2020 was not only the year of the pandemic, but it started the trend of remote working. As workers around the world were urged to stay home in an effort to curb the spread of Covid-19, remote working became the new way to conduct business. As a result, the market became saturated with more online meeting platforms than ever before. With such a large number of workers staying home, businesses were faced with the challenge of connecting and communicating with clients and remote employees digitally. Social distancing became a catalyst for virtual meetings and businesses relied on these platforms to exchange information and stay connected. As businesses around the world continue making the switch to a more remote workforce, they are continuing to search for the best platforms to keep their operations running smoothly. Below you will find a rundown of some of the most popular meeting platforms so you can decide which is right for your business.
Cisco’s WebEx is an online meeting platform that is widely used around the world. It is used by a variety of businesses, industries, educational institutions, and government agencies to connect with customers and employees. The platform supports a variety of video meeting types including one-on-one calls as well as team meetings. It is an easy-to-use yet powerful tool for managing remote meetings as well as improving team communication. Here are some of its unique features:
- Easy Share Option: This makes it easy for the host to share different types of content such as videos, PowerPoint presentations, and more during meetings with attendees.
- Easy to Join: The meetings can be easily accessed with just a few clicks.
- Secures Confidential Data: The application creates a unique link for each meeting which helps to prevent confidential data from being shared accidentally.
- HD Video and Audio: The application provides high-quality video and audio for a better virtual experience.
- Stream Live Meetings on Social Media: You can reach a much wider audience by streaming your meetings live on social media such as Facebook.
- Reasonable Subscription Plans: There are three pricing tiers ranging from $14.95/ month per host to $29.95/ month per host. The subscriptions are easy to understand and the various pricing supports different-sized businesses.
Many people are already familiar with Facebook Messenger as a means for communicating with family and friends but the video chat feature also offers businesses a unique opportunity to connect and interact with customers and employees. It’s easy to start a new conversation and create individualized chats for specific meeting attendees. You can easily hold a meeting for up to 50 people and there is NO setup and NO fees. While it doesn’t offer all the bells and whistles that you might find with other meeting platforms, it’s a great option for small businesses who are looking for a simple and affordable way to conduct business meetings and don’t require elaborate webinars.
Google Hangouts is a communication app that allows users to make calls, send messages, and carry out video conferences. Since most people are familiar with Google, this is a very user-friendly option for holding small meetings. There is no cost to this platform, so it’s a great option for businesses that don’t require more elaborate presentations. Another great feature of Google Hangouts is that the video calls can be streamed in real-time on YouTube, making it easier to reach a broad audience.
Zoom is perhaps the most well-known communication platform and has become the go-to for a number of businesses, schools, and other organizations. It is mainly used to host virtual meetings and product training and video webinars. You can host up to 100 people for free and there are also paid plans that can accommodate up to 300 people. Zoom has some great features that set it apart from other meeting platforms:
- Multiple Screen Views: Zoom has some great audio-visual features including multiple screen views which allow the presenter to choose from different perspectives. It offers intuitive screen sharing so you can simultaneously share messages and documents.
- Chat Option: You can easily communicate with others in the meeting through the chat tool.
- Virtual Whiteboard: This popular feature allows participants to draw or write notes or pictures on a virtual whiteboard that they can easily share with their team.
- Cloud Sharing: Users can share documents by storing them in the cloud where all participants can access them.
Virtual meeting platforms have been an absolute necessity for businesses as they adjust to remote working environments. These various platforms make it possible to communicate, connect and collaborate with team members and customers despite the distance. Though all do a great job of keeping people connected, they each have their own unique features which might be beneficial to your specific business.