Zoom Meetings and Webinars

“Webinar” has become a generic term for any online gathering since the pandemic's start, but do you need to turn your Zoom Meeting into a Zoom Webinar? A Zoom Webinar might restrict your audience or your capabilities to interact. At the same time, a Zoom Meeting more than likely meets your needs without realizing it. So often, the answer to whether my Zoom Meeting should become a Zoom Webinar is no. 


Auburn University encourages the use of Zoom Meetings over Zoom Webinars when possible, and here’s why: 


Limited Capacity: 

By default, as an Auburn University employee, your Zoom Meeting capacity is 300, with an option to increase that number to 500. Auburn University's Zoom Webinar licensing restricts capacity to 100


Limited Licensing: 

Auburn University has limited Zoom Webinar licenses for use at a given time. Currently, Auburn University has approximately fifteen 500-capacity Zoom Webinar licenses and only ONE 3,000-capacity Zoom Webinar license—to meet the university’s needs.


Same features: 

Zoom Meetings and Zoom Webinars use the same technology and equipment and have the same features (e.g., Registration, Branding, Polling, Live Streaming). 


The main difference between a Zoom Meeting and Zoom Webinar is how their attendees participate. 

Zoom Meetings can be set up only to allow attendees to participate via chat, just like Zoom Webinars. 


If you need to reach a Very Large Audience (VLA), the Zoom event can be live-streamed to a streaming platform such as YouTube/Facebook/Custom Service.


If you need to archive a Zoom event, we recommend recording to the cloud and not locally. When the archive is complete, you will receive an email with the link to the .MP4 file, which can be downloaded and placed into Panopto or another platform as access and security are required. If you want to retain your Zoom event, move your file to another platform within 180 days, or it will be deleted from Zoom’s cloud recording storage.


Side-by-Side Feature Comparison
Feature Meeting Webinar
Participant Roles Host and Co-host Panelist, Attendee
Learn more about Roles Host and Co-host Webinar Roles
Audio Sharing All participants can mute/unmute their audio
Host can mute/request to unmute participants
Host can set all participants to mute upon entry
Only Host and panelists can mute/unmute their audio
Attendees join in listen-only mode
The Host can unmute one or more attendees
Only raise hand
Video Sharing All Participants Hosts and Panelists
Screen Sharing
Capacity 300. Up to 500 participants with a large meeting add-on. 1,000 available for individual/departmental purchase. 100 possibly available. 100-10,000 participants available for individual/departmental purchase
Participants List Visible to all participants Visible to Host and Panelist
Email Reminders N/A If registration is enabled
Chat In-Meeting Chat Webinar Chat
Meeting Reactions N/A
Nonverbal Feedback Only raise hand
File Transfer N/A
Polling Polling for Meetings Polling for Webinars
Livestream Facebook, YouTube, Workplace by Facebook, Custom Streaming Service Facebook, YouTube, Workplace by Facebook, Custom Streaming Service
Registration Registration for Meetings Registration for Webinars
Closed Captioning
Breakout Rooms N/A
Practice Session N/A
Waiting Room N/A
Paypal Integration N/A
Require Password to Join
International Dial-in Numbers
Closed Captioning

*Note: In a Zoom Webinar, if the host or co-host enables “Allow to talk” for an attendee, the attendee will then be able to enable their microphone and mute and unmute themselves.


Be advised that any public-facing/accessible events and archives should have Closed Captioning done to meet accessibility requirements.

Auburn University contracted Captioning Providers:

Archived events, $1.25 per minute ($75.00 per hour): Should go thru REV and should be coordinated through Auburn Office of Accessibility for billing and completion.


Live events, $85.00 per hour (one-hour minimum): Should use 2020Captioning and can be set up by the event organizer and paid for with their individual AU P-Card.

The general contact for 2020 is 2020office@2020captioning.com, or you can reach out directly to Chris Hopkins at chris@archivecaptioning.com or Anne Hopkins at anne@2020captioning.com with questions or to inquire about availability when the need arises.

Purchase a dedicated Zoom License:  

If you need to purchase a dedicated Zoom Webinar license or consistently need your Zoom Meeting capacity increased from 300. The prices can be found below, and an account number would need to be provided to AU Software at ausoftware@auburn.edu.


Zoom Meeting Prices: 

Zoom Webinar Prices: