Zoom vs ON24: A Comprehensive Comparison for Virtual Events

Two people participating in a virtual event on ON24, sitting at a desk with a computer screen in front of them.
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When considering webinar software, two names often come to the forefront: Zoom and ON24. These platforms have established themselves as leaders in the digital communication space, but they serve distinct purposes and offer different features that cater to varying business needs. Zoom, recognized for its user-friendly video conferencing capabilities, has become a household name, particularly noted for its adaptability across small to large businesses. On the other hand, ON24 is often highlighted for its comprehensive webinar and virtual event solutions, focusing on engaging user experiences and integrated analytics that are especially valuable for mid-sized to large corporations.

two people participating in a virtual event on on24 sitting at a desk with a computer screen in front of them

Choosing the right platform for your organization depends on several factors such as the size of your events, the level of interaction you wish to achieve with your audience, and the integrations you require for your customer relationship management (CRM) and marketing tools. Usability plays a significant role, with platforms needing to balance sophisticated features with simple, intuitive interfaces. Both Zoom and ON24 are praised for their ease of use, but they take different approaches to user engagement and analytics, aspects that are central to the functionality of event technology platforms.

Key Takeaways

  • Zoom and ON24 cater to different business needs, with Zoom leaning towards general video conferencing and ON24 focusing on interactive webinars.
  • Usability and user engagement are crucial, with both platforms offering distinct features that facilitate these aspects in a virtual setting.
  • Integration with business systems and analytical insights are key differentiators when comparing webinar and video conferencing software.

Overview of Zoom


As a user experienced with Zoom, I find it to be a robust video conferencing solution that businesses of all sizes rely on for its comprehensive feature set and ease of use. It’s designed to facilitate communication and collaboration with internal and external stakeholders.

Key Features

  • High-quality video and audio: Zoom supports HD video and audio, alongside a capability for a large number of participants in a single meeting.
  • Screen sharing and collaboration: Users can share their screens, which enhances collaboration during meetings and presentations.
  • Recording: Meetings can be recorded locally or to the cloud, allowing for later reference and sharing.
  • Breakout Rooms: Hosts can split meeting participants into separate, smaller groups to facilitate discussions and workshops.

Pros and Cons


  • Ease of Use: Intuitive interface that simplifies meeting setup and participation.
  • Versatility: Suitable for webinars, online meetings, and large virtual events.
  • Integration: Compatible with various third-party applications enhancing functionality.


  • Security Concerns: Past issues with security measures have been a concern, although significant improvements have been made.
  • Bandwidth Requirements: High-quality video may require substantial bandwidth, affecting users with slower internet connections.

Pricing Model

Zoom offers a tiered pricing structure:

  • Free Plan: Host up to 100 participants with a 40-minute time limit on group meetings.
  • Pro Plan: Ideal for small teams, offering meeting duration limits of up to 30 hours and social media streaming.
  • Business Plan: Aimed at small to medium businesses, with additional admin and branding features.
  • Enterprise Plan: Best suited for large enterprises, offering unlimited cloud storage and a dedicated customer success manager.

Customer Support

  • 24/5 Support Chat Line: Immediate assistance is available almost any time of the week.
  • Extensive Help Center: Comprehensive guides and tutorials are readily accessible.
  • Customer Service: Dedicated support and account management available for higher tier plans.

Overview of ON24

hdmi to hdmi for virtual events

In assessing ON24, I’m taking a detailed look at its functionalities, strengths, weaknesses, cost structure, and customer support system.

Key Features

ON24 prides itself on a robust set of features designed for webinars and virtual event management. Notable features include engagement tools like interactive polls, Q&A sessions, and integrated analytics to track attendees’ involvement. ON24 also boasts a rich media experience with tools for content creation and on-demand webcasting. Furthermore, its integration capabilities with CRM platforms streamline the follow-up process with attendees.

Pros and Cons

The pros of using ON24 center around its comprehensive analytics and detailed engagement metrics, which are invaluable for businesses looking to understand client involvement closely. Its customizability and integration with marketing tools also stand out. However, cons include a steeper learning curve for new users and potentially higher costs. In some cases, customers have noted that it lacks certain convenient features such as a private chat for event organizers, which can be essential for backstage communication during live events.

