Bye bye webinars, hello Crowdcasts

If you follow web marketing, you know how powerful virtual events can be. Technology allows teachers, mentors, coaches and more to give their students nearly the same experience through live events as they would experience in person. There are few types of content that allow audiences to make these sorts of connections.

However, most webinar software is difficult to use. This hurts the quality of virtual events, often delivering a poor experience for both host and attendees.

For example, most webinar platform settings are unintuitive and complicated. Need proof? How many times have you attended a live event where the presenter spent the first 10 minutes trying to get audio or video settings right?

We’ve seen way too many great presentations get bogged down by difficult software, poorly optimized streaming, and other technical issues. Plus, since many webinar platforms don't offer useful analytics, learning about your ideal audience is difficult.

It’s not just presenters that have difficulty with webinar software. Attendees struggle to properly view and participate in live events, too. Plugins, required downloads, and other technical hurdles make the attendee experience less than ideal.

As we researched what made virtual event software great (and what should be avoided), we came up with the following ideas:

  • It should have a beautiful, intuitive user interface
  • It should allow users to genuinely interact with the presenter
  • It should automatically optimize streaming for the best possible experience for both presenters and attendees
  • It should be simple enough for anyone to use

With these goals in mind, we got to work.

Our Mission: Let Anyone Host Great Live Events

Our founder, Cy, began designing what a new type of webinar platform would look like. His goal was to do for virtual events what Slack, Mailchimp, and Buffer did for their markets.

By taking a user experience-driven approach, Cy (and later the entire Crowdcast team) rethought the ideal way to create a presentation. Instead of requiring software downloads, we decided everything should be handled in the browser. And instead of overwhelming the presenter with options, we packaged everything in an attractive, simple interface.

After over a year of work, Cy launched Crowdcast at the March 2015 Launch Festival conference in San Francisco:

Now, in just a few clicks, presenters could launch free or paid events with valuable replays.

The Crowdcast team continued working on delivering the best live event platform ever. We didn’t want the value to end with the broadcast. After working closely with broadcasters, we developed powerful tools to gather valuable data. This data helps broadcasters understand more about their audiences and improve future presentations.

We also worked hard to improve the underlying technology powering our broadcasts. Since a virtual event’s quality is only as good as the broadcaster’s streaming, we deployed new ways to optimize the connection quality for the presenter.

We designed automatically optimizing streaming for up to 10,000 simultaneous viewers; if a viewer’s internet connection experiences a hiccup, the streaming quality will gracefully downgrade into audio-only until bandwidth improves.

Replays are better, too. Rather than a simple video, we enabled video timestamps so presenters could link directly to useful portions of a replay.

It’s thinking about virtual events as more than just marketing tactics, but as tools to create connections between presenters and audiences, that led the Crowdcast team to create what we think is the best webinar platform available. Try it for yourself and see.

Our Values

At Crowdcast, we’re all about helping presenters share their knowledge. We want them to be able to make real connections with their audience members. Here are the values that drive our team:

  1. Design for the user.
    • “Can a real person use this the first time?” That’s the design philosophy behind our user interface.
  2. Try harder to not suck.
    • There’s a lot of lame software “solutions” out there. If we’re going to make something, it’s going to be awesome.
  3. Make technology accessible.
    • Holding a broadcast should be as simple as holding a conversation.
    • Technology should be virtually transparent so the focus is on you, the content creator, not the medium.
  4. Focus on people.
    • Virtual events aren’t just to trick users into conversions – they’re a way to engage with real people who have real lives.
  5. Love our users.
    • It’s because of our users we’re able to work on a cool project like Crowdcast.
    • We love sharing the awesome things our users do, and we’re happy to highlight your events.

Crowdcast is used by marketers, business owners, creatives, teachers, and broadcasters of all kinds who want to meaningfully engage their audiences.
Want to hold live office hours for your online class? Crowdcast makes it easy.

Want to charge for exclusive webinars? That’s no problem with Crowdcast.

Need to learn about your audience so your next presentation is even better? Yup – Crowdcast delivers analytics, too.

What People Say About Crowdcast:

This is an amazing product. I'm a customer and investor. Crowdcast scaled to 18,000 simultaneous viewers for an event I held.

Ed Roman— Angel, Independent

I've been a fan of Crowdcast since the start—it just works. Which is HIGH PRAISE for webinar software (since 99.99% don't work).

Paul Jarvis— Founder, Creative Class

Crowd streaming sucked before Crowdcast. I can't say enough how awesome it is that this just works.

Matt Brown— Co-Founder, Bonsai

What Cy and team have done is such a big step forward for video broadcasting - streaming, webinars, etc. - and this latest version eliminates the few remaining headaches that the team hadn't already solved. I've been using Crowdcast every week with @victormathieux to host an audience of meditators, and find it to be dead simple and exactly what I need.

Drew Moxon— PM. Messaging is my jam.

What’s Next?

We’re constantly working on improving the Crowdcast experience for presenters and attendees. Have a feature suggestion? Want to keep in touch? Contact us or enter your email below for updates and webinar tips.

Accelerate your online events with our expert tips, delivered bi-weekly.