Virtual Business Meetings

Advanced technology allows business meetings to be conducted virtually, eliminating the need for participants to be physically present in one place. Virtual meetings are online meetings enable participants to join in from multiple locations by teleconference or video conference. These meetings can be recorded and transcribed into accurate transcripts with the help of a digital transcription service provider.

Virtual meetings are cost-effective, save time, and improve productivity. This is a budget friendly option because it saves space, eliminates the need for travelling from one place to another, and saves time. A virtual meeting does not require a huge conference room or hall. All it need to connect with anyone from anywhere is a good a computer, internet connection, a good quality microphone and webcam.

With the COVID 19 outbreak, many industries are relying on virtual meetings to communicate with their employees and make critical decisions. Here are the best tools to conduct virtual meetings and make the most of them.

Virtual Meeting Apps

  • Face time: This app is for Apple users. This app allows groups chats for up to 32 people with iOS12. This new app has tiles of participants’ faces and highlights those who are talking. Users can also manually select who they want to highlight.
  • Skype: This app allows groups or individuals to connect with each other. This is one of the oldest and most popular app that people are very familiar with. However, it has some flaws: sounds and visuals can be off from one another, and freezing and dropped calls can occur.
  • Hangouts Meet: This app was launched in 2013. In 2017, an enterprise – friendly version, Hangouts Meet, was introduced for business video conferencing. This app enables video chat and conferencing for up to 50 participants and SMS. It works on Android and iOS. People using meeting systems like Polycom and Cisco can easily join a Hangouts Meet meeting through the Pexip Infinity platform.
  • Zoom: Zoom is video communication software that comes with several options. It allows paid members to connect with 200 people at a time. The free version accommodates up to 100 participants.
  • GoToMeeting: This software offer video conferencing for longer time, but priced higher than its counterparts. It comes with a 14 days trial. All plans offer unlimited meetings and are based on the number of participants.
  • Click Meeting: This is a virtual meeting software but many of its features seem more webinar-related. It does a lot more than simply allow your team to see each other.
  • AdobeConnect: This is a virtual meeting tool that provides learning sessions webinar features, and virtual room options.
  • Cisco WebEx Meeting: This app allows screen sharing and using it is as easy as using a mobile app. It can accommodate up to 40,000 people.
  • Videoxio: This cloud-based software works on any platform.
  • eZTalks Cloud Meeting: This communication software has screen sharing, IM and whiteboard features.

Virtual Meeting Technology

  • Clarke.ai: It participates in virtual meetings and uses artificial intelligence to listen, record and analyze your discussion. It outlines the call summary, which helps the participants to focus on the meeting and spend less time taking meeting notes.
  • Google Drive: Google Drive offers docs, spreadsheet, presentation, and drawing capabilities. Files can be uploaded or downloaded and shared by permission or to anyone with a link, for free. It is easy to use and ensures real-time collaboration.
  • Slack: This is a communication platform that offers messaging app functions, customizable notifications and integrates with many office tools. It is one of the most robust employee messaging tools and it is a great way to cut down the volume of emails sent out to colleagues.
  • Yammer: This platform is designed to help employees interact with each other and build upon each other’s work. You can invite different types of collaborators, like employees and external clients. You can also join and create groups. One drawback is that it has limited customization options.

Live streaming Tools

  • iVent: It provides solutions for virtual events, webinars, hybrid events. It does not use any template and is fully customizable. It offers an on demand streaming platform where event organizers broadcast HD quality video in real time.
  • INXPO: This video streaming platform that aims to create a TV style event experience. It is used by event managers, marketers, corporate communicators etc. They offer solutions like webcasting solutions, virtual events platforms, and video portals.
  • WorkCast: An online presentation and events platform, this tool can be used for webinars, webcasts or virtual events and is completely customizable. It has content delivery features along with event management features, such as detailed analytics. It provides various options like self-service, and monitored or managed events, depending on the level of control and flexibility the event organizer wants.
  • Speaker Engage: This event management platform has speaker, sponsor and community curation. It also has an AI assisted centralized content management system and workflow automation.
  • UgoVirtual: This platform is best suited for industry trade shows, corporate meetings and conferences. Flexible and highly configurable, it can be used to host a stand-alone online event or create a virtual version of an on-site event for remote attendance.
  • ubivent: This option offers services for online events, online fairs and live streaming. During live streaming, the platform enables the audience to ask the speaker questions or to discuss the topic. It can set up using templates or fully customizable methods.

Virtual networking and Collaborations

  • Microsoft Teams for business: This allows you to keep all your team chats, meetings, files etc in one place. It includes unlimited chat and search, video calling, team and personal file storage and real time collaboration with Office.
  • Glisser: This is an audience engagement and analytics platform for live events and training sessions. It helps you share presentation slides in real time and then use audience interaction to improve the experience and provide event analytics.
  • NetworkTables: This is a software that facilitates networking at virtual events which makes it easier for participants to meet relevant people and sign up for roundtables. This software integrates with event ticketing and video conferencing tools also.
  • Remo Conference: This is a webinar and virtual networking video platform.
  • Icebreaker Video: This is a video platform aims at building relationship before actual events takes place and thus builds long term engagement. It gathers people in real time group chat and then helps in further conversation.
  • Socio: This offers event apps for events, conference and trade shows. It is fully customizable and offers several features like uploading and filterable attend lists, smart connection recommendations, and so on.
  • AIDA: This is a mobile app builder that uses simple drag and drop interface that lets you create white labelled event apps for meetings, conferences, trade shows, exhibition etc. I have about 80 features including private messaging, video chat and forums, as well as lead retrieval, meeting scheduling, etc.

It is highly recommended to set your agenda before starting the meeting and make sure that all attendees have a copy of your agenda. This helps t break down the content into small bits and explain each segment with clarity.

Informing the participants about the meeting helps the participants to prepare for the meeting and makes things easier when the virtual meeting is open for discussion. It also helps them clarify their doubts before the meeting begins.

Before the meeting make sure that internet connections are stable. Send out comprehensive emails in advance, with all the paperwork, agenda and joining instructions your guest needs. Be comfortable with the technology, software programs and practice before you conduct the meeting. In order to keep a tab on all important decisions taken in the meeting, consider hiring a business transcription service to document the proceedings.