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Supporting Scotland's vibrant voluntary sector

Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations is the membership organisation for Scotland's charities, voluntary organisations and social enterprises. Charity registered in Scotland SC003558. Registered office Mansfield Traquair Centre, 15 Mansfield Place, Edinburgh EH3 6BB.

For when you want to broadcast a lecture, seminar or other learning event to  people over the internet.

What they do

Webinar is short for ‘web seminar’. Webinar services give you a way to live broadcast audio and visual information to large numbers of people.

Each webinar has a unique link that you can share with anyone. You advertise this to people you want to attend via your website, social media and email. They click the link at the time of the webinar and then watch or listen on their computer or mobile device.

Webinars are similar to video calls but with differences. Hosts get more control over how people can interact. Attendees can remain anonymous - they cannot see each other and attendee lists can be hidden. Sometimes attendees can chat and participate through polls built into the service’s platform.

Webinars are designed for hundreds of people. They can also be automated to run using pre-recorded video content.

The term webinar is usually used for broadcasting to a professional audience. If broadcasting to people in their personal lives it might just be called a live video.

Popular platforms

You can run webinars using video call software, live streaming services and dedicated webinar platforms. Your choice of platform should consider price, features needed and what your users are already using.

Popular platforms are:

  • Zoom Meetings
  • YouTube
  • Zoom Webinars (dedicated platform)
  • WebinarJam (dedicated platform)

Things to consider

Video call or dedicated webinar platform?

It’s not always necessary to buy a dedicated webinar platform. Compare options and ask yourself these questions:

  • What controls do I need over how people can interact?
  • How much do I want people to be able to interact?
  • How many attendees do I need capacity for?
  • Is it OK if attendees can see each other?
  • Do I need built in polling tools or can I give people a link to one?
  • How do the relative costs compare?
  • Do I need to be able to control entry to the webinar (e.g. through signup or by adding a password for attendees)?


Think about how people will find out about the webinar. Do you want them to register or just click a link you advertise? Will they register through a booking tool or a survey tool?

Charities using this tool

Children in Scotland use webinar tools combined with booking tools to run their seminars and training online.

ACOSVO has been using webinars to deliver support to senior leaders during the coronavirus crisis.

Last modified on 26 July 2022
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