Citrix Wants SMBs to GoToWebinar

By Lauren Simonds | Posted July 06, 2006

Growing a business is a challenge for any size company, and for small businesses with limited budgets it can be especially difficult and costly. The price of holding off-site seminars for sales teams or presenting product lines to new customers keeps rising — think gas prices and the increase cost of air travel — making it even harder for small companies to compete.

Citrix Systems, a leading online collaboration company and maker of GoToMyPC, GoToMeeting and GoToAssist, hopes it has the solution in its latest product — GoToWebinar — an on-demand, do-it-yourself collaboration tool designed to let small businesses schedule and host Webinars for up to 1,000 attendees per event.

According to Kineon Walker, Citrix product marketing manager, GoToWebinar offers small businesses an affordable way to reach a large, far-flung audience. "We offer GoToWebinar at what we call an 'all-you-can-reach' flat-rate licensing fee that lets you host an unlimited number of Webinars," he said. "Webinars are perfect for conducting remote sales and marketing events, training employees, prospecting for new customers and holding live product demonstrations."

Walker called the flat-rate pricing structure an "industry first," and noted that previous to GoToWebinar, online events were reserved for big businesses that could afford to pay a hefty per-attendee price. "We built this product specifically for small businesses. It's affordable, it's easy to use, and it doesn't require any additional resources," he said.

The pricing starts at $6,000 per year for unlimited use and licensing for up to 10 seats. Citrix is launching the product as a bundle with a subscription to GoToMeeting, which is geared toward smaller, ad-hoc meetings. Walker pointed out that the price is a fraction of the cost of hosting a single live event, which can cost upwards of $100,000.

Do-It-Yourself
Hosting your own Webinars can cut costs, but cost isn't the only consideration. Citrix touts GoToWebinar as easy to use with a self-service interface that's designed to let you schedule and set up a Webinar in three steps and in less than five minutes. Some of the services features include:

• Full-service registration with real-time reports: This includes a company-branded registration page for each Webinar you host. GoToWebinar handles the registration process and sends automated e-mail reminders to your attendees.

• Customized branding of Webinar materials and automated e-mail templates: You can upload your own images and logos.

• Free integrated voice conferencing or toll-free service: Attendees pay the standard rate their carriers charge for connecting to this toll-free number.

• Attendee polling and survey capability: Keep your audience engaged with polls, surveys and text questions.

• Webinar dashboard to monitor audiences: See who comes and goes, who's checking e-mail. Let's you gauge audience interest and the effectiveness of your presentation and materials.

• Security: The service uses what it calls "industry-standard" security features including end-to-end SSL encryption. The company also says it complies with government mandates such as HIPAA, Gramm-Leach-Bliley and Sarbanes-Oxley.

Walker noted that for small businesses, GoToWebinar represents a tool that can help them increase sales, better train their employees, enhance efficiency and productivity and reach new markets while reducing costs.

You'll find more information — and a link for a free trial — at the GoToWebinar Web site.

Lauren Simonds is the managing editor of SmallBusinessComputing.com

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