In an increasingly remote-first business environment, many companies have made online meetings a regular part of their workday. The technological capability to host such meetings has also increased as a result of the increasing need for teleconferencing. You are ready to explore online meeting solutions for your company. Here are some of our suggestions for video technologies that are useful and a brief explanation of the benefits of virtual meetings.
What is an Online Meeting?
A virtual meeting is a gathering of people over a technology platform. Usually, it’s one that has video capabilities. Online meetings were a necessity during the COVID era. This was after many companies required remote work and stay-at-home orders. Teleconferences have become more interactive, and can even be extended to include fundraisers, concerts, and events. Although video meetings were once rarer before the pandemic, they are now a common part of our personal and professional lives.
Video conferencing is on the rise and so are online meetings. Gartner and Webex predict that 75% will continue to use a hybrid model of work in 2022. This means employees can work remotely at least some of the time. Online collaboration and video conferencing platforms are essential in this environment.
Top online meeting platforms
Many video teleconferencing platforms are available today, each offering a variety of useful features. These are the top platforms that you should keep in mind when searching for the right platform for your company.
Although many platforms were created during the COVID-19 pandemic, Skype is still a popular teleconferencing platform and is still a favorite of many companies. The user interface is simple to understand. Since 2003, many people have used Skype to connect with their family and friends. This is now common at work. Skype can be accessed from any browser, without the need to install any apps. Skype Web is a great tool to maintain connections with coworkers far and near.
Webex by Cisco (also known as Cisco Webex) is an all-in-one application that combines video conferencing with cloud calling and screen-sharing. It is trusted by over 95% of Fortune 500 companies. This is a strong indication of its reliability. This vendor offers flexible, secure, and inclusive communication options to businesses of all sizes.
Webex by Cisco can be used as a hybrid platform that allows employees to video conference whether they are at work or at home. Cisco’s cloud phone system allows you to video chat with anyone, regardless of where you are located. You can also receive and make calls from any device. To learn more about Cisco’s business telephone system, read this review.
Your company uses Gmail to manage its internal email system. Google Chat, formerly Google Hangouts is the ideal solution for hosting your online meetings. Google Chat will tell you if the person with whom you would like to have a videoconference is online allowing you to quickly send them a message before they pick up the phone. This feature will help you host a successful virtual meeting.
This business phone system/video conference service, 8×8, is a great solution for small businesses. It’s especially useful for organizations that are looking for unified communications. It is affordable from the beginning, which makes it ideal for smaller businesses with fewer employees or those who are just starting to host online meetings. 8×8 features include integrations with Google Workspace and Microsoft Outlook, unlimited calling, text messaging and instant messaging, cloud recording, and team messaging.
Loom is an excellent option for hybrid workspaces where live video meetings are not possible. Loom is a screen- and voice-recording tool that your team can use to give and receive instructions for various in-house tasks. The person who records can explain and show changes to projects, making it ideal for visual learners. Loom can be used as an alternative to writing instructions or commentary. You can save the recordings to your shared storage drive so that employees can refer to them.
Microsoft Teams provides full teleconferencing capabilities and a simple messaging platform that allows you to talk with multiple people simultaneously through the application. Microsoft Teams seamlessly integrates with Microsoft Office products. If you use Word, Excel, and Outlook, then this is the right choice for communication. Use the desktop-sharing feature to share your work with colleagues in real-time. You can also host up to 250 participants in calls, making virtual work events easily accessible for employees of mid-sized companies.
RingCentral is an excellent platform that offers video, calling, and messaging capabilities. RingCentral is primarily used as a business telephone system. However, the video conferencing tool is an integral part of the software. Standard plans allow users to hold video meetings with up 100 people, while Premium Plans allow for 200. RingCentral offers four plans that can be used for video conferencing, regardless of budget. You can integrate third-party cameras and have closed captioning capabilities.
GoTo Webinar is a hybrid app that combines Webex’s features with the ability to run webinars in an online meeting or virtual event setup. This software is great for hosting global Webex calls and webinars and allows you to work with global brands or conduct educational seminars. The software can also record and distribute the content, so that team members can access it from any location.
It’s difficult to meet with clients from different parts of the country, or the world. Dialpad Meetings is a simple way for clients and co-workers to meet in a virtual office. You can dial a number to call the conference or click a link directly from your browser or app. Dialpad Meetings is proud of the personal experience it offers its users. They can choose from unique URLs for meeting rooms, backgrounds, video layouts, and even on-hold music to start a video conference.
Online meetings are one of the best ways to hold them. Zoom rose to the top of many companies and schools’ technology requirements During the COVID-19 pandemic. Zoom is an excellent choice for businesses who are looking for an easy-to-use and extensive range of features to host cloud-based video conferences. Zoom can accommodate up to 1000 people at once, making it a great choice for businesses hosting virtual events, product webinars, and other online meetings that require multiple users.
Also read: How to Create A Zoom Background
Benefits of hosting online meetings
Online meetings can be used for many purposes, including sharing information with clients and catching up with colleagues. These are some of the benefits of hosting video conference calls with employees or business partners.
- It is time-saving and cost-saving. In-person meetings can be costly and time-consuming to plan. Booking a conference room can be costly. You need to ensure that everyone is working in the office on the day. Also, make sure you provide snacks and coffee for employees. It takes time to curate any presentation. Hosting a virtual meeting will give you more time for preparation and less stress about logistics.
- It encourages productivity. Virtual meetings are more convenient than in-person meetings. They also have a higher attendance rate. Online meetings are more convenient than in-person meetings. This will allow everyone to attend, even those who work remotely. It also makes it easier for everyone to participate, which leads to a more inclusive and productive discussion. Furthermore, documents that must be shared are at everyone’s disposal, so more productive online meetings also are more efficient.
- This encourages more networking opportunities. Online meetings allow businesses to network more effectively and increase their chances of securing leads and other opportunities. To connect with leaders in your field, you can create a LinkedIn business profile and invite them to the teleconference. Virtual networking can give your company an advantage over your competitors in the industry and help you to stay on top of new trends.
- It provides more flexibility. Participants have more freedom because they don’t need to travel for an online meeting. Parents who work remotely and have to fit their schedules around their children will not be able to miss an important announcement in an in-person meeting. They can also tune in from the sidelines at their child’s soccer match. Workers traveling for work can also dial in to participate in virtual meetings, rather than missing out. Online meetings are also easier to record and share with employees who were unavailable.