Wondering what the actual difference is between GoToWebinar and GoToTraining is such a valid query! While a feature comparison chart is fine, it doesn’t really put the differences into context. Especially when it comes to the level of interaction you want to have before, during and after a training event. I’m going to summarize it for you here: If your goal is interactive virtual training, you’re either going to want to get GoToTraining or put on your creative hat to adjust engagement and activities to GoToWebinar’s feature set.
I’ve been working with GoToWebinar and GoToTraining literally since they were just ideas, not even fully coded. To this day, I use both on a regular basis. The point of this article is to give the differences some context, specifically as they relate to using the platforms in a training scenario. Hopefully this will help you determine which one is right for your needs.
To start, in terms of overall feature set, there really is a difference in the level of interaction between the two platforms:
GoToWebinar is like attending a conference
GoToTraining is like attending a workshop
GoToWebinar was originally designed as a sales and marketing tool. The features are specific to helping marketers understand and connect with prospects, as well as build client loyalty. Engagement tools are targeted at gaining that insight. Yet Talent Development teams latched onto this technology when it first came out as an easy way to bring training to remote learners. GoToWebinar is conducive to presenting information in a more formal fashion to large groups with limited interaction.
Custom Registration Form
Create custom questions in the registration form to get to know your audience before the event and help you adjust your learning content accordingly. I sometimes ask a question around skill level which helps me gain a sense of the general audience for each session.
You can upload up to five handouts to your webinar event. Great for adding workbooks. Handouts can only be viewed and downloaded in-session, so for working documents, you’ll want to spend a few minutes during housekeeping asking participants to download any docs you want them to work on in-session.
There is an extra role in GoToWebinar besides the organizer. A panelist is essentially a guest speaker. This role can present (screen share) but cannot manage the session such as monitor questions or manage the attendees in any way. While not necessary for training, the use case is if you have invited speakers outside your organization to present or even an outside trainer.
Participants join the webinar with audio muted by default. Organizers and panelists initially join audio in a sub-conference so that you can speak with each other as you count down to the webinar start time.
Use as a way to check for understanding or introduce a concept. Create multiple polls to simulate light testing.
Give one or more participants the ability to draw on the screen using pen or marker. I’ve used this when creating icebreaker activities.
In GoToWebinar, participants only have Q&A and do not have a chat feature. This means that attendees cannot see each others questions or responses. The Q&A feature is great for large audiences and generally requires that you have another organizer to help manage it.
You can upload up to 5 videos to the webinar. Helpful when presenting training clips. Note that video sound can only be heard through computer speakers, so participants who have joined audio over the phone need to turn up their computer speakers or join the webinar through a mobile device.
The survey can be customized so that you can receive feedback on your event. The survey can be launched after the webinar ends or included in the follow-up email. In my experience, higher response rates occur when the survey is launched directly after the webinar.
This feature enables you to include a simple certificate with the follow-up email to participants who attended the webinar.
GoToTraining turns up the engagement by several notches. Additional in- and out-of-session features make it more conducive to a training environment. The ability to provide pre-course materials helps you maximize the learning process so you’re not limited to just the live session. GoToTraining includes Custom Registration, Polling, Draw Tools, Evaluation (Survey) and Audio capabilities as above. Add to that:
eCommerce: Enables you to collect payment for your training event.
Materials Library: Upload and store files, links, and GoToTraining recordings. Make them accessible before, during and after the training.
Catalog: Create an entire course catalog. Great for your training series.
Testing: Create tests and make them accessible before, during and after the training. In-session, you can review results with learners.
Timer: Use for games, breaks, testing, etc.
Presenter Role: Make any attendee a presenter (screen share).
Chat: An informal way for your learners to communicate with you and other attendees.
Keep in mind that it’s important to design your course first – for the learner – before deciding on the webinar tool. Review the features above and see how creative you can get using them.
Here’s to your success!
Corena Bahr is a Consultant & Trainer helping experts at corporations and global firms deliver world-class webinars and virtual training. She teaches experts how to create a human connection with a virtual audience, structure content for engagement, and how to use the “bells & whistles” of webinar and virtual training platforms to drive business goals. Corena is also a LinkedIn Learning course author and public speaker.