Pricing Strategies

ON24 follows a tiered pricing model, which scales with the features and services required. While specific pricing remains mainly opaque without a direct quote, it’s understood that ON24 targets mid-sized to large enterprises, suggesting a relatively premium positioning in the market. Enterprises interested in ON24 typically need to reach out directly to the sales team to obtain tailored pricing information.

Client Assistance

Customer sentiment towards ON24’s support services appears mixed. Users have access to an array of support channels, including a knowledge base, email support, and dedicated account management for higher-tier clients. Responses to customer inquiries are generally prompt and helpful, but some users have expressed a need for quicker resolution times and more in-depth assistance for complex issues.

In providing this information, I rely on my understanding of ON24’s services and the feedback I’ve observed from credible user reviews and direct comparisons with competitors.

Comparing Usability

a pair of monitors and a mouse on a table for virtual events

In my experience, usability is a crucial factor when choosing between ON24 and Zoom. Focus on how user-friendly the platform is, the design of the interface, and the process for new users to get started.

Ease of Use

When I use ON24, I notice it provides a rich set of features tailored for webinars which, while comprehensive, may have a steeper learning curve for new users. In contrast, according to Gartner Peer Insights, users have found Zoom to be simpler to use, set up, and administer. This aligns with my observation that Zoom’s intuitive design makes it accessible for users of all skill levels.

  • ON24: Potentially complex for beginners; robust once familiar.
  • Zoom: Ease of use prioritized; suitable for quick adoption.

Interface Design

The interface of ON24 appears to be more specialized for webinars and events. It’s designed with elements like console design and attendee management in mind, which is beneficial for customizing the user experience. On the other hand, Software Advice reflects my thoughts on Zoom’s interface being straightforward, which helps in maintaining smooth user interaction during large video conferences.

  • ON24: Specialized design with more control over the user environment.
  • Zoom: Clean and minimalist, focusing on ease of interaction.

Onboarding Process

My exploration reveals that ON24 offers comprehensive onboarding support, including detailed demos and customer service, which can be paramount for organizations requiring a full-feature platform for webinars. Zoom seems to provide a frictionless onboarding experience, with many users finding it easy to start with little to no training. The G2 comparison between ON24 and Zoom echoes this sentiment, highlighting user preferences for Zoom’s straightforward onboarding.

  • ON24: Step-by-step guidance is thorough but may seem extensive for some.
  • Zoom: Quick to start with, often without the need for elaborate demos or tutorials.

Functionality for Events

a man sitting at a desk with multiple computers participating in virtual events

In my experience analyzing event technology platforms, the functionality for events is crucial in determining a platform’s effectiveness. I’ll specifically focus on how both Zoom and ON24 handle various aspects of event management to cater to diverse needs.

Webinars and Virtual Events

I’ve observed that Zoom is renowned for its ease of use and setup for webinars and virtual events. It offers seamless integration with various tools and services, making it a practical choice for businesses of all sizes. The G2 reviews highlight Zoom’s user-friendly interface that facilitates engaging webinars and virtual conferences. In contrast, ON24 focuses more on delivering a fully immersive webcast experience, complete with tools for audience engagement such as polls, surveys, and interactive Q&A sessions. It’s reported by Gartner Peer Insights that ON24’s platform is particularly tailored for lead generation and analytics-driven insights for virtual event managers.

Live Event Management

For live event management, Zoom simplifies the process with robust features like breakout rooms, which allow for smaller group discussions within a larger event, and virtual backgrounds to enhance presentation quality. These features contribute to a more engaging and professional live event experience. ON24, on the other hand, excels in their simulive capabilities, as indicated on TrustRadius. Simulive refers to pre-recorded content that is streamed as if live, empowering presenters to interact with the audience during playback. This hybrid functionality offers a unique combination of precision and interactivity.

On-Demand Content

When it comes to on-demand content, my research asserts that ON24 takes the lead with its powerful content hub which allows the long-term storage and accessibility of webcast content for attendees to view post-event. It optimizes audience engagement by making content easily available for later consumption as seen on resources like Capterra. Zoom similarly provides recording features for webinars, which can be saved and shared for on-demand viewing, thereby extending the lifespan of the content of any given event.

In the realm of webinars and live events, both platforms clearly have their unique strengths. Whether the priority is user-friendly webinar execution, interactive live event management, or robust on-demand content offerings, these insights should help in making an informed decision between Zoom and ON24.

