During the pandemic, meeting programming has permitted organizations to stay functional and find better approaches to working. After the crisis, these projects are broadly utilized because they work with different business cycles, for example, inside coordinated effort, remote working, representative preparation, and distant help, and that’s just the beginning.
A few arrangements are available, and picking the one that best suits your requirements might take work. Hence, We will examine the capabilities, benefits, and impediments of meeting programming to have all the data to distinguish the most appropriate item for the organization’s requirements.
What Is Meeting Software?
Meeting programming permits you to sort out and partake in on-the-web or video gatherings. Through these arrangements, individuals in better places, even distant from one another, can convey and work together continuously without meeting.
These projects permit you to plan and host gatherings over the Web that can be utilized for different exercises, for example, talking about business with accomplices, teaming up with other colleagues, introducing ventures to expected financial backers, overseeing distant help, holding preparing gatherings, and, surprisingly, more. Meeting programming isn’t restricted to video conferencing yet offers highlights, for example, screen sharing, visits, meeting recording, and the capacity to welcome members using a connection or email.
What Is Meeting Software For?
Meeting software allows people to communicate and collaborate in real time, regardless of geographical location, improving productivity and reducing costs for companies and educational institutions. A fundamental requirement is to have a reliable internet connection. These tools are handy for companies with employees or customers in different parts of the world who need to communicate and collaborate effectively.
They are also helpful for all those associations where the participants cannot move because they are too far away or blocked by other problems such as availability of time, illness, lack of means of transport, etc. Also, these programs are used in the education sector, where teachers and students can join online classes from anywhere with an internet connection. Some of the key features offered by meeting software include:
- Audio Conference
- Video conference
- Screen sharing
- Sending files
- Virtual whiteboard
- Audio and video recording for future review
- Moderation tools
- Scheduling online meetings on your calendar
- Email meeting invitations
- Interactive polls.
How Meeting Software Works
How these programs work may vary in some small steps, but in general, the process for joining a meeting or video conferencing is similar and consists of the following steps:
- Scheduling the meeting – The meeting organizer schedules the video conference on the calendar and sends the invitation via email or a link that can be shared through any messaging app.
- Join the meeting – Attendees use the link to join the meeting. Some meeting software can be used directly in the browser, while others require the application installed on your device (pc, smartphone, or tablet).
- Audio/Video Device Setup: Before joining the meeting, the attendee must adequately set up the audio and video devices, i.e., microphone, speakers, and video camera. You can also remove or replace the background for more privacy during video conferencing.
- Start of meeting – The meeting organizer starts the video conference, and the participants can see and hear the other participants.
- Participation in the meeting: during the videoconference, the participants can collaborate using the tools made available by the software, such as chat, virtual whiteboard, and screen sharing.
- End of meeting – The organizer can decide to end the meeting for everyone or individual participants can leave anytime. If the meeting was recorded, it will be possible to view it later.
The Advantages Of Using A Meeting Software
Compared to traditional face-to-face meetings, using meeting software has several advantages, including:
- Better Organization: when it is necessary to organize a meeting, the process is much more straightforward and more immediate because it is optional to check the availability of the room to welcome the participants or the means of transport to reach them.
- Saving Time And Money: online meetings significantly reduce travel costs, accommodation, rental of premises, and personnel employed in welcoming the participants. Plus, creating and scheduling the meeting takes just minutes and saves time wasted on travel.
- Greater Flexibility: meetings can be attended from anywhere and with any device with an internet connection.
- Greater Participation: By eliminating the need to participate in person, physical obstacles are reduced, making it much easier for more people to participate.
- More Effective Collaboration: Several tools, such as screen sharing, chat, whiteboarding, and document sending, allow you to collaborate more effectively and share information in real time.
- Involvement Of Absent People: thanks to the possibility of recording meetings, even people who could not participate can find out what has been addressed and discussed.
