“Docket has quickly become essential to doing our best work at Studio Science. Meetings are critically important to the services we provide clients, and having a platform dedicated to making meetings more effective, collaborative, and structured is game changing.”
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Free Online Meeting
Online meetings are becoming more important than ever, as businesses stretch not only across town, but across the world. With the threat of pandemics, like COVID-19, and the need to cut back extra spending, it’s no wonder that organizations are turning to video conferencing and free online meeting software and apps. But how are the best free video conferencing apps compared to real meetings in person? And can organizations get done what they need to using online meetings versus actual face-to-face meetings? No doubt readers have seen free conference call reviews, but what is the best free video conferencing? And are they better than standard meetings?
Online Meetings Versus Face-to-Face Meetings
There’s something to be said for meeting people face-to-face. If only audio conferencing is used, it’s not much better than having a telephone conversation with someone, albeit with several other people on the line. With video conferencing, even if people are meeting others online using tools like GoToMeeting, Webex or any free video conference app, there’s no physical contact and fewer visual cues than if people met in person. For some jobs, such as sales, it’s important to be able to read the client’s or customer’s body language that they might not see over video conferencing and may not pick up in their voice’s inflection. And yet, video conferencing has a host of positive aspects that should be addressed.
Online Meetings Allow Distributed Work Environments
In the past, companies had to hire whomever they could find who would live nearby and go to work in the office. This often relegated the talent pool to people who were willing to live where the office was. If the office was in New York City, and the best talent was in Wyoming, businesses had to either pay to have that talent moved to New York, or settle for workers who would live there. Now with online or remote meetings, and free video conferencing, the workforce can live wherever they wish and meet with their superiors whenever they need to in order to discuss work, progress, and problems.
Online Meetings Create a Truly Global Economy
The Internet has truly leveled the playing field. It used to be that only the big companies and organizations could take advantage of overseas markets. No longer. Now, free conference call apps and the Internet enable small businesses to compete with the big corporations for customers and clients. Small businesses are no longer faceless entities overshadowed by big businesses that can afford to send people across the world to do business. Instead, small businesses can meet directly with clients and customers from anywhere on the globe using online meetings.
Online Meetings are Cost Effective and Easy
No longer do businesses have to send their employees across country or across the world. They don’t even have to pay for having a teleconference with free conference call apps and programs. Instead of paying to have employees from another region brought onsite, a corporation can simply have an online meeting that will take care of all business, with the exception of hands-on work.
Online Meeting Software Has Many Tools Available
Many online meeting software platforms have tools available to make life even easier for those who use video conferencing. Need to schedule an online meeting? There’s software to do that. Need to take notes and transcripts? Yes, there’s software to do that. Want to simply use a chat room instead of a video conference? Yes. How about screen sharing and whiteboards? Yes, many online meeting software have those available.
Tools That Make Online Meetings Better
Online meetings can be enhanced with tools. Some online meeting software like Zoom video conferencing, Webex free, and other free video conference apps have nice tools and features built in such as screen sharing and video recording. Other tools, like Docket, enable meeting agenda building, note taking, and task management, and work in parallel with free video conferencing, Zoom app download for PC as well as Zoom account settings so you can both view meeting guests and document the meeting at the same time. Here are some of the more popular tools that people find useful.
Video Conferencing Versus Audio Conferencing
In most cases, video conferencing is better than audio conferencing. Both parties are able to see each other and share not only words but also work on possible problems using visual tools such as slides and handouts. Audio conferencing is good when the parties simply need to come to an agreement or inform the other party of issues that generally do not need collaboration tools. Some free versions of online meeting software from free video conferencing websites offer only audio, but still allow use of screen sharing, such as Join.Me.
Video and Audio Recording
Most online meeting software such as the Zoom app download for pc and the Webex download allow you to record the online meeting, so other team members who may not have been able to attend can watch or listen to it. Video recording is usually done in a standard format such as mp4 and audio is usually done in mp3 or mp4. It also helps with regard to respect for privacy by letting guests who join meetings know when the meeting is being recorded.
Private and Group Text Chat
Another useful tool in online meetings is the ability to send private and group text messages to different people on the video conference. Like slipping messages under the desk, chat allows members to privately communicate and address issues that they may not want to raise in the video conference to avoid interrupting the conversation.
