What is a ‘Virtual Meeting’ and why would anyone even want to have this capability ?
Today we have stopped asking that question.
So many of us work from home or aspire to work from home that Virtual Meetings have become as needed as the telephone.
The Virtual Meeting is a sign of change in our society today.
Everyone knows that a Meeting has traditionally been a gathering of key people in a face to face meeting room or even board room.
The issues were hashed out, talked over, and all solutions explored and considered before decisions are made.
In this way a company was able to make the best choices to move itself forward.
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We will be Testing and reviewing many Virtual and Tech solutions for business including the Virtual Meeting Solutions.
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So , what do you do when your key team members are not in the same room or even the same city ?
These days of multinational companies it is often difficult to get the people you want into the same room for a meeting.
This however was not the driving force behind virtual meetings.
In truth it has been the advent of the ‘work from home’ generation that has required companies to rethink meetings.
Your company is based out of New Jersey and all your employees are in New Jersey, but none of them come into the office, or even more drastic, you do not even have an official office.
Many companies these days do not even want the crushing expenses of a building just to bring all the people together.
Manufacturer’s of course must have a building, but many tech companies these days do not.
So, what to do when you need to have Weekly Meetings ?
You go to Virtual Meetings online and everyone can sign in via their computer at home.
There are many choices but definitely some of them are better then others and it has a lot to do with what your specific needs are.
1. Do you need or want to be able to see everyone’s faces while you have the meeting ?
2. Do you have more than 6 people in the meeting ?
3. Do you need to be able to segregate off groups of people to talk amoungst themselves about some thread or idea?
4. Is this a one time meeting or do you want to setup regular meetings thru a great provider ?
5. Does everyone have Headsets and Mics ?
6. Do you have an Agenda to share with all participants ?
7. Will there be documents that you need to be used, updated, and shared live ?
8. Will you want to record the audio meeting and save it for later transcription or reference ?
Who are the Best Options Today?
The big three are:
Webex is the newcomer on the block and going toe to toe with Gotomeeting for the polished professional meeting solutions.
While they may be new they have made up for that with some stellar features that can be quite useful; nay stellar features.
If your meetings are complicated and you will take advantage of a web meeting features then Webex is the platform for you.
GoToMeeting is THE virtual meeting solution for businesses.
They have been in the business for many years and definitely know what they are doing. They host a staggering Quantity of meetings each day with high marks for quality and user satisfaction.
They must be better because Go To Meeting is both the most mature Web Based meeting company and also the Most Expensive for basic service.
As much as I want to say that join.me is pushing Webex and gotomeeting for market share, the truth is they are still too new, do not have the features needed to be a really big player, and simply are not ready to go head to head with the big boys.
However, they are working hard and fast to get the features that everyone wants, and in the meantime their price structure is setup to reflect this fact.
Virtual Meeting Plan Comparisons:
|Best Value:||$30/Month & 25 Attendees||$49/Month & 25 Attendees||$39.99/Month & 250 Attendees|
So, how do you choose the system that works best for you?
Like most things in business, review what you get for the money and compare that to what you must have.
Keep a list of your wants as well, but most importantly you need to check the reviews !!
|Easy to Use / Configure||Close second||BEST||Not bad|
|Features||Easily the Best||Good Meeting Capability||Working on this|
|Best Free Trial||Good for small meeting trial||Best Free Trial||Work in Progress|