Wondering what the actual difference is between GoToTraining and GoToWebinar 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 ya 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 scenario.
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. Still, Learning & 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.
Create custom questions in the registration form to get to know your audience before the event and help you tweak your content accordingly.
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 role. 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.
Use as a way to check for understanding, introduce a concept, or gain insight into the change in learning (somewhat like testing).
Draw Tools: Give one or more participants the ability to draw on the screen using pen or marker.
Q&A: Similar to chat although learners can’t see each other’s questions, and the interface is quite robust for organizing formal Q&A. Great for large training groups if you have another organizer to help manage it.
Audio: Ability to unmute audio lines for verbal interaction.
Survey: Get feedback to improve future training.
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 Registration, Polling, Draw Tools, Evaulation and Audio capabilities. 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.
- Download your guide to creating a Webinar Strategy Plan
- Check out our free recorded webinars: Webinar Courses Are the New Marketing and Thinking Outside the Virtual Training Box.
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Corena Bahr is a webinar developer and producer determined to end the average webinar snoozefest. Through her consulting company, YourWebinarGuru, she teaches how to transform one-way marketing webinars into two-way interactive learning experiences that deliver value, build relationships and add income.