Online Meeting Services

Category: Networking , Telephony

I need to share Powerpoint presentations with a large group of people. Which online meeting service should I use?

online meetings

Online Meetings and Webinars

Online meetings, also known as webinars or web conferences, allow you to share the data on your computer and interact in real time with others in remote locations. Individuals and businesses are turning to online meetings to save time and money, because web conferencing is a very efficient way of communicating with others. Instead of having to travel to another site, you can simply use an internet connection to get pretty much the same thing done. There are many options such as audio and video in addition to the data sharing capability. Online conferencing can also be used for training or marketing, and has become a very popular remote access tool for IT professionals as well.

Traditional videoconferencing is now becoming obsolete; with online meetings there's no need to book a meeting room or hook up complicated equipment. With online conferencing, all you need is an Internet connection. Here are some popular options for online meetings, web conferences and webinars:

Webex is a leading provider of online meeting services. Webex is not downloadable software -- it's an online application accessed via your web browser. With online meetings there's no upfront investment/obligation, it's easy to use and there's minimal maintenance and support. It's accessible anywhere since it relies solely on an internet connection.

Audio is a vital component of a web meeting, so an integrated solution that provides both web and audio conferencing services creates the best experience. VoIP, standard phone service, audio broadcast, and hybrid services are all part of Webex's integrated audio package. They also have the added feature of toll/toll-free calling and call-in/call-back. WebEx offers the flexibility to pay for a single usage, or host multiple meetings for a set monthly fee. It is easy to get a quote for the specific services you need, but there is a 14-day trial so you can test it out before purchasing.

GoToMeeting makes it is easy to organize unplanned or scheduled presentations with a prospective customer, perform live demonstrations in real time, work together on documents with your colleagues and provide training to customers or employees. A companion service called GoToWebinar offers unlimited Webinars with up to 1000 attendees, plus the capabilities of GoToMeeting. If you're looking for a meeting solution for a large group or company, GoToMeeting Corporate is for you. GoToMeeting Corporate is for organizations that require multiple organizer accounts with the ability to deliver unlimited Webinars to up to 1000 attendees. This managed service is unique because of its flat-fee All You Can Meet pricing model that enables businesses to benefit more frequently from the value of online meetings. The reporting feature enables you to run reports to track usage.

GoToMeeting offers a conference call service at no extra cost. You may decide to use this service or choose another method of bringing audio to your online meetings. Our service provides a toll-based number that is dialed by all meeting participants. Participants are liable for the toll phone charges, but not a conferencing fee.

Lotus Sametime has revamped their meeting center, with clearer and better access to meeting tools. Sametime 7.5 offers an auto-reconnect capability, which simply reconnects you to the meeting room should there be any network disruptions during a meeting. With Lotus Web Conferencing, you can take advantage of optional audio integration capabilities from leading teleconferencing and telecommunications providers to offer a single, unified interface to both audio and Web conferencing. Features such as a visual indication of who is speaking and who has joined the call, as well as the ability to adjust volumes and mute individual participants, can help minimize distractions and improve the overall effectiveness of your Web conferences.

Office Live Meeting improved the user experience in the 2007 version by redesigning the meeting client to make it a more intuitive way to share information with attendees. Live Meeting contains integrated audio, video and media. The 2007 version of Office Live Meeting includes live and recorded video, chat, slide and application sharing, VoIP and PSTN audio, and audience feedback tools. Presenters can receive feedback from meeting attendees in real-time, enabling them to adjust their presentation, to meet the needs of the audience. With Live Meeting, participants can record meetings or training events and store them locally or on the service. These recordings then become training materials for future reference. Communicating and collaborating online and in real time translates into saving time and money by meeting online and avoiding business travel.

Spending your time wisely and avoiding downtime are two benefits of online meetings. You can also meet more frequently with customers, colleagues, and business partners, thereby increasing your business productivity. Online meetings, training and events offers an impressive return on your investment over the cost of conducting business face-to-face. If you can't afford to travel, or wait for everyone to be in the same place, at the same time, then Web conferencing opens a window of opportunity for online meetings, effective collaboration, and remote technical support.

Are you a frequent user of online meeting or webinar services? Share your thoughts below...

 
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Most recent comments on "Online Meeting Services"

Posted by:

Joe
14 Nov 2007

Having participated in webinars for a number of years, I'd like to comment about webinars "spending your time wisely and avoiding downtime." Unfortunately, most webinars I've listened to in the last year or so are less about learning and more about pushing product. I get invited to participate in at least 12 webinars a month, and usually one will be worthwhile. I normally wouldn't waste that much time with a company sales rep on the phone.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Joe, you're condemning the medium because of the message! Certainly a webinar can be nothing more than sales pitch, but there's nothing inherent in the technology that makes it necesarily so.


Posted by:

Jennifer
13 Aug 2008

You didn't mention Adobe Connect in your article. Adobe's product is quite advanced and is chock full of extras that some of the others don't carry, like the option to have yourself displayed in a window with your webcam to viewers. I've participated in many webinars this year and we use it nearly on a daily basis to provide realtime training to individuals.

We are even looking to do some training for 100 individuals in another country all via webinars. I think they are the way of our near term future with the continual increase in fuel costs that hit people on both the road and in the air when traveling used to be the norm, webinars are taking their place because the time spent is much more valuable and considerably less costly.


Posted by:

Ozman
19 Sep 2010

You may also evaluate a fully functional, 30 days free trial of Banckle Online Meeting http://banckle.com/products/online-meeting/default.html. It supports all advanced features for web conferencing, webinars, audio and video conferencing. You can also share an application, PowerPoint presentations or whiteboards with anyone from anywhere. The pricing is very flexible and subscription starts from just $9/Month http://banckle.com/pricing/online-meeting/


Posted by:

Christie Johnson
04 Jan 2011

Hello,

I think you may want to check www.BuddyMeeting.com as one of the best, free online collaboration utility website out there. It beats some of the other ones available for big price.

Hope this helps others who are looking for free conferencing websites.


Posted by:

Lloyd Drinen
14 Apr 2011

OK! This is good for business to business, or home to home, but how about talking from one computer to another computer on a home net work?


Posted by:

Kim Duncan
19 Sep 2013

Browser based tools that allow you to save time and money? What more could any entrepreneur in the any industry need to improve efficiency when it comes to sharing ideas?

Personally, I don't like using any tool that I am compelled to use from a particular location. I think there should be options. I like browser based products because I can use them from anywhere, on any device.

If a team wants to meet, they can do so without restrictions. The online meeting has made it possible to cut transportation costs dramatically.

Entrepreneurs want the ability to send and work with documents, or build applications from wherever they are and software like this allows them to do that.


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