Engagement and Interaction Tools

a woman standing in front of a computer during a virtual event

When considering webinar platforms, I focus on how they enable real-time interaction and gather audience feedback, which are crucial for participant engagement and content effectiveness.

Real-time Engagement Features

I’ve observed that Zoom excels with its chat functionality, allowing audience members to communicate fluidly and share insights during live events. This is supported by the Gartner Peer Insights, which suggests a high percentage of users would recommend Zoom based on its capabilities. The platform also offers polls, enabling me to gauge audience interest and tailor my presentation in real-time.

On the other hand, ON24 targets engagement with a suite of tools designed to keep users active and involved. These engagement tools are integral to ON24’s platform, including interactive features such as Q&A sessions, polls, and surveys. I can also utilize a leaderboard, encouraging a friendly competitive atmosphere through participation metrics.

Feedback Mechanisms

In terms of feedback, ON24 provides robust survey and feedback tools that help me capture detailed insights post-event, as per the detailed comparison by Livestorm. The platform’s analytics give me a comprehensive view of audience behavior and interaction throughout the webinar, which is instrumental in measuring content effectiveness and audience interest.

Conversely, Zoom’s straightforward post-meeting surveys are effective for quick feedback collection. After any session, I can quickly gather responses to improve future presentations. Zoom’s ease of use, mentioned on Software Advice, in setting up these mechanisms allows for a more seamless experience, both for me and the participants.

Integration with Business Systems

a monitor with a computer screen for virtual events

In my examination of webinar platforms, I’ve found that integration capabilities are pivotal. They enable B2B and B2C businesses to seamlessly connect various systems for enhanced operational efficiency. The focus here is on how well Zoom and ON24 integrate with customer relationship management systems and marketing and sales tools.

CRM Integration

ON24 boasts a robust set of integration features, mainly geared towards B2B marketing. My research uncovered that ON24 is capable of integrating with popular CRM systems, which is crucial for sales teams to track engagements and convert leads. The Gartner Peer Insights report indicates that users have found its capability to link with CRMs like Salesforce not only convenient but effective for lead generation and data analysis.

Zoom, on the other hand, is also known for its CRM compatibility. Its integration allows for a streamlined experience where B2C businesses can easily connect interactions from webinars directly to their customer databases. This facilitates an immediate follow-up process, which is invaluable for sales teams.

Marketing and Sales Tools

When it comes to marketing and sales tools, the distinction between the two platforms continues. ON24 is designed with a marketing-centric approach. It allows integration with a variety of marketing automation platforms, which is significant for B2B organizations focusing on lead nurturing and scoring. Tools like Marketo have been highlighted for smooth integration with ON24, allowing for detailed analytics and enabling marketers to capture a wealth of audience insights.

Zoom’s integration functionality extends to sales and marketing tools as well. Its simplicity and ease of use translate into fewer complexities when setting up events or webinars which can be directly tied to marketing campaigns. Moreover, features for audience interaction like polling and Q&A can be leveraged by B2C businesses to boost engagement and derive qualitative data during sessions.

By integrating with these vital business systems, both Zoom and ON24 enhance their value proposition to sales teams by not only serving as a platform for webinars but also acting as a lead generator and customer engagement tool.

Analytical Capabilities

a monitor with two screens and a keyboard perfect for virtual events or zoom meetings

When comparing the analytical capabilities of Zoom and ON24, I focus on how these platforms help users understand and improve their webinar performance. The analytics and reporting functions they offer are crucial for measuring attendee engagement and the effectiveness of content delivery. They also serve an important role in lead tracking and determining the return on investment (ROI) for marketing and sales initiatives.

Analytics and Reporting

Zoom offers basic analytics features that are suitable for general video conferencing needs. These include attendance reports, participant attention tracking, and poll results. In contrast, ON24 provides more detailed analytics which can give me insights into audience behavior and content interaction during webinars. Including heat maps and engagement scores, these back end analytics help me to understand participant intent and fine-tune my content for future presentations.

  • Zoom Analytics Features:

    • Attendance counts
    • Attention tracking
    • Poll/survey results
  • ON24 Analytics Features:

    • Engagement and conversion metrics
    • Individual and group participation heat maps
    • On-demand viewing statistics

Lead Tracking and ROI

Lead tracking is an area where ON24 excels. The platform’s ability to capture detailed lead information and gauge prospect engagement helps me to determine the potential intent behind each participant’s actions. This granular level of detail can be instrumental in scoring leads and nurturing them post-event.

