How to Host a Webinar Using TrueConf Server?

Elizaveta Nesova
January 15, 2019
Elizaveta Nesova
Categories: Knowledge Base

With TrueConf Server you can organize webinars for up to 250 participants. Webinar attendees can easily join from desktop or mobile application, or from the browser using our WebRTC application. No additional plugins are required to join the webinar.

Step 1: Setting up TrueConf Server

Before organizing the webinar, make sure your TrueConf Server is properly configured.

First, add Public Web Conferences extension to your server license. Otherwise your guests (those users who don’t have TrueConf Server accounts) will not be able to connect to the webinar. To get a free trial or purchase Public Web Conferences extension, feel free to contact us.

Next, set up an HTTPS connection in TrueConf Server and open ports to enable WebRTC participants to join webinars. When using a self-signed HTTPS certificate, each WebRTC participant will need to manually add it to the list of trusted certificates on their system. That’s why we recommend to issue or purchase a full SSL certificate for a domain or IP address which grants access to TrueConf Server guest page.

Step 2: Create a Webinar

Go to TrueConf Server control panel in Group Conferences → Conference List and click Create. Next, select Public Web Conference in Create Video Conference menu. Indicate the following parameters on the conference editing page:

In the role-based conference mode you can assign conference participants with different roles (moderators, speakers and attendees), providing truly interactive experience.

  • In the Owner section, indicate the conference owner.
  • Check the boxes that allow guests to send audio, video, and messages in a webinar. By checking these boxes you enable guests to take the podium once approved by conference moderator.
  • In Schedule section, set the date, start time (in your time zone), and duration of the webinar. To make sure your webinar does not suddenly end in the middle of conversation, enable your webinar to last at least 2 hours.

It is mandatory to set the date, start time and duration of the webinar. Without these settings, invited guests will not be able to add the webinar to their calendars and receive a reminder.

Once data entry is complete, click Save.

Step 3: Invite Users to Your Webinar

Share a link to the webinar web page

In the side section of Conference List on TrueConf Server control panel, you can see a link to a webinar web page.  You are free to share this link with your guests in any convenient way, e.g. by adding it to the mailing list or by publishing news on your website.

Edit the list of webinar participants on the server

Set up an SMTP server, personalize the webinar invitation email template and send out an invitation to webinar participants. You can learn how to do it in TrueConf Server documentation. Return to the conference editing page and click on the link next to Participants.

To add speakers and assign additional moderators from the server users, click Select from the contact list in the Participants list window. You could use this feature if the conference owner cannot join a webinar on time. Participants added this way will be automatically connected to the webinar once it starts provided that they are online.

To add guests in the current window, click Invite guests.

Next, click Send email Invitations. Webinar invitations will be sent to all conference participants. Having received an email, a participant will be able to follow a link to the webinar web page and add an event to Google Calendar or any other calendar that supports importing data from *.ics files, e.g. Microsoft Outlook.

Add to Calendar button is available on the webinar web page.

Click on this button to select the calendar you would like to add the webinar in.

If you select Outlook and other calendars (.ics), an event file will be created which can be downloaded and uploaded to any calendar application installed on your computer.

Step 4: Boost Webinar Audience

TrueConf Server is designed for webinars with up to 250 participants. However, this limitation can be overcome by setting up streaming. To enable streaming option, add RTSP stream option to your server license.

Click Enable in Streaming section on the conference editing page to set up your webinar streaming.

We recommend using CDNvideo for video conference streaming. Read our blog to  learn how to set up streaming by using this service.

Don’t forget to save the changes.

Step 5: Add Webinar  Moderators

Moderators need to join webinars via TrueConf client applications to be able to manage the conference and control audio and video devices of the conference participants.

Moderators can use WebRTC applications to manage video layouts for browser guests and SIP/H.323 devices participating in the webinar. Their choice of video layout is also saved in video conference recordings.  

Those attendees who joined the webinar via TrueConf client application are able to select their own video layout.

The owner can join the webinar before it starts to check their equipment. To join the webinar, enter the webinar link into the search field in your client application and make a call.

Step 6: Connect Guests to the Webinar

Invited participants can join the meeting by clicking the webinar link provided as described above. On the webinar web page, participants should log in as guests and enter their names.

Depending on their operating system and browser, participants will be offered to join in multiple ways:

  1. Via WebRTC application. Please note that Safari for iOS mobile users cannot send their video and audio to the conference, as well as take the podium.
  2. Using one-time application. Select this option to download a special application which does not require installation and administrator rights to run. Guests will be automatically added to the webinar under the previously selected names. This connection method is recommended when joining via browsers that are incompatible with WebRTC technology, e.g. Internet Explorer.
  1.    Using pre-installed TrueConf application. Existing TrueConf users, including TrueConf Online subscribers or third-party TrueConf Server users, can connect as guests and join the webinar in one click. After selecting this option, TrueConf application automatically launches if it was closed and connects users to the server where webinar is held under guest name. After exiting the webinar, the application will automatically reconnect to the previous server or cloud where the user was logged in.
  1. Using SIP/H.323 endpoints. Any hardware video conferencing endpoints can connect to the webinar. To do  it, it is required to purchase SIP/H.323 gateway extension and have open ports to register and set up a connection between the endpoints and the server where the webinar is held.

Step 7: Collaboration Tools

During the webinar, any attendee can become a speaker by taking the podium. To do it, click Take the Podium and send a corresponding request to the moderator in TrueConf client application window (Conference Manager menu) or WebRTC application.

Webinar participants can send text messages both in group and personal chat. Chat allows moderators to receive feedback from the audience without interfering the webinar. To learn more about these features, read our article about role-based conferences.

Step 8: Share Content and Show Slides during Webinar

During a webinar, speakers and moderators can show slides and share content when connected via TrueConf client application. To share presentations in *.ppt (*.pptx) format, you need to install and setup Microsoft PowerPoint in advance.

Step 9: Process a Webinar Recording

In TrueConf Server, you can record any video conference including webinars. By default, conference recordings are saved on the server in *.mkv format. To view them, use media players with built-in support for VP8 video codec, e.g. VLC.

Once webinar has been finished, you can download the recording in TrueConf Server control panel. To process the recording in popular video editors (Adobe Premiere, Lightworks, etc.), convert it into *.mp4 format by using FFmpeg, a command-line tool. To launch this tool, use the following command:

ffmpeg -i input.mkv output.mp4

Once your recording has been converted or processed, you can upload it to YouTubе. In this case, your webinar can be watched by everyone including those participants who have missed the webinar.

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