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Zoom Webinar Vs. Breakout Rooms

Virtual Events
Virtual Networking
Virtual Presentations
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Remo Staff



January 26, 2024

Table of Contents

Learning the difference between Zoom webinars and Zoom breakout rooms will help ensure you’ve chosen the correct option for your next venture. Choosing between a Zoom breakout room or a Zoom webinar is simple when you’ve determined what you hope to use the space for. Ultimately, if you’re looking for an interactive experience, you will want to host a meeting or breakout room. If you’re looking to present a subject or host a panel of distinguished speakers, you will want to leverage the zoom webinar feature. 


In this article, we will cover each feature and outline the differences. You will also learn about the prerequisites to hosting a Zoom webinar, in addition to the cost, and registration specifics. By the end of the article, you will be able to make an informed decision so you can determine which feature is best for you. 


What is the difference between a Zoom breakout room and a Zoom webinar? 

Zoom breakout rooms or sessions make it possible for hosts, co-hosts, or facilitators to split meeting participants up into up to 50 separate sessions. The host or facilitator can then choose to split the meeting participants of the meeting into separate sessions automatically or manually, or they can allow meeting participants to self-select and enter the breakout session of their choice. While breakout rooms are excellent for hosting smaller more intimate gatherings, webinars are best suited for larger groups. 


Meetings or breakout rooms are designed to be collaborative and allow participants to screen share, turn on their video and audio, and see who is in attendance. Webinars are designed for a host and pre-set list of panelists to share their video, audio and screen, the host can also unmute attendees. The main differentiator being meetings or breakouts are designed for collaboration among participants and webinars are designed for hosts, panelists, or presenters to present a subject or speak to a large audience. 


Do I have to purchase a license to use Zoom webinars? 

Yes, you must purchase a license to use Zoom webinars. You can purchase a webinar license by visiting your Accounts Billing Page, or by contacting your sales representative. Zoom webinars allow you to broadcast a Zoom meeting to up to 50,000 view-only participants, depending on the size and capacity of your license. Webinar licenses vary depending on what you purchase. Licenses start at 500 participants and scale all the way up to 50,000 participants. 


Does Zoom webinars cost extra? 

Yes, it costs extra to use Zoom webinars. It costs an extra $40 a month to enable the webinar feature. If your webinar has reached capacity, you may need to upgrade to accommodate additional participants. Alternatively, if your webinar has reached capacity and additional participants are not able to join, you can live stream your event through Facebook, YouTube, Twitch, or a custom live streaming service. 


Do I have to set up registration for Zoom Webinars/ Do I have to register for a Zoom webinar? 

Webinars may require registration depending on what the host has specified. The host or facilitator can either automatically approve all registrants or manually approve them for more control. If you wish to have more control as the host, you can add custom registration questions and pull reports on the registration. Alternatively you can void all registration questions and allow guests to enter freely. Although attendees will still be required to enter their name and email address upon joining, they will not be required to enter additional information upon joining. 


  1. Automatic approvals: 

Automatic approvals mean all registrants to the webinar will automatically receive a confirmation email with details on how to join the webinar. 


  1. Manual approvals: 

Manual approvals means that the host of the webinar must manually approve or decline all registrants. A registrant will only receive an email with information on how to join the webinar if they are approved by the host or facilitator. 


Can I use breakout rooms in Zoom webinar? 

No, unfortunately you cannot use breakout rooms in Zoom webinar. If you wish to leverage breakout rooms, you must leverage zoom. While there are workarounds that will allow you to create an interactive solution via zoom webinars, your best bet is to move forward with Zoom meetings so you can host a regular breakout room with all features and functions. 


What experience are you hoping to achieve? 

Zoom Meetings and Zoom Webinars offer comparable features however, there are differences that must be taken into consideration when deciding between the two. Before choosing between Zoom webinars or meetings, you should also determine what experience you’re hoping to achieve. Meetings are more interactive and provide different ways for participants to engage whereas webinars provide the host with the opportunity to have more control over the group with additional permissions to manage the webinar, panelists, and attendees. 


Zoom meetings are ideal for hosting interactive sessions where you’ll want the audience to participate or break into smaller groups whereas a webinar can be compared to a virtual lecture hall or auditorium. Webinars are more suited for large audiences or events that are open to the public. 


Have you explored webinar alternatives? 

While Zoom offers adequate features to host both meetings and webinars, there are alternatives like Remo that make creating immersive online experiences a breeze. Remo is an interactive virtual event and meeting platform that empowers you to recreate natural interactions in any type of gathering, from global events to remote work meetings. Remo makes it possible for you to connect with others in real-time by providing you with the tools you need to immerse yourself in an event, host round table discussions, create a workshop, or brainstorm with your teammates. You can host interactive breakout rooms or captivating webinars in unique, customizable environments. 


We’re transforming the way people around the world experience meetings by humanizing online interactions and we want you to experience it firsthand. Interested in learning more? Get started with your  FREE TRIAL today! 

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