Online meeting software such as the join me download and the Webex productivity tools offer screen sharing. Zoom free, among others, offers whiteboards that allow additional collaboration and sharing ideas. And Docket provides a plethora of collaboration options from agenda preparation to note taking and many other tools that integrate with other collaborative software used today for an end to end meeting process.
Agenda Building Software
Most free online meeting software doesn’t have the ability to create meeting agendas and to do lists. Products such as Docket enable meeting goers to stay focused on the meeting goal and tasks at hand, and have more productive meetings.
Tools like Docket offer note-taking and the ability to create the meeting’s minutes collaboratively and with no hassle. This is especially handy when other people don’t want to wade through the video or audio recording to get the pertinent information as it applies to them. However, for those that do want to watch a video of the meeting, Docket works with Zoom’s recording and transcription which is available in Docket following the meeting when activated in a user’s Zoom account.
Free Online Meeting Tools
Many companies offer free online meeting tools from free video conferencing websites, but which are the best free conference call service? Not surprisingly, it depends on what features the users need for a conference call. For example, when comparing Zoom vs Skype, Zoom free allows for 40-minute meetings, whereas Skype allows for meetings with a limited number of participants. That being said, Skype may not be an adequate solution for free business online meetings when there is a large number of guests. Here are some of the more popular free online meeting tools. Most offer free conference call international, free conference call download, and free conference call number and access code.
Probably one of the most well-known meeting software, GoToMeeting free offers up to three participants with free transcripts, free video, free team chat, free recordings, and free drawing tools. Their paid versions allow from ten to 250 participants. Users will need to go to GoToMeeting Download and use their own GoToMeeting login.
The free Zoom download (Zoom TV, Zoom UK, Zoom Usoom, Zoom RBS, Dell Zoom, Zoom USC, etc.,) from Zoom Inc. allows unlimited video meetings for 100 or less participants. The time limit of meetings is capped at 40 minutes, although one on one meetings have no restrictions. They allow desktop and application sharing. Zoom meeting allows local conference recordings in mp4. Their paid versions give more features and more participants. Users are required to have a Zoom account. How to open free Zoom account is easy, especially if one looks for free video conferencing Zoom on Zoom’s website. How to use Zoom simple for those who ask either “How do I create a free Zoom account?” or “How do i sign up for a Zoom account?” just by following the directions on the Zoom webpage for creating a Zoom ID. They also have information on how to set up a Zoom meeting on their website.
Skype can be used for online meetings of up to 50 participants. It does have screen sharing capabilities and group chat, which makes it attractive to many users. Users must have a login name and be added to a contact list for conference calls. Skype doesn’t have the ability to record the conference without third party software.. It must be downloaded, but can be used on Android and iOS operating systems, which makes it ideal for mobile devices.
Join.Me free offers VoIP conferencing and screen sharing with their free version, which is a trial version. Paid versions offer video conferencing, scheduling, and white boarding. The Lite version allows five participants, while the Pro and the Business allow 250 participants, plus toll-free numbers and even Salesforce integration.
Cisco Webex Meetings Download
Webex Personal (was Webex Free) is hosted by Cisco and is arguably one of the most popular web conferencing software available. It’s easy to join Webex meeting with Webex signup or a Webex teams login. Cisco Webex free has some of the best security available with encryption that’s hard to beat. Webex Person allows 100 participants, and it allows screen sharing, unlimited number of minutes, and unlimited calls. It has desktop, whiteboard, and app sharing options. It has a slew of Webex productivity tools that put many of the other free versions to shame and it is easy to learn how to use Webex. Definitely worth a look. Their paid options are per server for Webex enterprise, and offer even more features and number of participants.
UberConference free allows up to ten participants. It allows screen and document sharing. It has custom hold music for those times between connecting and entering the conference call. Meetings can be easily recorded. Mobile apps are also available for it.
Google Hangouts isn’t necessarily the first thought businesses have when considering conferencing, but if an organization needs limited audio conferencing and screen sharing, they should consider Google Hangouts when looking for Google conference call free or budget-friendly options. Google has plenty of nice features including texting, screen sharing, and VoIP. Users must have a Google account and add the participants to their contact list. Google even handles SMS texting.
There are a plethora of options available when it comes to online meeting solutions. Whichever you pick, make sure to use the solution with Docket so you can experience both video conferencing along with meeting tools that provide a positive and productive end to end online meeting experience.