yourself and your attendees, it’s just a much cleaner, easier to use software.
I will make a point for Zoom and that is that Zoom does have more complex features than Crowdcast, so it’s more functionality-rich, but also therefore harder to find things.
Generally though, if you’re just starting with webinars (or are even on say your 15th webinar like me), Crowdcast does have all the features I want, and I just find it easier to work with. And so do attendees!
2nd host login
We had an issue during a webinar where someone got veryyy rude in the chat, which hit me pretty off-guard as it was just my second webinar. Now I’ve done over 15 webinars, I can say this really was an unusual occurrence, it hasn’t happened again, but it toallyyy threw me off during the webinar. Not ideal.
From that point on, I always wanted my assistant on there with me so she could very quickly ban and delete someone in the chat/webinar while I could continue on with content. It took a couple emails back and forth with both Zoom and Crowdcast to figure out how this could work.
I as the host of the webinar can ban people, but regular attendees can’t, meaning my assistant couldn’t do anything in the situation of someone getting cray in the comments.
Turns out, with Crowdcast, multiple people can be logged in at the same time, meaning both my assistant and I can be logged into my account and she has the same host controls as I do.
With Zoom, there’s also a solution to the problem but it’s not ideal. With Zoom, my assistant logs in with her own account, and then once the webinar starts and I’m live, I can scroll through the list of attendees and give my assistant co-host permissions. This is a bit of a waste of time, and can be hard to find her in the long list of attendees. Again, having a green room would come is really handy in this situation, but unfortunately Zoom doesn’t have one.
The straw that broke the camels back and sent us back to Crowdcast was actually the replays.
With Zoom, there’s no replay feature. The webinar video does save to your account, but from there you need to save the video to your computer, upload it as a hidden video to a video hosting platform (eg. YouTube), wait for it to upload and process, get the video link, write a new email to your list, pop the link in and then send. With downloading and uploading a large video file, generally 1 - 1.5 hours long, it was really slow to do these steps, meaning my assistant was doing another couple hours of work after the webinar pretty unnecessarily.
With Crowdcast, you don’t need to do anything. The link that takes people to your webinar also takes them to the replay. You can state that in your original registration email, meaning you literally do nothing to give out replays.
So yeah, superrr convenient with Crowdcast, and this is the reason we went back to it in the end!
In case it also helps your decision making process, here’s also a little comparison of all the other Crowdcast vs. Zoom features.
|Webinar Platform Features||Crowdcast||Zoom|
|Native CRM integration||✓|
|Free trial of paid version||✓|
|Chat, Polls, and Q&As||✓||✓|
|Join via phone dial in||✓|
|Registration and event Widgets||✓|
|Share replay without downloading||✓|
|Single customizable smart URL||✓|
|Build an audience through following||✓|
|Ability to require password||✓||✓|
|Stripe integration for paid events||✓|
|Easily duplicate events||✓|
|Create unlisted events||✓||✓|
|Automatically limit seats||✓|
|Advanced registration analytics||✓|
|Stream to Facebook live||✓||✓|
|Data export CSV||✓||✓|
|Facebook Pixel for Conversion Tracking||✓||✓|
|Invite a co-host||✓||✓|
|Include a call to action button||✓|
|Chat prior to event||✓|
|Mutli-host login permitted||✓|