As more and more people are working from home, we thought it might be helpful to talk about video and web meetings (many of which offer free or low-cost versions). Having good video conferencing software is an important need.
Online video conferences and web meetings can help!
With workers located in different places, how can you make sure that everyone is communicating?
Holding a web meeting solves the communication problem. With online meeting software, you can schedule regular meetings for your team to get together through the internet to share information and ask questions. With the right web conferencing software, you can even hold training sessions.
Getting live video conferencing software can be a major decision for your business, but it's an important one since it can help your team stay connected. In this post, you'll learn what you need to know to choose the web conferencing software for your needs.
First, we'll explore slideshow templates so your web conference looks professional. Then, I'll explain what web video conferencing software is. We'll look at some web and video meeting software features that business owners often look for. Finally, we'll share the best video conferencing software tools. (We've added a short video review to save you time.)
Need help with the physical setup: camera, lighting, and so on? Check out our practical guide to creating an effective video conferencing equipment setup.
Use a Slideshow Template for Your Online Video Conference
Before we dive into our list of web video conferencing software, let's look at a way to make it as professional as possible.
Use a slideshow template to make sure that your video conference feels well-organized and professional. You can find top-notch presentation templates created by professional designers on Envato Elements. It lets you download an unlimited number of PowerPoint templates (and other tools like photos, graphics, logos, and more) as you need for one low price.
Here's a peek at some of our best-selling slideshow templates on Envato Elements:
If you want to purchase presentation templates one-at-time for your web meeting. GraphicRiver lets you pay-as-you go. You'll get professional quality slide designs.
The following tutorial addresses how to create webinar slide decks, but many of the techniques would also work for a web video meeting:
- PowerPoint PresentationsHow to Design Killer Webinar Slide Decks (With PowerPoint PPT Templates)Brenda Barron
Top 10 Video Conferencing Tools (Quick Video)
Are you looking for a video or online meeting software?
If you're already familiar with video conferencing tools and how to use them, here's our quick video overview of ten of the best web video conferencing tools for small businesses to help you make your choice:
Bu what if you're new to the world of online meetings? Or maybe you'd like more meeting software options.
Keep reading. We'll cover some video meeting basics and then go over these tools again and introduce some other options as well.
Is Web Video Conferencing Software?
video conferencing software allows you to hold a variety of types of online
meetings regardless of where meeting participants are located. The online meeting software makes use of the Internet, so anyone with a connection can take part. A live web conference may include a video
element where participants can see each other using their webcams. Or, the
meeting may be audio only. Sometimes the online meeting is also available by
phone, which makes it even easier for all team members to attend.
Web video conferencing software can be used to conduct various types of meetings
- traditional staff meetings
- web seminars
conduct a successful web meeting, your business will need good web conferencing
Web Conferencing Software Features
As you select your video conferencing software, you'll want to pay close attention to what the software can do. To get the most from your web meeting tool, make sure to select a package that's got features that you need. Some common features that businesses often need include:
- Meeting Initiation. This is the capability to start a meeting as opposed to just being a meeting participant. This is very important if you'll be hosting the online video conferences yourself.
- Screen Share. If you want meeting participants to be able to look at what's displaying on your computer during the web conference, you'll need this feature.
- Recording. The ability to be able to record your live web conference can be useful for members who can't make your meeting. It can also serve as a record of what took place.
- Audio. If some of your team members don't have a webcam, you'll want them to at least be able to take part through audio.
- Slideshow. A slideshow can be a great way to organize the information you present during your web meeting. Consider using a slideshow template for a more professional presentations (see section below).
- Private Chat. Private chat is the ability for several team members to communicate privately during the main meeting. This can be useful for answering questions.
- Video Conferencing. This feature allows video meeting participants to enable their webcams so that they can see each other during the meeting.
- Technical Support. If this is your first time hosting a live video conference via the web, make sure the package that you select has good technical support available to help you overcome any hurdles.
but not least, you'll want to choose video web conferencing software that fits
in your budget. The list below includes web meeting tools for a variety of
budget needs including free software.
While you may not need all of these capabilities in your conferencing software, chances are that your business will need at least some of them. Be sure to pick a tool that offers what you need (and don't forget to consider your future needs).
Now that we've explored what web video conferencing software is and discussed features that businesses often need, it's time to look at some of the best video conferencing software tools available for businesses or individuals.
Web Video Conferencing Software Tools (With Quick Video Review)
Are you looking for a video meeting tool? Check out some of the best web video conferencing tools for businesses.
Note: As of March 2020, many web meeting tools have special offers available. Check with the tool of your choice to find out whether they've got a current deal available.
Here's another look at the meeting software tools we covered in the video above. Plus, we cover three additional meeting software tools you may find useful:
You may think of Skype as a convenient way to make long-distance calls using your computer, but the Skype for Business product or Microsoft Teams product allows you to use Skype to run online video conference meetings.
Skype for Business is being replaced by Microsoft Teams, which contains many of the same features. There's even a free version of the meeting software to get you started. If you still have Skype for Business, it should still be good until July 31, 2021.