On the matter of return on investment, ON24’s analytics permit me to make informed decisions about the efficacy of my webinars in generating leads and driving sales. Although Zoom can also be used for lead generation, it typically requires integration with additional marketing tools to approximate the same level of functionality that ON24 offers natively.

For a thorough understanding of Zoom’s current analytical capabilities, refer to this TrustRadius comparison of ON24 and Zoom. Meanwhile, for insights into how ON24’s analytics can deepen my understanding of audience engagement, I would look into this detailed comparison by Livestorm.

Technical Aspects

a computer desk with three monitors a keyboard and optimized for virtual events on zoom

In examining the technical aspects of Zoom and ON24, it’s imperative to focus on how each platform stands in terms of reliability and performance, alongside the support and training offered. These factors are crucial for users who depend on these services for their critical meetings and webinars.

Reliability and Performance

Reliability: I have observed that both Zoom and ON24 have robust infrastructures that contribute to their high reliability. Users on Gartner Peer Insights report a high willingness to recommend ON24, which implies a strong reliability factor. Zoom, with its extensive user base, has proven to be a reliable service in a variety of situations, from casual meetings to large, professional webinars.

Performance: In terms of performance, Zoom is known for its smooth, high-quality video and audio experiences, which is reflected in its high rating of 4.5/5 stars from over 53,944 reviews on G2. ON24 focuses on delivering a rich, customizable webinar experience and offers functional Martech integrations, highlighting its own performance strengths.

Support and Training

Support: From my research, I’ve learned that both platforms provide substantial customer support systems. However, according to user feedback found on TrustRadius, Zoom tends to be more popular with businesses of all sizes possibly due to the availability of its free pricing package and the accompanying support. ON24, while also offering extensive support, might cater more to mid-sized and large enterprises, suggesting a possibly different support structure.

Training: Both ON24 and Zoom offer online training resources to help users familiarize themselves with their tools. Additionally, ON24 has been noted for its in-person training capabilities, providing more direct and personalized guidance. The ease of setup and quality of training are often highlighted as pros for ON24, which indicates a positive reception of its educational resources.

My findings are informed by current and comparative user feedback, without hyperbolic language, ensuring that you receive a straightforward understanding of what to expect from Zoom and ON24’s technical dimensions.

Security and Compliance

a man sitting at a desk with two monitors in front of him organizing virtual events on zoom

When comparing ON24 and Zoom on their security and compliance features, I pay particular attention to how each platform addresses the current cybersecurity landscape.

In terms of encryption, Zoom offers AES 256-bit GCM encryption, ensuring that meetings are secure and the data shared within them is protected. This encryption is an industry standard for securing sensitive data, and it’s a critical component of Zoom’s security protocol.

Moreover, Zoom complies with various compliance certifications, such as GDPR, SOC 2, and HIPAA, which are essential for businesses that require stringent data protection measures. These certifications reassure users that their information is handled securely and in compliance with relevant regulations.

  • ON24, while also focusing on security, offers different features aimed at safeguarding webinar content. The platform takes pride in providing a secure environment for digital experiences and virtual events. It focuses on data protection and user privacy as core elements of its service offering.

  • Both platforms offer features such as password protection and role-based access, which allow administrators to control who can view or join events and meetings. It’s important to note that these features help prevent unwanted guests and potential breaches.

From a compliance standpoint, ON24 promotes its ability to support organizations in their mission to respect privacy and regulatory requirements, though specific details on certifications weren’t mentioned in the snippet from the Gartner Peer Insights.

I find that understanding each platform’s approach to security and its compliance credentials is vital in making an informed choice. Both ON24 and Zoom take these considerations seriously, with Zoom leading slightly regarding transparency in external certification and encryption standards.

Scalability and Flexibility

a diagram showing the different stages of a business process for virtual events

When evaluating webinar solutions, I consider scalability and flexibility to be pivotal. The chosen platform must adeptly handle varying business sizes and offer robust customization options to cater to the unique needs of organizations.

