Web Meeting Software
It is difficult to imagine an office in the 21st century that does not utilize web meeting software in some capacity. In layman’s terms, web meeting software is a means of communication where team members who are not in the physical presence of one another can meet online to host conference calls and continue their workflow without disruption. There are obviously many advantages of video conferencing. It allows businesses with multiple office locations a quick and easy way to communicate with one another. Web meeting software keeps lines of communication open when one or multiple colleagues must travel away from the main headquarters for business. Sometimes colleagues are simply too busy with their tasks to take the extra time to travel to a physical location when all of their points and contributions to a project could easily be expressed and conveyed through a video conference call. That saves both time and money, a major advantage to any business.
When the Covid-19 pandemic hit the world by storm in March 2020, web meeting software was not a luxury or convenience, but a necessity for businesses that did not want to collapse during lockdowns. Regardless of how much a business was using web meeting software before the pandemic, it became a must-have overnight because video conferencing is absolutely essential for fully remote and hybrid work teams. One cannot conduct business at all if there is no means to communicate with one another.
Examples of video conferencing programs include Skype, Webex, Zoom, and Microsoft Teams. Which web meeting software a company chooses to use typically depends on the priorities of the company and the features of the software. Types of video conferencing in education specifically can include Zoom and Udemy Business. Zoom is the web meeting software that was picked up by Indiana University at the beginning of the pandemic and operations at a university of that scale would never have survived without it.
Video Conferencing Companies
There is no shortage of video conferencing companies in our digital age. The business has been booming and it will only continue to grow. The best video conferencing platforms normally involve a monthly and/or annual fee for their use, but public video conferencing companies also offer free web meeting software, usually with limited features compared to their paid versions.
Some video conferencing companies are structures where the web meeting software is the entirety of their service. Zoom is such an example. The top video conferencing companies, however, do not just offer a video conferencing product. The web meeting software is only one of many services and products. The biggest examples of these video conferencing companies are Google and Microsoft. They have a branch of their business devoted to the development of web meeting software, but that is not all of what they do.
Many of these web meeting software is not free. If they are, they are not equipped with complex features that a working team would need. The free versions of video conferencing may suffice for personal communications, but a business that needs to operate across teams requires all the features that a software has to conduct its business successfully. Therefore, a business will need to engage in video conferencing costs comparison to decide which web meeting software is the best fit.
Best Video Conference Software
Rules of etiquette have emerged when one is using video conferencing apps. Here are 5 examples of video conferencing do’s and don’ts.
- Mute when you are not speaking – The same way you would not interrupt someone in-person, you likewise would not want to cut someone off online. Muting your phone is the best way to give someone your undivided attention.
- When headphones to eliminate distracting noise – We can meet anywhere now, but where you are meeting may not be ideal, or even private. The best you can do is wear a headset to further muffle distractions around you.
- Do not have a window in your backdrop – This can decrease the quality of the video by casting you in a dark shadow.
- Use the Recording Option – This allows for meeting participants to return to the recording for reference, thus decreasing the need for follow-ups and clarifications.
Whether you are using a paid version or the best free video conferencing apps out there, these rules apply across video conferencing platforms. All of this will ensure that you are engaging with the best video conferencing practices. Advice Number 1 is especially helpful when using the best video conferencing app for online classes. You don’t want to unintentionally interrupt your professor.
Video Conferencing Apps
Here is a video conferencing software list that can give one an idea of what web meeting software is out there for a business to choose from. Some are free, some are paid, and some have a free version with the option to update to a paid version with more features. These are considered the best video conferencing software that one can find on the market
- BlueJeans Virtual Meetings.
- Cisco Webex Meetings.
- Google Meet.
- LogMeIn GoToMeeting.
- Microsoft Teams.
- RingCental Office
- Click Meeting
- Adobe Connect
- Amazon Chime
- Zoho Meeting
- Any Meeting
Many of these platforms do have a video conferencing app option that can be applied to a smartphone as well as a desktop. This allows for video conferencing while an employee is on the go, such as when traveling on business or whenever their jo
Docket is among the types of video conference apps that allow a user to integrate other project management tools like Asana or Trello into the app. That way work is further streamlined from external project management tools directly into Docket. This can help to eliminate the opportunity for a disconnect between what is accomplished at a meeting and what is documented in the project management tool.
Best Online Meeting Platforms
Pre-pandemic, Skype was probably considered the best free video conferencing app. It is hard to say if that still holds true post pandemic. Zoom has definitely become one of the best online meeting platforms, but there are 2 types of video conferencing with Zoom, free and paid. In the free version, users are only allowed to host meetings up to forty minutes in length. Then they are immediately cut off.
There are other types of video conferencing platforms, all of which were listed above. Of all of them, here are the 5 types of video conference programs that are some of the most popular, in terms of the number of users.
- Microsoft Teams
- Google Meet
- Cisco Webex
Why these 5 types of video conferencing platforms are so popular probably has to do with the number of features that they offer either for free or for at least a modest monthly subscription. Before the pandemic, many students were using Skype, but with universities providing Zoom accounts to students to gain access to their online classes, there has been a shift in the type of video conferencing platforms that students like to use.
Video Conferencing Software Examples
A video conference can be done through a variety of apps, each with its own set of pros and cons, strengths and weaknesses. Which one to choose? Here is a list of the best free video conference programs available.
- Google Hangouts
- Dialpad Meetings
- TrueConf Online
- Lifesize GO
- Slack Video Calls
- YouTube Live
Those ten are video conferencing software examples that offer the best features for having no price attached to them. It is quite astounding how far technology has progressed to give the average person a means to communicate online for free.
One of the best free video conferencing software is Docket. It offers the user the ability to “schedule faster with recommended availability, build and collaborate an agenda, choose from a vast template library, integrate resources, use rich text features, and share and view agenda and resources.”
YouTube Live, which is not a video conferencing application, was a surprising program on this list. Live-streaming is not quite the same as web meeting software. It allows for influencers to interact with followers, but it cannot take on the demands of an actual business meeting.
Best Virtual Meeting Platforms For Large Groups
There are fun virtual meeting platforms and there are the best virtual meeting platforms for personal use. Some companies even have virtual meeting platforms with avatars to better personalize your account.
Whether using web meeting software personally or professionally, a user must consider whether or not their meetings will have a large number of participants. Some of the best free video conferencing apps mentioned above may not be the wisest choice for larger groups. Here is a list of the best virtual meeting platforms for large groups.
- Google Meet
- Free Conference
- Cisco Webex
These are some of the best free video conferencing platforms for larger groups with all capable of hosting up to 100 attendees. Once the paid versions are acquired, the numbers only increase from there. Zoom and Microsoft Teams can host up to 1,000. So can Skype for Business. 1,000 tends to be the cap for most paid versions of web meeting software. Some of these features of hundreds of participants are limited with some attendees in “view only” status with no means to directly contribute to a conversation, but at the very least it allows for them to sit in and listen.