Skype for Business is first a calling/communication and collaboration solution, not really a webinar or webcast solution (e.g., it doesn’t have built-in registration). Skype Meeting Broadcast was designed to solve Skype for Business’ capacity limitation (practically 200-250 participants), but also lacks features that are essential to many webinars or webcasts.
EventBuilder’s Gateway for Skype extends their functionality to add those features and more.
This post is about the three different modalities you can use to accommodate different use cases in your organization. Broadly speaking, these use cases are:
- Skype Stream: Registration page, stream a Skype for Business session to 20 or 20,000, and create a recording.
- Skype Archive: Registration page, use Skype for Business normally, create a recording.
- EB Direct: Registration page, use whatever you want to link to (e.g., Skype Meeting Broadcast, a video hosted somewhere, or…)
What do you want to do?
Since features for these three modalities may overlap, the content below will be arranged by use cases so you can navigate to which is best for you.
(NOTE that this is not intended to be an exhaustive feature list, but you can learn more here).
Keep my presenters in a familiar Skype for Business environment
Option: Skype Stream, Skype Archive
Since Skype for Business is a daily-use part of many organizations, most of your presenters will be familiar with the basics (which breeds confidence and improves interaction). Both Skype Stream and Skype Archive keep the presentation team in Skype for Business.
Enable my attendees to join with no downloads via any browser (including mobile)
Option: Skype Stream
Attendees participate (listen, ask questions, answer polls, etc.) via any browser, including mobile devices. Presenters stay in the familiar Skype for Business environment, but your Gateway streams that to as many people as you want (we love the cloud!). One other benefit: this significantly increases accessibility in those industries where tight desktop environments make Skype for Business a little more troublesome for attendees who are external to your organization.
Add a registration page to Skype Meeting Broadcast or any other separate video/audio file
Option: EB Direct
EB Direct creates a registration page that you can point at anything. What a registrant then experiences is whatever you point them to, be it a live Skype Meeting Broadcast session, a video that you upload, whatever. This registration page’s information is then included in your webinar program’s reporting.
Engage participants with Question Bank questions throughout the entire lifecycle of an event
Option: All, conditionally
All three modalities utilize Question Bank questions for the registration process.
However, to understand how you can use questions from the Question Bank it is important to remember that your EventBuilder Gateway is a connector – we host the registration page and reporting, but after someone registers, what you connect them to varies.
- Skype Stream attendees join your webinar in a no-download, browser based environment. That environment, entirely controlled by EventBuilder, means that Questions in any form (e.g., polls, multiple choice, text entry, etc.) can be used both during and at the end of the event.
- Skype Archive attendees join your webinar in Skype for Business, so it is S4B’s features that are available to you for engaging them, not your Gateway’s Question Bank questions.
- EB Direct attendees are going to whatever URL you direct them to after they register, but you can use Question Bank questions both during and at the end of the event (yes, this means you can use polls, textual questions, etc. when using Skype Meeting Broadcast or even a pre-recorded video). This time-level control also then means you can use Question Bank questions at the end of the event.
Host a simulated-live event
Option: EB Direct
Because EB Direct can A) point to any URL you wish (which could be a pre-recorded video or webinar recording), B) add Question Bank questions that appear while that on-demand file is being viewed and/or at the end of the session, you could use it to host a simu-live event where the content is pre-recorded but text questions are responded to in real time.
Create templates for reusable webinar configuration of features
Templates make it easy to create events without starting over from scratch. Each new event will inherit those features. You also can modify A) templates or B) child events on a case-by-case basis without affecting past events.
Add a session to a Listing Page
Listing Pages are standalone web pages that organize other events into a single page view (like a catalog). You can be used to list whatever you wish. Any event or session may be added to one or more listing pages.
Enable web-privacy for a Listing Page
A public listing page can be crawled by search engines, whereas a private Listing Page is only accessible to those who have its URL. Most search engines respect the NOINDEX code that is placed on the page, but it cannot be guaranteed that a private Listing Page will be completely invisible.
Host a standalone survey
Using Question Bank questions as a standalone survey is independent of which modality you choose.
The bottom line
Webinars and webcasts have different workflows than day-to-day online meetings and calls, but as you might imagine, organizations host a lot more meetings and calls than webinars. Understandably, Skype for Business was built for the latter.
EventBuilder Gateway for Skype adds all the webinar/webcast functionality you need while it keeps you and everyone on your presentation team in the same familiar Skype for Business environment that they use every day. And with three different operating modalities that are each optimized for different use cases, your EventBuilder Gateway for Skype is flexible enough to meet many different needs within your organization.
Cheers to your many successes!