Video Conferencing - Docket

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“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.”

Steve Pruden, CEO at Studio Science

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Roger Deetz, VP of Engineering at Springbuk

Video Conferencing

We live in an interconnected world. Technology can bring us closer than ever before, meaning that communication is even more accessible and more streamlined. For companies, one of the ways that this interconnectivity manifests itself is with the best video conferencing for small business. 

Today, we want to highlight the best video conferencing software, as well as outline some of the different ways you can make the most of your conference calls. Communication is the cornerstone of any business, so understanding the best video conferencing solutions can help you build long-term success. 

Why Video Conferencing Services Matter

As companies move toward a more digital workspace, video conferencing apps will become much more vital for operations. Here are a few reasons why you should embrace this technology. 

Connect Remote Workers

You may already have employees located in other cities (or countries). Managing these remote workers is simpler when everyone communicates via video conferencing software. Integrating this technology enables your business to expand its reach without sacrificing operational quality. 

Encourage Collaboration

The best video conferencing apps can spark creativity among employees and management, as well as make it easier to share visions and progress. 

By incorporating video conferencing tools into your business, you can build a framework for success. When workers and managers can communicate openly from anywhere, ideas can flourish.  Let’s go through a video conferencing software list to see which options might be ideal. 

Zoom Meetings

Incorporating video conferencing into your company can be a tricky process. You need to make sure that you use the best technology to ensure a smooth operation. Zoom Meetings is one of the top choices for businesses, so let’s go over how to use Zoom. 

How to Use Zoom Video Conferencing

One of the best reasons to get a Zoom login is because the software is highly versatile. You can conduct a variety of meeting options, including: 

  • Video Webinars – up to 100 participants can watch and interact with a live webinar. 
  • Online Meetings – you can share screens, use whiteboards, and control screens remotely. 
  • Zoom Rooms – sometimes, your meetings will be a mix of remote and on-site workers. Zoom Rooms make it easy to connect analog and digital devices with this conference call video app. 
  • Instant Messaging – internal communication is vital for your company’s success, and Zoom has an interactive IM feature. 
  • Cloud Connectivity – you can manage Zoom app downloads for PCs anywhere at any time.
  • Zoom for Developers – brands can develop customized video conferencing solutions using Zoom’s open-source software. For example, a meeting tool like Docket combines the power of Zoom video conferencing with the ability to create and collaborate agendas, take notes, and share recaps of a meeting as well as automatically saving a meeting recording and transcription to the meeting record. 

Zoom was designed to make businesses communicate more efficiently. Many Zoom video conferencing reviews highlight its intuitiveness, reliability, and scalability. When it comes to incorporating video conferencing into your business, download Zoom meeting for Windows. 

Skype for Meetings

When it comes to video calling, most people are already familiar with Skype. However, businesses can also utilize the platform for Skype conference call dial-in as well. Let’s review the benefits of Skype video call so you can determine if it’s right for your brand.

Highlights of Skype for Business Conference Calls

Here are a few things you can expect once you sign up for this free service. 

  • Shareable URL – anyone can connect to the meeting as long as they have the URL address, enabling users to access a Skype video conference from any device.
  • Ten-User Limit – meet with up to ten people at a time.
  • Screen Sharing and a Whiteboard – collaboration is much easier when you can share screens and add notes to a central whiteboard.

Limitations: Zoom vs. Skype

As a free service, using Skype conference call phones can be useful for businesses to cut down on costs. However, there are some significant limitations on this service, making it less appealing than other options like Zoom. 

  • US Only – remote workers outside of the US can’t access meeting URLs.
  • Sixty-Day Limit – after 60 days, the Skype group video call limit is three.
  • Office 365 – if you have a Business 365 account, you can’t sign up for Skype meetings independently. You have to go through your Microsoft account to use the service. 

Overall, Zoom has many more features and can be used for long-term video conferencing. That being said, Skype for Meetings is excellent if you’re on a tight budget or need a last-minute solution.