Costs Of Meeting Software And Limits
Costs for meeting software vary depending on the vendor and the features included. Some solutions are free but usually offer basic features, such as a limited number of participants and a limit on the length of meetings. The more comprehensive ones typically require a monthly or annual subscription.
However, the costs of these programs are much lower than the costs associated with face-to-face meetings. However, it is essential to remember that meeting software requires the fulfillment of some requirements: a stable data connection is required, and the devices used must be equipped with a video camera and a microphone.
There are also some limitations to consider. Online communication may be less effective than in-person communication, and during online meetings, participants can easily be distracted by other computer activity or their environment. Furthermore, participants must be adequately trained to use the meeting software of their choice. Finally, the risks to data privacy and IT security should be noticed if the appropriate security measures are taken.
Five Meeting Software That Can Meet The Needs Of Companies Of Any Size
Teams is a prevalent software for individuals and companies as it is included in the Microsoft 365 suite but can also be used without it. The free version allows group meetings of up to 60 minutes and 100 participants. With the Essentials version, which involves a subscription of 3.70 euros/month per user, meetings can be held for up to 30 hours and up to 300 participants.
Among the advantages are integrating with other Microsoft productivity tools such as SharePoint, OneNote, Power BI, etc., and third-party apps such as Salesforce, Trello, etc. Plus, it’s highly customizable to meet specific team needs. The flaw, however, is the interface, which can be confusing and not very intuitive for some users. It requires a good internet connection to run smoothly and could be faster to start up.
Google Meet is available as a web application and as a mobile app. It was designed to support real-time collaboration and communication between users wherever they are in the world. It offers advanced features, such as background noise reduction, meeting recording, and real-time translation, which can enhance users’ meeting experience.
Different pricing options are available, depending on your needs. The free version allows you to host online meetings of up to 60 minutes and 100 participants. Google Workspace Essentials costs $8 per user per month and includes features like meeting recording, advanced screen sharing, and a maximum participant capacity of 250.
Zoom was launched in 2011 and has become very popular recently, especially during the pandemic. It allows you to video conferencing with a wide range of features, including sharing your screen, using the digital whiteboard, recording meetings, creating interactive polls, and much more.
Furthermore, it is very easy to use and can be used on multiple platforms, including computers, tablets, and smartphones. Zoom delivers high-quality video and audio, ensuring a smooth, hassle-free video conferencing experience. It is a very scalable software because it can manage meetings with many participants, up to 1000 for the Business version and up to 10 thousand for the Enterprise version!
The free version allows you to host online meetings with up to 100 participants but limits meeting lengths to 40 minutes. The basic plan costs $14.99 monthly and allows unlimited meetings with up to 100 participants. This plan includes meeting recording, screen sharing, and integration with Google Drive and Dropbox.
This meeting software supports online meetings of up to 100,000 participants and offers advanced security and administration features for companies that want to use it for communication and collaboration. It offers advanced features like real-time polls, creating and distributing feedback forms, recording meetings, creating and distributing documents, and managing project tasks.
Webex is intuitive and easy for both meeting organizers and attendees. It also integrates with many other productivity applications, including Microsoft Office, Google Drive, Salesforce, etc. Webex costs more than other meeting software, especially if you want advanced features like meeting recording, desktop sharing, and more.
Developed by LogMeIn, GoToMeeting offers advanced features such as hosting up to 250 participants, desktop sharing, meeting recording, remote control, file sharing, and real-time collaboration. It is available on different platforms, including Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS, and is compatible with most web browsers. A free basic plan allows you to host meetings with up to 3 participants but with limited functionality.
For paid plans, we start with the Professional designed for small businesses, which costs 14 euros per month, allows you to host meetings with up to 150 participants, and offers advanced features such as meeting recording and remote control. For larger companies, the Business plan costs 19 euros per month and allows you to host meetings with up to 250 participants. The Enterprise plan, on the other hand, is customizable and offers advanced features for large companies.