Are Webinars Interactive? Explained For You With Examples

Webinars are one of the most powerful ways to make sales online, without having to pick up the phone and get on any calls.

With that being said, there’s been a lot of talk about if webinars are interactive or not. It’s not exactly a straightforward answer, so allow me to explain as much as possible.

Are Webinars Interactive?

are webinars interactive

So webinars have the option of being interactive or non-interactive, or in other words, the answer is both yes and no. However, most webinars do tend to be interactive.

There are quite a few reasons when it comes to this too. So allow me to talk about what you can expect if you plan on running webinars yourself, or maybe you want to join as a viewer.

1) Most Live Webinars Are Interactive By Default

So there are two main types of webinars that you might have already noticed:

  1. Live webinars
  2. Automated webinars.

By default, both of these types of webinars are going to be interactive. However, how you interact is going to greatly depend on how the webinar presenter set things up.

For example, with live webinars, there are plenty more options when it comes to being interactive. The best part is that it’s actually live, and you can interact with others (and the webinar host) in real-time.

Here are a few ways that interaction can occur on a live webinar:

  • Typing and discussing things in the chatbox.
  • Asking questions (usually also in the chatbox).

Every now and then, the webinar presenter will allow someone to also talk on the presentation. However, this doesn’t happen very often because a lot of things can go wrong.

If someone aside from the main presenter is going to speak on a live presentation, it’s usually planned ahead. It could be for a case study, testimonial, or something similar.

2) Most Automated Webinars Aren’t Very Interactive

On the other hand, automated webinars also can come along with some interaction, but not a whole lot when compared to live webinars.

Given the fact that automated webinars aren’t live, you won’t be able to have “real” interaction with anyone else.

For example. with automated webinars you can:

  • Enter text and ask questions in the chatbox.
  • See other people’s text as well.

However, you need to keep in mind that text with an automated webinar is simply automated. Most automated software tools allow you to save previous text and keep them rolling throughout the software.

This is done to give the automated webinar a feel for being live, in case you were wondering.

So while you can technically interact, you’re not directly interacting with anyone at the time of entering your text. The webinar host will most likely see it later on down the road though, as it can be used to help improve their presentation.

3) Some Webinars Will Have Zero Interaction Whatsoever

This doesn’t happen as often, but it’s certainly something that I’ve come across before, especially with automated webinars.

Since you now know that there’s usually a chatbox when it comes to both live and automated webinars, sometimes the creator of an automated webinar will remove the chatbox completely.

There can be a few reasons for this:

  • They don’t like it.
  • It decreases their conversions.
  • It can be a distraction for the viewers.

So if the presenter does this, there will be no possible way to interact with anyone on the webinar. All you will be able to do is watch the presentation and purchase the offer if you like.

There’s always the option for sending questions through email, which is usually an option, but I wouldn’t consider that interaction on the specific webinar.

Can Attendees Be Seen In A Webinar?

Nope, attendees can not be seen in a webinar. Unless, of course, the webinar host has a planned co-host that will be seen.

I think that this question comes up a lot because webinars are often related to Zoom meetings. Zoom meetings are where you can see everyone all at once on your screen.

Webinars, on the other hand, are a completely different beast. For the most part, people create webinars in order to give valuable information and then pitch a highly related product.

Just imagine the amount of chaos that could occur if a bunch of random people could interrupt during a live sales presentation, and especially be seen.

It’s not that it’s not possible, but it’s something that you certainly wouldn’t want to do as a webinar host.

I remember once when a webinar host allowed someone to use their mic (when they shouldn’t have). Let’s just say that they put some “sounds” through their mic that were only for adults. It was pretty embarrassing.

So you don’t have to worry about being seen or heard as an attendee on a webinar. In fact, I did a related article about this topic that you’ll probably also get a lot of. I’ll add it down below for you.

Highly Related: Can you be seen through video on webinars?

Webinars Interaction: Closing Words

All in all, it’s the live webinars that are going to have the most amount of interaction with them. However, it’s going to be a very slight amount of interaction in the form of:

  • Typing in the chatbox.
  • Asking questions if you have any.
  • And there’s always the possibility of polls as well.

If you’re worried about being heard through your microphone or seen through video, don’t.

Remember that webinars are much different compared to Zoom calls. Zoom calls are presentations that usually come along with being on video and chatting with others.

That rarely happens on webinars, and if it does, it’s usually with someone who has been planned to make a special appearance on the webinar.

So I hope that this article helped you out when it comes to webinars and the amount of interaction that they can come with.

If at the end of the day, you still don’t want to have any possibility of being on video during a webinar, just do what I do and put a post-it note over your video camera 😛

James Canzanella

A former personal trainer who went from unemployment to online business success. He's been marketing since 2012 and (still) enjoys lifting weights, listening to rock music, and relentlessly quoting movie lines.

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