GoToMeeting

This software is one of the top choices for many businesses, thanks to its user-friendly interface and versatile features. Let’s go over the different ways that you can use GoToMeeting video conferencing, as well as the benefits it can provide for your company. 

Features of GoToMeeting

If you’re not familiar with this program, here are a few of the video conferencing tools it provides for your business. 

  • Record Meetings – sometimes, not everyone can make it to a video conference. Record the whole meeting so that you can share it afterward. 
  • Connect With 100 Users – collaboration is more accessible when you can bring together up to 100 people in a single meeting. 
  • Mobile Access – thanks to GoToMeeting’s apps, users can download it for both Android and Apple devices. Hosts, however, can only use iPads or iPhones, so keep that in mind. 
  • Advanced Encryption – keep your meetings private thanks to high-tech security features. Also, you can password-protect each login to prevent unauthorized users. 
  • Application Sharing – users don’t need a particular program installed to gain access to it through the meeting.
  • Multi-Screen Option – hosts can use multiple screens to make meetings more efficient. 
  • VOIP and Phone Audio – users can call in via the internet or a regular phone. Hosts can mute callers as needed to avoid people talking over each other. 

GoToMeeting is a highly capable tool for video conferencing. While it’s not quite as versatile as Zoom, it should be more than sufficient for most small and medium-sized businesses. 

The only significant drawback is the lack of IM features or a whiteboard during meetings to take notes. Otherwise, it’s an excellent choice. 

Free Video Conferencing Options

We’ve covered the top three programs you can use for your business, but now let’s take a look at some of the best free video conferencing tools. Fortunately, there are plenty to choose from, but before you get started, here are some tips for picking out free group video conferencing programs. 

  • Number of Users – how many people are going to be engaged in these meetings regularly? 
  • Intuitive Interface – we suggest testing a few of these free video conference apps to make sure that they are user-friendly. 
  • Interactivity – free video conferencing with whiteboards and IM options can make meetings more productive. 
  • App Integration – if you plan on using third-party apps, you need to make sure that the free video conferencing software enables integration. 

So, with that in mind, here are the best free video conferencing apps. 

  • Slack Video Calls – if you already have Slack, you can use it to host video calls between users. Slack can encourage collaboration between remote workers. 
  • YouTube Live – presentations and webinars are ideal when you can stream them live. YouTube gives you multiple streaming options, as well as screen-sharing and interactivity from the audience.
  • Appear.in – although the free video conferencing website has limited tools, appear.in is ideal for small groups. Host up to four members using a shared whiteboard screen. 
  • Facebook Live – merge your social media marketing with video conferencing. Announce live streams in advance and interact with users via Facebook’s platform. 

Overall, the best free video conferencing for small businesses will be relatively limited. However, once you know these limitations, you can adapt accordingly and maximize productivity regardless. 

Equipment for Video Conferencing

Integrating video conferencing apps to your business is one of the smartest ways to ensure open communication between workers and management. We’ve been discussing software options that can make video conferencing more productive, but what is the best video conferencing hardware of 2019? 

Let’s look at the best video conferencing equipment to make your virtual meetings a reality. 

  • Webcam – for the most part, modern technology has you covered. Laptops and mobile devices already have webcams built-in, so there’s a chance no one will need to buy one separately. 
  • Headset with Mic – microphones also come standard on most devices, but they are often ineffective. While attendees may not need a headset, hosts should have them so that they can be hands-free during the meeting. 
  • External Mic – you may have a hybrid video conference with some users in the room and others patching in remotely. For those instances, an external mic is ideal so that everyone can be heard well. 

Thankfully, the best video conferencing hardware for small businesses doesn’t have to set you back financially. Also, because this software is so inclusive, most of your users won’t have to buy anything to take advantage of it. Not only that but encouraging attendees to use mobile devices will cut down on your costs and make video conferencing even easier.