It’s the 21st century, technology dominates all aspects of business and everyone has a smartphone, so why meet up when you can just have a meeting from your office? Online meetings are a great tool to better business efficiency and there is a reason almost every large company has adopted this practice. Thus, it is important you are familiar with various online meeting platforms, so that you can seize an opportunity when presented and present yourself as a knowledgeable business professional.
With that being said, it’s possible that the person on the other end is causing the problem. This blog is meant to assist you or your associates in enhancing online meeting skills and hopefully introduce you a platform you like. We’ll start by introducing you to a number of platforms and explaining how to use them:
Everyone is familiar with Google and its accessibility makes Google Hangouts the go-to meeting platform. Google Hangouts is a free service which allows you to video call, phone call, or message other Gmail users. You can use it on any device from a phone to a computer and up to 10 participants can join any chat. However, this limit of 10 users can be hindering if you have a large business and other platforms might be more appealing. Google Hangouts’ layout allows for simultaneous video and chat which is convenient as it allows for document sharing and prevents users from having to talk over one another. Using Google Hangouts is easy, and you can get started at any time through your Google account. https://hangouts.google.com
Meetingburner is another popular option that offers both free and paid plans. The free plan allows up to 10 users, similar to Google, while the paid plan allows more with additional features. Meetingburner is a simple, easy to use online meeting tool that offers screen sharing in order to share and discuss documents with fellow attendees. You can also chat and speak to users through audio. Meetingburner lacks some features that other services bolster, but its popularity causes it to be a viable option for online meetings. https://www.meetingburner.com
WebEx is a paid service which you can get for $19, $39, or $49 a month for your business. WebEx allows you to meet with high quality video with anywhere from 8-100 people depending on your plan. There are various tools such as whiteboarding, note taking, annotations, meeting recording, and screen sharing that benefit group collaboration and make WebEx a useful business tool. WebEx is a great program ideal for smaller businesses, but should only be invested in if you are frequently having online meetings due to its price. https://www.webex.com
GoToMeeting also offers three plans ($24, $39, or $49 a month) depending on your needs. All plans come with web audio, screen sharing, 1 click meetings, and HD video conferencing, and the more expensive plans only allow more users and a few additional features. The easy accessibility and streamlined user face of GoToMeeting causes it to be a viable option for business meetings. http://www.gotomeeting.com
Skype is not seen as business-minded video conferencing platform, but may still be widely used simply due to popularity. It is stripped down to fundamental video sharing features and does not have the benefit of other services, so other options should be explored. https://www.skype.com
Facetime may be used by two Apple users, but it proves pointless beyond this. The service only allows two users and cannot be used on a PC or Android. The only viable reason to ever use this would be for quick, one-on-one video conferencing between Apple users.
There are hundreds of services out there that facilitate video conferencing and these are just a few. We recommend you find a service you enjoy and stick with it, whether it be on this list or not. If you are a small business looking for occasional online meetings then Google Hangouts or one of the free plans should suffice, but if you are a larger business frequently video conferencing then you should look into investing in one of these other business-minded options. Once you have chosen a platform that matches your needs, you should ensure that your associates know how to use such program. Prep the people you are communicating with and ask about their capabilities and limitations. After all, online meetings are a two-way street – your expertise can mean nothing if dealing with an amateur.
A Conference Call in Real Life
Nate Trimmer is a Co-Founder of Omnibeat. As a social media enthusiast with a background in organizational development and computer technology, he strives to help businesses understand and embrace social media.
Omnibeat is the digital marketing outsource solution for growth in Los Alamitos and the greater Long Beach area.