Use the tool to share your desktop and collaborate online in real-time. You can also record your meetings.
learn more about Skype, study the following tutorial:
Meet is a more business-friendly tool than classic Google Hangouts. To use this
meeting software, however, you'll need a G Suite Account. Meet
by Google Hangouts allows you to hold live video conferences. The number of
people you can host for your online video conference varies. If you've got G Suite
Enterprise, you can host up to 100 people. But with G Suite Basic you can host up to 25 people With GSuite Business,
you can host 50.
learn more about Google Hangouts, study the following tutorials:
3. Cisco WebEx
this live video conferencing software, you'll enjoy many features including screen sharing, cloud
recording, personal video meeting rooms, and more. The number of people you can
include in your web meeting depending on the level of package your purchase.
With the free starter level, you can include 100 participants. At the Business level you can have up to 200 meeting participants. And there are several levels of this web conferencing software in between.
This web conferencing software is designed specifically for online meetings. It includes a toll-free option to make your meetings more accessible. Set up a personal meeting room with your own URL. Share your desktop in real-time, so your attendees can see exactly what you're talking about. Record your meeting and store it in the cloud. You can also download a free trial video conferencing software that hosts up to 250 participants.
popular online meeting software is a great choice for businesses since
the most basic level is free. At the most basic level, you can host up to 100
meeting participants for up to 40 minutes. You can also use screen sharing to
collaborate. And there are breakout rooms for private discussions. To get more
features, such as unlimited meeting duration or more participants (up to 1,000 participants with Enterprise Plus), choose one
of their premium plans.
relatively new online meeting software also has a lot to offer even for very small businesses. There's a free version for individual users (with limited features such as only five participants per meeting and no webcam streams). There
are premium plans that offer additional features. The Pro and Business
level plans, for example, let's you host up to 250 in your meeting and include recording.
There are also three premium levels. It includes unlimited video and audio meetings as well as screen sharing. At the most basic level, you're limited to four people per meeting. At the most advanced level, include up to 200 people in your meeting. Also nice is that fact that you can get a free trial of any level of service—even the most basic.
is a feature-rich web meeting tool that not only lets you hold online
meetings, but also lets you run webinars. Your meetings can accommodate up to
25 participants, but if you host a webinar you can include more people (based
on your plan level). This tool also lets you share screens for collaboration. Plus,
record your meetings for those who couldn't attend.
While you may think of Adobe as having great design tools, they also offer online meeting capability through Adobe Connect. You'll meet in an online meeting room with a custom URL that's always available. You can record your meetings and even republish them. Plus, there are add-ons that allow you to do more. A free trial is available.
9. Zoho Meeting
Use your Webcam to talk to your meeting participants through a video feed. You can share all or part of your screen to help illustrate your points. Plus, you can record screen shares and the audio part of your meetings. This web conferencing software is compatible with your calendars. Set up automated email reminders to maximize meeting attendance.
10. Amazon Chime
Here's another well-known company with online meeting software you may not be aware of. Set up secure web meetings with pay-as-you-go pricing. You can even use Amazon's Alexa to start your meeting. It's also easy to share screen content using Amazon Chime. Make a recording of your online meeting and store in in the cloud for later reference. Add meetings to the MS Outlook calendar.
This online meeting software offers two plans. With the free plan you can hold a meeting of up to four web participants. The Lite plan allows you to hold a meeting of up to 10 web participants, the pro plan allows you to host up to 30. All three plans let you host up to 200 web and phone participants. All levels include screen sharing, chat, and the ability to send email meeting invitations and reminders. With the larger plan you can also have a toll-free number for your meeting as well as the ability to create a meeting recording.
you mostly host small web meetings and you're looking for free web conferencing
software, this option may be for you. The free version of UberConference allows
you to have up to ten meeting participants. The free level even includes screen sharing and
the ability to record a call. There's even HD video. It's worth noting that the call is limited to 45 minutes with the free version. A Business version is available with additional features.
Here's another price-conscious online meeting software tool for a business owner. This one has a plan for single individuals that allows you to meet with anywhere from 50 to 150 attendees depending on which version of the tool you select. Use Outlook or Google calendar to schedule the meetings. You'll find this tool integrates with a lot of other business productivity software including Slack, Skype, Trello, Facebook Live, and more.
Learn More About Web Meetings and Working Remotely
As you begin to hold more and more web meetings, you'll want to learn how work with team members through video conferencing tools. The following tutorials are specific to webinars, but many of the same principles apply:
- WebinarsHow to Successfully Host an Online Webinar (With Free vs. Paid Tools)Brenda Barron
- WebinarsHow to Set Up & Run a Professional Online WebinarBrenda Barron
- Tools & TipsQuick Tips and Tools for Working RemotelyAndreia Paralta Carqueija
Find PowerPoint Slides for Your Next Web Meeting
If you're looking for slide templates to use with your video or web meeting software, consider these options:
- Presentations20 Best Slide Deck Templates (PowerPoint Presentations & More 2020)Nona Blackman
- Google Slides20 Top Professional Google Slides Templates for Corporate Presentations 2020Brenda Barron
- PresentationsThe Best New Presentation Templates of 2020 (PowerPoint PPTs & More)Sean Hodge
Holding Live Web Meetings for Your Business
We've just explored the best video conferencing software tools for businesses. You've also learned about some of the most popular web conferencing software features. If you're looking video conferencing software, there's no reason to hesitate—even if you're a business. Go ahead and use this information to choose the right video meeting software for your needs.
What are your favorite online meeting tools? Leave us a note in the comments below.
Editorial Note: The tutorial was originally published in July of 2018. It's been comprehensively revised to include new information—with special assistance from Laura Spencer.
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