Zoom, Meetings vs Webinars

This article describes some of the similarities and differences between Zoom Meetings and Webinars.

Meetings and webinars share some of the same features, but there are important differences you should be aware of. Meetings are best for events requiring collaboration between ALL participants. Webinars are best for events requiring a small number of people to present information to the attendees. In this case, the attendees generally do not interact with one another and the events are open to a wider public audience.

For more information on when to use a Zoom meeting or a webinar please visit: When to use Meetings vs Webinars at Zoom | Blog.

Zoom Feature Comparison
Feature Meetings Webinars
Best for Group collaboration, known participants Public events, large events, unknown attendees
Format Collaboration among participants and host One (or few) to many, no attendee interaction with other attendees
  • Included in campus license 
  • Additional licensing cost for Large Meetings*
Dependent upon additional licensing purchase*
Participant/attendee maximum
  • 300 with campus license
  • Up to 1000 with additional license purchase*
Up to 10,000 but requires additional licensing*
  • Participant can mute/unmute own audio
  • Host can mute/request to unmute participants
  • Host can set all to enter muted
  • Host or panelist can mute/unmute own audio
  • Host can mute/unmute attendees
  • Attendees not allowed to mute/unmute self without explicit permission from host or co-host
Closed Captioning Available Available
Video Can be allowed for all Only allowed for host/co-host and panelists
Screen sharing Available Available
Participant list Participants can see list of other participants Only host/co-host and panelists can see attendee list
Chat Can be setup to allow participants to chat with other participants, hosts/co-hosts, or no one Can be setup to allow attendees to chat with other attendees, hosts/co-hosts, panelists, or no one
Nonverbal feedback Available  Only raise hand available
Q & A Not available Available
File transfer Available Not available
Annotations Available Available
Polling Available Available
Recording Available Available
Livestream Available Available
Whiteboard Available Available
Breakout rooms Available Available
Waiting room Available Not available
Registration Available Available
Practice session Not available Available

For more information on these and other comparisons, please visit: Zoom Support

Additional Licensing Information:

Reminder: Webinar functionality does not come standard with your campus license. Webinar licenses are an additional charge. Webinar license options are based on participant capacity: 100, 500, 1000, 3000, 5000, and 10,000 participants. To view or purchase Webinar licenses, as well as any other currently available Zoom Add-Ons, please visit the WebStore for more information. You may contact WebStore@illinois.edu if you have additional questions about licensing purchases.

Meetings for up to 24 hours and with up to 300 participants can be hosted by anyone with a UIUC Zoom Education license. In contrast, Basic users are limited to HOSTING meetings (minimum 3 users) at 40 minutes and up to 100 participants.  For more information about logging in properly to use your UIUC Zoom Education license, please see this article. Large Meeting license options are based on participant capacity: 500 and 1000 participants. To view or purchase Large Meeting licenses, please visit the WebStore for more information.

KeywordsA summary of the differences between Zoom Meetings and Webinars.   Doc ID91816
OwnerMartin L.GroupUniversity of Illinois Technology Services
Created2019-05-17 10:55:08Updated2023-09-27 10:56:59
SitesUniversity of Illinois Technology Services
Feedback  3   3