Livestreams vs Workshops

James Hunter
James Hunter
  • Updated


Unsure if you need a Livestream or a Workshop?

Every event has different requirements and Joyn has a range of services to suit different objectives. In this article, we look at the difference between two key service offerings - Live Streams, and Workshops, both managed and unmanaged. 


This article will start by outlining the characteristics of each service type. Following this, we will summarise some of the use cases and circumstances in which you would use one type or the other. 



Livestreams are our most popular service offering, largely due to:

  • their professional broadcast quality,
  • our production support offered,
  • their extensive array of supporting features.

Livestreams are a produced broadcast that viewers can watch on their dedicated platform. Audiences can interact with the speakers via text chat and text questions.

Zoom is used by our technical team to bring presenters into the production. We refer to this process as remote speaker management. Our technical team then combine all content live, recorded and static into a broadcast-quality live stream, that is experienced on the platform by your audience

No delegates are ever in the zoom meeting and the audience is a passive viewer of the video stream, interacting with the speakers and content through features such as chat, Q&A and Polling.


An example Live Stream showing a remote presenter with a Slide Presentation on a background.



Un-Managed Workshops

We use Zoom to create general, all-purpose meetings with limited functionality set up in such a way as to work automatically without dedicated support.

This product is often used as a place for many people to talk to each other or when a higher level of interactivity is required, either between the audience and the Presenters or just within the audience themselves.

This product may be helpful if you exceed the maximum participant size of our Roundtable platform feature (16), for a particular session.

The join link for this meeting can be placed in the platform agenda allowing delegates to navigate to the meeting as part of their event experience. Delegates will ultimately end up in the zoom application like a regular zoom meeting.



Limited Functionality by Design

This service has some functional limits as the host(Joyn) is absent. In many instances, this won't impede your activity. Absent functions in unmanaged workshops include:

  • No waiting room
  • No control over participants' camera / microphone 
  • No use of Zoom's "Breakout Rooms" functionality
  • No recording
  • No Polling
  • No Technical assistance


Managed Workshop

This is a workshop that requires any form of interaction from Joyn staff. Common reasons why you may request a Managed Workshop include:

  • The support of a practised Zoom technician to assist you in getting things up and running
  • You wish to record the workshop in a professional manner
  • You require breakout rooms, or polls. 
  • You require basic reporting or chat logs. 
  • You wish for support in managing or assisting delegates in basic Zoom functionality

A managed workshop is supported by a trained technician. As part of the pre-production process, your Event Delivery Specialist will prepare for a Managed Workshop in the same manner that they prepare for a Live Stream.  This means they will request and support the development of a run sheet for the workshop, and brief and prepare the technical operators in good time to prepare reporting, polls, breakout rooms or any other specific functionality.


Limitations of Workshops

While there are many benefits, workshops by design have some functionality which means they aren't suitable for all types of event delivery.  These considerations include:

  • participants are able to talk and screen share over the top of the operator's content
  • the operator has no control over the audience experience, ie: the audience chooses their own preferred layout that isn't necessarily the most appropriate for content consumption.
  • the operator does not guide, MC, or show call the meeting. Their voice may be heard by the audience if they need to discuss technical meeting requirements or solve problems with the event organiser.
  • A managed workshop requires the same pre-production, staffing and equipment as a live stream and thus carries the same cost.

To summarise, workshops are a pragmatic and functional tool, which means they are less controllable, and potentially less organised and structured than a live stream.


How to choose the right Service Offering for your event

In most cases, the decision as to why you would choose to deliver a workshop over a live stream is largely due to the desire to interact with your audience face to face.

The clue is in the title; a workshop implies extended conversation between a leader and the audience, whereas a keynote or presentation implies a more passive interaction - whilst still having the capacity to engage with your audience.

We often ask people to consider what would the session look like in person?

  1. If there is a stage where a person or group of people present to a large audience, who ask questions in designated time periods - this is live stream type content.
  2. If you have a room with small groups of people engaging and collaborating, directed by a facilitator, this is more likely to be a workshop.


Feature Comparison


Un-Managed Workshop

Managed Workshop


Physical Audience Interactivity


All Zoom Functionality




Media/Slides shown by operator


Operator controls what the audience sees and hears


Audience sees a polished, produced program


Audience can't see or hear the operator


Shown within the Platform itself




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