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  • Writer's pictureHector Lopez

Projekto.Biz | Virtual Platforms for Online Meetings

The Covid-19 pandemic has been a great catalyst for the increase in the use of virtual meeting platforms. In a time of social distancing, businesses are relying on these platforms to stay connected, exchange information, and work together.

What is an Online Meeting?

An online meeting, also called virtual conferencing, is a method of communication that allows for multiple parties to meet and interact in the same space without physically being present. Through electronic device channels like internet service, projectors (for large teams), reliable sources of audio, laptops, tablets, webcams, etc., business employees and higher-ups can communicate back and forth with each other using various virtual meeting platforms.

Best Virtual Meeting Platforms

  • Skype An easy-to-use app that allows you to connect with a single person or a group of people. It is a well-known platform that many meeting participants most likely already have personal accounts for service use. Skype app comes with no long-distance costs but is prone to audio and visual display problems, buffering delays, and calls being dropped.

  • Slack Slack helps to connect team members with each other through messaging tools, adjustable notifications and is streamlined with a multitude of office features. With its reliable messaging features catered to employees, email traffic between workers is lessened. Using this service costs $8 per person or $15 per month

  • Google Hangouts A no-cost platform that offers tools to make phone calls, use instant messaging that connects with up to 10 people, and video conferencing. If you use Google, which is practically everyone, this platform is already installed into Google tools like Gmail. Another cool feature of Google Hangouts is that video calls can be streamed in real-time on YouTube.

  • Zoom meeting Not only can businesses hold virtual meetings on this platform, but they can also conduct training seminars, webinars, etc. During Zoom meetings, users can simultaneously share messages and documents with each other through Zoom’s chat tool. A basic plan with a Zoom meeting is free to use for unlimited time and offers unlimited meetings with a 40-minute time limit for each.

  • GoToMeeting This platform offers tools that include messaging between team members, dialogue transcriptions for video, and adjustable team settings. Using GoToMeeting, businesses can conduct meetings with up to 100 people, including participating and holding meetings using a smartphone. This platform is offered to users through a 14-day free trial with plans starting at $12 per month.

  • Microsoft Teams Microsoft Teams is a sub-feature of the Microsoft Office 365 platform. This sub-feature can hold meetings with up to 300 participants alongside access for guests, person-to-person and team video, phone calls, sharable files with 2 gigabytes per person, and 10 gigabytes per group, desktop sharing for easy collaboration, and file organization through coloration. This service is free with sign-up using an email address.

  • Facetime This well-known platform is not just used for connecting with friends and family but can be used for business purposes as well. Although Facetime is only compatible with Apple devices, features include group chats that can hold up to 32 participants, tools to let you know who is currently speaking, and the ability to choose who you want to see on the screen. This service is free to use.

  • Google Meet This updated and improved version of Google Hangout is streamlined into the G suite office productivity service. Google Meet provides the user with an assigned dial number so that virtual meetings can stay private within the team, a clear access line with no dropped calls and compatibility with both Apple and Android devices. This service offers 3 plans: G suite Basic ($6 per month), G suite business ($12 per month), and G suite enterprise ($25 per month).

  • FreeConferenceCall As stated in its name, this service is completely free. FreeConferenceCall offers tools for collaborating and calls with group members for desktop sharing, drawing, and messages for public and private use. Not only is it free but it is simple to use as well.

  • Intermedia Originally called AnyMeeting, Intermedia syncs video conferencing, messaging, and desktop sharing tools on a service based in the cloud. Come in 2 service payment plans: Lite ($10 per month) and Pro ($3 per month). If you upgrade to the Pro Plan, you can transcribe and record meetings in real-time plus receive an infinite amount of space in the cloud.

  • Adobe Connect Adobe Connect goes above and beyond when it comes to being a virtual meeting platform. Not only does this service offer desktop sharing, messaging, and video chat features, but you can make smaller sites, organize emails, make digital rooms customizable to match the brand of the company. To hold meetings on this platform it is going to cost you a starting price of $50 per month while webinars go for the starting price of $130 per month.

  • Amazon Chime Unsurprisingly this service syncs with Alexa, an AI assistant service created by Amazon, for virtual business meetings. Amazon Chime offers calls, messages, digital meetings, and video conferencing. The cost of this service is free if you only use the basic features of the platform, but pro features prices range from $3 per person/per day to $15 per person/per month, depending on which features are used.

  • Join. Me The cost of using this virtual meeting platform is $0.00. Join Me has tools that allow users to change URL links to their liking and the ability to choose whatever background they want for the display that is shown during virtual meetings. It also syncs with other work tools like Outlook, Office 365, and Google Calendar.

  • Lifesize Lifesize offers 4k high-resolution video for clear images, an interactive touchscreen interface for conference room phones, and video sharing tools stored in the cloud. Lifesize Go, a browser version of this platform, is free for all users. Lifesize Standard for small groups is $16.95 per host/per month, Lifesize Plus for small/medium-size businesses is $14.95 per host/per month, and Lifesize Enterprise is $12.95 per month with the ability to carry a minimum of 50 hosts.

  • RingCentral Meetings This virtual meeting platform has a free plan for users, customer support for all other payment plans including the free plan, and can operate on all major platforms. However, RingCentral Meetings does not have sharing capabilities with outside users and only offers local recordings. The payments plan for this service has a starting price of as low as $14.99 a month.

  • HighFive A unique feature the HighFive has on its platform is that it does not require passwords or pin numbers to access meetings. Users must wait in a digital meeting room until they are allowed into a meeting by a manager or host. Video conferencing for meeting rooms go for costs $99 per month/per room on a yearly basis.

  • ON24 ON24 provides the opportunity for marketers to create information-based, interactive webinars, content learning, and interpreting audience behavior through polls, surveys, monitoring engagement and conversations, and analyzing resources. You can also record webinars or meetings in multiple takes and alternate between real-time and already recorded presentations. This service offers a free trial period of up to 30 days.

  • BigBlueButton This platform is catered for instructors who teach children online, but it also can be used by businesses as learning seminars and webinars. BigBlueButton offers the ability to share facilitation, desktop, video, and audio while simultaneously working with other users through messages, notes, and polls. Although hard to set up, the platform is free to use and has the interface of costly digital learning virtual meeting software.

  • Zoho meeting This well-known virtual meeting platform lets users conduct and participate in online meetings from anywhere. Its desktop sharing and display tools make sure that groups can effectively collaborate with each other. Zoho meeting’s camera-based virtual meetings ensure that online calls run smoothly. There are a free version and payment plans that range from $12 to $980 depending on the number of hosts and participants.

  • ClickMeeting ClickMeeting is a simple to use platform that offers various features. Customizable meeting rooms and a variety of collaboration tools (desktop sharing and facilitation) are key features of this platform. Payment plans range from $25 a month for 25 participants to $165 a month for up to 5,000 participants.

  • Intrado This prestigious platform conducts over 40,000 digital events and webcasts yearly using cloud-based technology and global partnerships. Intrado offers services in countries like South America, Latin America, Asia Pacific, the Middle East, Canada, and, of course, the United States. Intrado offers a free trial service that lasts for 30 days.

  • Pexip Considered one of the greatest virtual meeting platforms currently in the industry, Pexip lets users conduct online meetings individually. Pexip also allows users to hold meetings on various cloud services like Google Cloud, Amazon Web Services, & Microsoft Azure with the ability to adjust service size and features to sync to traditional video operations. The cost of using this service depends on the size of the meetings you want to hold, but a free trial option is available.