Webinars vs virtual trainings
What is the difference
The world got used to remote learning, so now the focus is on a synchronous online learning format. "Synchronous" means that learners and the teacher/trainer are simultaneously present at the lesson. The most common formats of sync learning are: webinars and virtual trainings. In fact, they are often mixed up.

Do you know the difference? Read our comparison review to avoid confusions.
What do we compare?
The key parameters to compare:

1. Event goal
2. Number of participants
3. Level of engagement
4. Trainers' required skills
Webinar is an online learning session similar to offline classroom talk: two parties, speaker and participants, interact with each other. One of them talks and the other one listens.


Since webinars are close to the talks in their format, they are used for the same — lectures, info meetings, conferences, workshops, basically, all the cases where you need to deliver theory. Here, presenter does all the job and talks most of the time.

Number of participants

Number of participants in webinar is really limited by the platform you choose. Webinar platforms gather together 1 to 20,000+ participants. Streaming services allow to handle larger audiences.

Engagement level

Most often webinars are not too interactive. Presenter does "show and tell", participants may send comments/questions in chat remaining "off stage". And even if the platform supports webcams, most of the participants switch the video off anyway during the speaker’s presentation.
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At the same time, it is important to maintain a certain engagement level. Here, the "сheck-ups" like surveys, quizzes, games, polls go into play.

In Lanes we have all the tools to make your webinar the most engaging.

Trainers´ required skills

On a basic level, it’s enough to be able to use a webcam, draft a presentation, gather participants together and launch the event on the platform. On an advanced level a good webinar requires online presenting skills and engagement management, otherwise it may turn into a boring lecture everyone wants to leave as soon as possible.
The main competitor of the online mode is not offline, but neighboring browser tabs. That’s where emails, stock market reports, chats and social media are waiting for learners
Virtual trainings
If webinar is about theory, training is about practice. Here, trainers not only share knowledge but create situations where participants turn that into practice and receive feedback on the go. Training is an active format with continuous dialogue and strong engagement.


The main goal here is to develop skills, change behavior and mindset. Learners do most of the job and trainer facilitates the event, delivering small bits of theory. The common practice here is to provide theory in pre/post-work material for self paced study and use the class to practice as much as possible.

Number of participants

The recommended number of virtual training participants is 6 to 20 people, larger groups are difficult to track and keep engaged.

Engagement level

High engagement is crucial for virtual training. It is super important to have learners "on" with webcams and mics, and have a set of tools and activities to monitor and keep engagement during the entire session.
In Lanes we took care about trainers being able to manage both, presence and engagement, in one screen.

Manage participants' presence with:

  1. Webcam & mic access — trainer has full access to participant camera and mic, allowing to disable the option to switch them off by the participant.
  2. Track presence feature — participant "running out" to another tab in browser will be noticed right away by everyone
Another thing dumping on engagement level is "Zoo" of tools used to keep the engagement. The irony here is when trainer is switching in between quizzes, surveys, tests, the group focus gets lost.
90% of trainers use more than 5 tools within the training and spend 20% of the time switching between the tools.
In Lanes we have all the tools built in the platform and you seamlessly move the training without switching on new screens etc. Time is saved, participants remain focused.

On top, Lanes gather all the data on when and where you lost the attention, so you can analyze that and do your homework. We will talk about analytics in our next article, stay tuned.

Trainers´ required skills

Virtual/online trainer/instructor has already become a stand alone profession. That does not only require the knowledge of tools but also psychology, pedagogy, effective communication, group dynamics management online.

Summing up, here is the check list on both formats — check this up and make sure your next training doesn’t become a webinar and vice versa.
Ready to start?