The days of the perpetually traveling executive are coming to an end. With the growth of technology, businesses no longer have to fly in employees and managers for every quarterly meeting. With recent advances in web conferencing, business executives can now take part in stakeholder meetings from their phones or tablets. This progress and these services help companies increase productivity and save money.
Web conferences are different from webinars in a few ways. Webinars are meant to reach a large audience of mostly non-participating viewers. Web conferences are meant to cater to small groups and keep the floor open for communication and discussion. There is a cost to these conferencing services, although it's much less than the cost of transportation to hold face-to-face meetings.
Web conferencing services provide efficient scheduled and impromptu meetings to both large and small businesses. Finding the best online conferencing service will help you represent your business and establish credibility. These virtual meetings emphasize efficient and speedy communication. Our top-ranked, online-conference services are Onstream Media, InterCall and ReadyTalk. For more information about online meetings, check out our articles on web conferencing.
Web conferencing has become a common way to hold meetings for multi-office businesses and work-at-home employees alike. As internet communications have become faster and more reliable, due to new methods of data transfer and new telecommunications standards such as VoIP, web conferencing has grown from a wonky and difficult method of communication to a rich, real-time meeting medium. Web conferences can now incorporate webcams to simulate an in-person meeting, multimedia such as video presentations and whiteboard capabilities.
Despite the advances in web conferencing technology, not all programs are up to the job. Below are the criteria Top Ten Reviews used to evaluate the best web conferencing services:
Any good web meeting should progress relatively error-free. We graded each service based on the software's ease of use and quality. The audio/video components of our reviews take into account which tasks you can perform while you are in the middle of a meeting. Features such as the ability to record a meeting, real-time screen sharing and remote desktop control are essential aspects of a good online conferencing service. You should also be able to pass off presenter controls to others and allow for participant annotation. A whiteboard feature allows presenters to draw and highlight images on a shared desktop image or a blank white screen. The participants must have the ability to comment and be recognized by the presenter and other participants.
A necessary feature for any web conferencing service is the addition of full duplex support. This support allows for communication and data at the same time. While it may sound like an obvious feature, it is required to have a quality web meeting. In addition, the most in-depth services will have an advanced preparation mode, webcam compatibility and broadcast streaming tools.
Beyond the actual online meetings, the features that web conference software include contribute to making the meeting an easy process for the presenter and participants. Helpful tools include a meeting scheduler, application sharing and the ability to upload and transfer files to participants. As the internet has advanced, evolved and expanded, so too have its threats. Web conferencing software should offer seamless security, with user registration and authentication and end-to-end encryption – all while remaining firewall friendly. Consider whether you’ll need public and private text chat functions and if remote meeting participants will need a mobile app to join the call. Particularly for calls that include contractors or other participants not using company technology to log in, consider whether an application requires participants to download software.
Help & Support
Web conferencing is complicated. Even people with experience in teleconferencing and video conferencing may find themselves in need of assistance. Web conferencing programs should come with built-in help menus and systematic guides for every stage of a meeting, from initiation to termination. Web conferencing services should also provide helpful resources on their websites in the form of tutorials, guides, FAQs sections, knowledgebases, direct chat support and moderated forums. Many web conferencing providers also offer 24/7 support for meetings.
Web conferencing services are an efficient, cost-effective technology that’s a must for many businesses. It enables everyone from business owners to work-at-home employees and independent contractors to maintain steady communication with their employees, coworkers and peers.