Virtual Meetings… our top 5 picks

 In Slidesho news

Virtual Meetings… our top 5 picks

Business and meetings go hand in hand, they always have, and this will never change.  What has changed, however, is the method in which we are conducting our meetings.

Years ago, our only option for a meeting was either by face-to-face or a phone conversation.  While face-to-face meetings are still preferred in typical business environments, the current climate of Covid-19 has impacted and caused a big change to the way we do business and we have all had to adjust very rapidly to a new “normal” way of meeting.

Now that most of us are working from home, in isolation, where we once felt part of a team and worked in collaboration with each other, we may now feel a sense of solitude.

Work must continue however, and in order to bring us together and enables us to conduct business, communicate, debate, plan, present, team build and brain storm, most of us have turned to the world of virtual meetings.  Each organisation has their preferred platform, and some are using numerous options depending on the number of attendees and requirements of each meeting.

Below are our top 5 virtual conferencing picks (in no particular order)

 

Group Facetime

Most of us have, at one time or another, used Facetime for personal reasons to chat with family and friends. If you are an Apple user, and have iOS12, you can now also use Group Facetime and chat with multiple people at the same time. In Group FaceTime you will see tiles of the faces of all the people participating in the chat (this can be up to 32 people) and as each person speaks, their tile becomes larger so that it is clear to the others who is speaking.

We like it because… most of us are already familiar with FaceTime.


Skype for Business

The basic Skype that many of us use from home is free to use and ideal for small businesses of less than 20 employees. For larger groups, there is currently Skype for Business, however this will only be available until July 2021 when Microsoft Teams replaces it. Microsoft Teams will allow you to host audio, video and web conferences for anywhere between 10 to 10,000 participants. It will also allow you to easily share files and participate in group chats.

We like it because… most of us already have Skype downloaded on to our desktop and ease of use.


Zoom

Zoom video conferencing offers a lot of options that fit every budget. It’s user friendly, easy to install, and their free option plan allows for up to 100 participants. The free version also allows for unlimited number of group meetings; however, the meetings are limited to a duration of 40 minutes. You are also able to host unlimited one on one meetings for free.

We like it because… it has a generous free plan and offers lots of benefits.


Google Hangouts

Google Hangouts was launched in 2013 and offers free messaging, voice calls and one-on-one or group conferencing calls for up to 150 people. It enables you to send files such as documents, spreadsheets and images back and forth to collaborate more easily. You can also enhance your virtual conversations with photos, emojis, stickers and animated GIFs. A Google account (or Gmail account) is required to access Hangouts.

We like it because… you can be creative.


GoToMeetings

GoToMeetings is one of the easiest video conferencing services to use and this includes the task of creating meetings. It also provides participants with a customised URL so they can join the meeting. It offers flexibility and is known for its security. The software can be accessed on various devices including iOS, Mac and PC, which means there is no need for participants to search for a specific device just to join meetings.

We like it because… it is user friendly.

 

We believe the virtual conferencing we are doing now due to being in isolation will not necessarily reduce after we all return back to our offices. We envision that through regularly connecting virtually with each other now, we will identify that just because we can leave the office to travel across the city for a face-to-face meeting, doesn’t necessarily mean it is the most productive way of meeting.

Conversely, we may even connect virtually during instances where we once only spoke on the phone, thereby creating even stronger relationships with our clients, suppliers and co-workers.

 

Written by Almis Mestrovic for Slidesho.

 

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