Zoom Meetings and Webinars

“Webinar” has become a generic term for any online gathering since the start of the pandemic, 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, while a Zoom Meeting more than likely meets your needs without you realizing it, so often the answer to whether my Zoom Meeting should become a Zoom Webinar is most often 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 available (e.g., Registration, Branding, Polling, Live Streaming). 


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

Zoom Meetings can be setup to only allow attendees to participate via chat only, 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 requires. If you want to retain your Zoom event, you must 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




Participant Roles

Learn more about Meeting Roles.

Learn more about Webinar Roles.

Audio Sharing 

  • All participants can mute/unmute their own audio
  • Host can mute/request to unmute participants
  • The Host can set all participants to mute upon entry
  • Only the Host and panelists can mute/unmute their own audio 
  • Attendees join in listen-only mode*
  • The Host can unmute one or more attendees 

Video Sharing

All Participants 

Hosts and Panelists 

Screen Sharing 


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 


If registration is enabled


In-Meeting Chat

Webinar Chat 

Meeting reactions



Nonverbal feedback


Only raise hand




File Transfer 






Polling for Meetings

Polling for Webinars


FacebookYouTubeWorkplace by FacebookCustom Streaming Service 

FacebookYouTubeWorkplace by FacebookCustom Streaming Service


Registration for Meetings

Registration for Webinars

Closed Captioning 






Breakout Rooms 



Practice Session


Waiting Room 



Paypal Integration


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 as well as 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 chris@archivecaptioning.com or Anne Hopkins anne@2020captioning.com with questions or to inquire about availability when the need arises.

Purchase a dedicated Zoom License:  

If you find yourself needing to purchase a dedicated Zoom Webinar license or consistently need your Zoom Meeting capacity increased from 300 to 500- 1000, here are the prices. An account number would need to be provided to AU Software ausoftware@auburn.edu.


Dedicated Zoom license prices: 

Meeting 500:    $600/year

Meeting 1,000:  $900/year


Webinar 100:     $400/year

Webinar 500:     $1400/year

Webinar 1,000: $3400/year

Webinar 3,000:  $4,950/year

Webinar 5,000: $12,450/year

Webinar 10K:     $19,470/year