Scalability for Various Business Sizes

  • Zoom: I’ve observed that Zoom is well-suited for all sizes of businesses, particularly smaller ones due to its free tier. It’s designed to scale effortlessly, accommodating anything from small team meetings to large-scale webinars with thousands of participants.
  • ON24: On the other hand, ON24 is most frequently utilized by mid-sized to large enterprises. According to Gartner Peer Insights, ON24 has shown a strong presence in the market, with a high percentage of users willing to recommend it, indicative of its capability to handle demanding workload and larger audience numbers.

Customization Options

  • Zoom:
    • Offers a range of background options and meeting settings.
    • Allows integration with other tools, improving its flexibility in various business environments.
  • ON24:
    • Highly customizable with advanced branding options.
    • Provides more thorough event engagement metrics, and features like interactive tools, which can be tailored to enhance audience experience.

Both platforms have established themselves as scalable solutions, but ON24’s customization appears to be more detailed, catering to businesses looking for a personalized attendee experience. In contrast, Zoom’s versatility and easy scalability make it an optimal choice for businesses seeking a reliable and widely accessible platform.

Comparative Analysis

a womans head with headphones on and a mans head with headphones on during a virtual event

In this analysis, I will meticulously examine the market positions and competitor alternatives of ON24 and Zoom, highlighting differentiators and commonalities in their service offerings. Both platforms serve distinct client bases and are often considered against other alternatives in the market.

Market Position

Zoom has become a household name in the realm of video conferencing, appreciated for its ease of use and widespread adoption across various market segments. From my findings, Zoom caters to enterprises as well as small businesses and offers a free entry-level package, which has broadened its user base significantly.

In contrast, ON24 seems to be tailored more towards mid-sized and large enterprises that are seeking advanced webinar capabilities. ON24 specializes in high-quality audio and video, robust attendee management, and in-depth analytics. Clients often value ON24’s integration capabilities with CRM, which help them understand customer engagement better.

Competitor Alternatives

When clients consider ON24 and Zoom, they frequently evaluate several competitor alternatives as well. Depending on the clients’ specific needs, they might look into platforms like Cisco Webex for its enterprise-grade security, or GoToWebinar for its user-friendly interface.

Comparing ON24 and Zoom directly, clients find that while ON24 offers a niche service with a focus on marketing integrations and analytics, Zoom provides a more general service that balances simplicity and functionality. However, it’s important to note that both ON24 and Zoom ensure essential video conferencing tools, albeit their unique features set them apart in terms of use case and audience.

Frequently Asked Questions

a 3d rendering of an office equipped for virtual events with several monitors and desks

In this section, I highlight key considerations regarding the differences and capabilities of Zoom and ON24 in the context of webinar hosting.

How do price points and licensing models differ between Zoom and ON24?

Zoom and ON24 cater to different market segments with varying price points and licensing models. Zoom offers multiple pricing tiers with additional webinar capabilities as add-ons. On the other side, ON24 provides a more tailored approach, focusing on comprehensive webinar solutions, which might affect the overall costing structure.

What functionalities does ON24 offer that distinguish it from Zoom for webinars?

ON24 is designed with a range of features such as enhanced interactivity, a suite of engagement tools, and data analytics that are tailored for a holistic webinar experience. These functionalities stand out when compared to Zoom, which is more of a generalized video conferencing tool with webinar capabilities.

What is the attendee capacity for ON24 webinars, and how does it compare to Zoom’s limitations?

ON24 is built to scale with the capability to host webinars with thousands of participants, a feature beneficial for large enterprises and events. In comparison, Zoom’s attendee capacity varies depending on the webinar plan, with options to scale up as required.

Can ON24 be considered a superior platform for webinar hosting in comparison to Zoom?

Determining if ON24 is superior depends on the specific needs of the host. ON24 specializes in engagement and interactivity, making it an attractive choice for hosts looking to drive participant involvement. However, for users looking for simplicity and wider recognition, Zoom might be more suitable.

Which platforms represent significant competitors to Zoom in the event and webinar hosting space?

Apart from ON24, platforms such as GoToWebinar, Webex, and Microsoft Teams are significant competitors to Zoom, offering a variety of webinar and event hosting capabilities.

How does the user experience for webinar presenters and participants differ between ON24 and Zoom?

The user experience with ON24 is often considered to be more centered around engagement and data-driven insights. Zoom, on the other hand, is praised for its ease of use and familiarity, which can influence the comfort level of webinar presenters and participants, as found in user reviews on G2.

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