Businesses and individuals around the globe had to adapt to the disruptions of a global lockdown during the height of the pandemic. Virtual meeting apps gained popularity as remote work and social distancing became the norm.
TrustRadius reports that virtual meetings saw a 500% rise in buyer activity. 67% of organizations increased their investments in web conferencing software.
It has been three years since the pandemic, and it is slowly fading away. The virtual meeting industry has not seen much improvement. Gartner’s report predicts that only 25% of enterprise meetings in 2024 will be held physically.
The quality of your virtual meeting software will determine how successful you are at remote collaboration and virtual meetings.
This guide will discuss the top virtual meeting apps that you can use to boost collaboration and have productive meetings with remote teams.
Why A Quality Virtual Meeting App is Critical for Your Organization
Virtual meetings can be convenient, cost-efficient, and highly productive. They are essential for startups that operate remotely. But, virtual meetings can prove counterproductive if you don’t have the right tools.
Let’s dive into why a high-quality virtual meeting app is essential.
Improved Employee Engagement
Employee engagement is enhanced by high-quality virtual meeting apps that offer seamless video and audio streaming, file sharing without glitches, customizable integrations, and super-interactive interactions.
Software must be able to facilitate productive meetings and engage in conversations.
This increases employee retention and lowers hiring costs.
Stronger Company Culture
Best virtual meeting apps provide enhanced experiences for participants and hosts that allows users to communicate as naturally and easily as possible, which helps team leaders create stronger company cultures.
This results in better ideas, seamless collaborations, growth, and more.
What to look for in a Virtual Meeting app
Before you settle on any virtual meeting app, make sure it meets the criteria below.
High quality video should be your go-to virtual meeting app. An app that freezes frames constantly is not something you want. This can cause virtual meetings to become more stressful and less productive.
Virtual meeting apps must have audio. The app you choose must provide clear audio throughout the virtual meeting. This allows everyone to contribute to the success and share their ideas.
A chat box in a virtual application is a useful feature, especially when you are part of a group. Chat allows you to write down your thoughts and comments while another person is speaking. This allows the speaker to see what you are thinking and can address it without interrupting the flow of the meeting. The chat box can also be used to share a link or other resource.
Virtual Office Features
This is the most important feature to be aware of if you manage a remote team. Because the basic chat, video and audio feature no longer suffice. More employees are reporting meeting fatigues and losing social connections, which makes it difficult to keep them engaged long-term.
Virtual offices allow remote collaboration between remote teams to another level mirroring real-world workplace experiences. The features you want in your go-to app include meeting rooms, dedicated desks, resource sharing, and more. This will allow the team to feel more connected and present throughout the day.
5 Best Virtual Meeting Apps That You Need to Check Out
You’ve now seen the importance and what you need to be aware of when using a virtual meeting platform. This section will discuss the top virtual meeting apps available on the internet.
Zoom is one of the most used virtual meeting platforms for companies over the past decade. It’s best known for its ability to reliably handle large numbers of participants and provide essentials such as screen-sharing, chat, and local recording free of charge.
It is available as a downloadable program for all devices, and can also be accessed via a web browser. Zoom’s free plan offers 40 minutes of virtual meetings and three editable whiteboards. It also has a limitation of 25MB of cloud storage for its Pro plan.
Its use exploded in 2020. Zoom was subject to numerous security breaches. Intruders disrupted virtual meetings held on the app. However, it has plugged the leakages by introducing advanced security measures such as E2EE to all users, even those who are not paid.
Microsoft has made Teams a favorite for education companies due to its affordable pricing and many features.
For organizations with a remote workforce, Teams fosters collaboration and offers robust video conferencing, audio conference, and virtual event functionalities. Its “together mode,”–is one of the most striking features of virtual meetings. This uses AI to place participants in a virtual space such as a cafe, conference room, or lounge.
With its free plan, Teams allows you to meet virtually for up to 60 minutes and offers 5GB of cloud storage.
3. Google Meet
Google Meet is a popular tool for teams that want to hold virtual meetings over extended periods of time, share screens, access 15 GB of cloud storage, and view live captions during sessions.
The premium version includes more advanced features such as intelligent noise cancellation, hand lifting, breakout rooms, and live streaming to YouTube. You can also use it for group meetings for up to 24 hours with up to 100 participants.
Google Meet is the leader in security and encryption. It offers anti-abuse features and encryption at rest and transit, security dashboards, and many more.
Google Meet can be downloaded on mobile devices, and it is also available as a web application on desktops.
Also read: Top 10 Collaboration Apps for Your Business
Around is one of the newest entrants to the market. This app aims to make video calls more efficient and productive. It allows workers to continue with their day while collaborating and connecting with colleagues over video calls.
This is done by cropping participants into smaller circles that float on top of the screen. Participants can then carry out their tasks while the call is not interfering with them. The noise cancellation feature allows participants to work together in the same space without any echoes.
Around’s web app has fewer features than its native apps. Its floating mode can be counterproductive when there are too many people on the screen.
It is currently available in beta. The team confirmed that pricing information will be available later this year.
Gather is different from other apps in that it allows remote teams to communicate and collaborate via virtual meetings.
There are many mainstream virtual meeting platforms that offer all the features you need. However, studies show that workers get tired of boring video calls and constant meetings. This makes them feel more disconnected and fatigued.
Gather solves this problem by creating a virtual workspace for your team to work in. This 2D virtual space is filled with structures and objects that mimic real-world offices.
Participants communicate and collaborate via video calls at the core of the platform. The platform allows users to create animated avatars and share them within the Gather office. This creates a sense of working together and connecting with your colleagues.
Gather can be adapted to any size team, no matter how many people it is. The platform lets avatars (company employees) communicate in private rooms. They can decorate their workspaces and brainstorm ideas on a whiteboard.
This makes virtual meetings more interactive than ever and empowers leaders to create better remote teams.