Simple Tools for Virtual Meetings
Meetings are an eccentric part of relationships, whether it is business or casual. For many years, face to face has been a good way to set up a meeting and without a doubt, physical meetings continue to offer intrinsic benefits. However, with the advancement in technology, virtual meetings are becoming quite popular, especially in the business world. As it stands, meetings can happen without both parties having to be in the same country or region anytime.
In this article we’ll go through the basic tools that are simple and affordable!
The current pandemic has improved the popularity of virtual meetings. Thanks to people having to social-distance in a bid to flatten the curve, scheduling virtual meetings has become the new norm. As a result, there are a lot of top tools that are available if you want to set up a virtual meeting. Continue to read this guide to find out more about some of the best tools for virtual meetings you can use.
Zoom is one of the various tools available for anyone that wants to set up a virtual meeting. This is an online video conference service that lets users pull in up to as high as 50 HD video streams at a go. If you are planning to talk directly to other parties in the meeting, Zoom is a good choice, especially if you have a lot of people joining the meeting at once.
One of the good things about Zoom is that it is not limited to video meetings alone. You can share your screen, have an audio meeting or organize group messaging as well. As it stands, many business use Zoom as their preferred virtual meeting tool.
Zoom is available for free but the free version is limited to some extent. So, for more features, it is recommended that you explore the pricing plans or choose another option. We have Zoom also on our list of TOP 15 tools for virtual facilitation, go check that one, too!
For those that are Google-inclined, there is a tool from Google that you can use to organize virtual meetings. It’s called Google Meet and similar to Zoom, it is a video conferencing service. However, with Google Meet, anyone with a Google account can organize a virtual meeting for up to 100 participants at once. In addition to that, the service allows up to 60 minutes for each meeting and the video quality is high definition and enterprise-grade.
As from personal use, schools, NGOs, businesses and other organizations can use Google Meet to create virtual meetings.
To make it better, there is an advanced feature that enterprises can take advantage of, which includes creating a meeting for up to 250 participants. In addition to that, the advanced feature allows live streaming to 100,000 viewers inside a domain. It is entirely free for personal use but for enterprises, there are fees included for the advanced features.
Another top tool for virtual meetings is Skype and similar to Google Meet and Zoom, it is a video conference service. However, this service is more suitable for a one on one virtual meeting. Impressively, aside from video conferencing, users are able to send direct messages to other Skype users in their contact list. Besides that, there is an option to set up caller ID, call forwarding and voice mail, as well as Skype to Go to call anyone abroad.
With Skype, there is a feature to record calls, which is perfect for keeping records of important aspects of a meeting. In addition to that, there is a live subtitle feature to help improve communication between all the participants of the virtual meeting.
Users can also share their screen with other participants, which is good for presentations as well as sharing other things. Fortunately, there is a free version and also a paid version, depending on what you want.
Even though the other services mentioned are available to users on their mobile devices, there are a few services dedicated to mobile phones. Among these applications is Periscope, which is exclusive to iOS and Android users. The service allows users to live stream events or interviews directly to Twitter. Aside from that, with Periscope, the organizer, after a particular video conference, can give a recap to those who were not able to attend the video conference.
Another video conferencing and online virtual meeting tool to use is Facetime. However, unlike Periscope, this service is only available to people using any of the Apple devices such as iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch and Mac Desktop. With Facetime, users can easily set up a video conference with anyone that has access to any Apple device. Unfortunately, Facetime does not support group conferencing like Periscope, Google Meet, Zoom as well as Skype. However, the service is entirely free.
Other Apps to Consider
Aside from the services and applications mentioned, there is a host of others to consider for setting up an online meeting, business or casual. Without a doubt, it is not every virtual meeting tool that has a video conferencing service like the ones that are mentioned in the previous paragraphs. Some services such as Slack, Join.me, Dropbox, Google Drive and GroupMe are perfect examples. These services, however, allow two or more people to communicate over the internet.
For those that want mobile-based applications aside from Periscope and Facetime, there are other options available as well. To name a few, they include Viber, Google Hangout, and FreeConferenceCall.
The good thing about these services is that they are completely free for users. However, they have limited features and in most cases, they do not allow video conferencing between more than 10 users at a time. But, they are perfect for setting-up one on one virtual meetings.
Summary and Conclusion
Without a doubt, there are many top tools to use to organize a virtual meeting. To choose any of the available options, having a clear objective is essential before proceeding to make a choice. But, note that it is also essential to choose a service that can be easily accessed by the participants. Once all that is considered, go on to organize virtual meetings without any stress using any of the top tools mentioned in this article. And if your team needs more powerful tools for project management and facilitation, check out Viima or Howspace!