While businesses are increasingly expanding across borders, it’s becoming more common to communicate with people who are not in the same country or city.
One of the ways to do this is through virtual meeting platforms. The platforms allow users to gather online and discuss business matters face-to-face, via video conferences.
Virtual meeting platforms are not a new concept. In the mid-1990s, they were made possible via desktop sharing software, allowing users to share their computer screens with other individuals across the globe.
Since then, we’ve seen significant advances in this area, including faster and more advanced internet speeds, easier methods of video conferencing, and improved video quality.
So What is a Virtual Meeting Platform?
A virtual meeting platform is a software program that allows users to host meetings online.
Instant messaging, video chat, screen sharing, and breakout rooms are just a few of the features offered by these virtual platforms. But virtual meetings aren’t the same as virtual reality meetings, which are held in three-dimensional settings.
The term “virtual meeting platform” is typically used to describe platforms designed specifically for business purposes.
While you can use most virtual meeting platforms for personal use, they were originally developed for business purposes.
This division also helps companies to identify and choose venues that meet their needs. Unlike webinars and virtual events, these meetings don’t have marketing goals and are often internal.
What is a Webinar?
A webinar is a virtual meeting, usually with a marketing goal. This type of meeting takes place over the internet and uses an interface that lets people from different locations communicate.
Many platforms offer webinar capabilities with their paid plans and virtual meeting services. Webinars may be public or private and can also be recorded for later viewing.
Best Virtual Meeting Platforms
There is no ‘best’ virtual meeting platform. A video conferencing solution that is best for one company may not be ideal for another.
Also, a virtual meeting platform that works well for a small business may not be the most effective solution for a global enterprise. The best virtual meeting platform for you will depend on several different factors, such as:
- Price: Virtual meeting platforms come in all shapes and sizes, and the price varies accordingly. It’s important to consider what you’re willing to pay versus what you get from the software.
- Security: Virtual meeting platforms are used to host confidential business discussions. Therefore, they must have robust security protocols in place, including encryption and data protection.
- Software compatibility: While you can access virtual meeting platforms via desktops or laptops, you should consider whether the platform’s software will run across all devices you use.
- Video quality: Some virtual meeting platforms don’t perform well with ten attendees or more are in the same video conference room. The best video conferencing software will handle many people and provide a high-quality video feed consistently.
- The number of participants: If you need to host large video meetings, all participants must hear and see each other for proper audience participation.
Virtual Meeting Platforms and Collaboration Tools Available Across the Web
The following are businesses that provide virtual meeting platforms across the internet. And many offer a free version to help get you started.
Skype is one of the oldest examples of a web-based online meeting software.
While its primary function is to provide users with a way to communicate via text chat and voice calls, it also allows users to host meetings online. The skype app will enable users to create a virtual meeting room, including up to ten people.
GoToMeeting is another excellent example of video conferencing software. It’s not available as an app but is accessed via desktop or laptop. The platform allows users to host meetings online with up to 100 participants.
The global pandemic has been a boost to Zoom meetings, accessible via desktop, laptop, or mobile device, it has been the to-go-to virtual conferencing software for learning and business meetings.
It provides users with an easy-to-use interface for hosting online meetings. Other key features during a Zoom meeting include polling and recording tools.
Virtual Meeting Platforms in the Enterprise Market
There are several virtual conferencing services available for enterprise-level businesses. The following list includes some examples of video conferencing systems:
BlueJeans is a video conferencing service designed for business use. Its features include video conferencing and screen sharing capabilities. The platform also provides users with the ability to record meetings so that they can review them later.
Cisco WebEx is a virtual conferencing platform that is used to host meetings in real-time. Webinar participants can watch and listen to each other, share their screens and collaborate on documents. It can also record the sessions for future use.
Cisco WebEx allows users to easily integrate different features into their meetings, such as voice and video conferencing. It also provides users with reporting tools and support for custom branding.
Citrix, now known as Citrix GoToMeeting is video conferencing software under the GoToMeeting brand. It offers users the ability to host online meetings with up to 100 participants.
The platform provides strong security protocols and encryption capabilities. Like Zoom, it also has some features for conducting virtual meetings, including polling tools and recording features.
WebHuddle is another web-based virtual conferencing platform that provides users easy access to screen sharing and document editing features. Webhuddle also allows users to conduct meetings in either public or private rooms.
Virtual Meeting Platforms for Small Businesses
Small businesses often need a virtual conferencing platform that is easy to set up and use.
UberConference is another virtual conferencing platform that is designed for small businesses. It has many different features, including screen sharing and dial-in/dial-out capabilities.
The platform also allows users to record meetings to be reviewed later and real-time notifications when a session starts or ends.
Zoho Meeting prides itself as a scalable network with easy-to-use interface for its users. Some of its key integrations include screen sharing, document editing, chat tool, and storage tools. It also allows users to create their own BRANDED chat rooms.
The app also integrates with other Zoho products that are popular among small businesses.
ClickMeeting is virtual meeting software that you can access via desktop or laptop. The platform is easy to use and has several features, including screen sharing capabilities.
It also allows users to record meetings and leverage them later. Click meeting provides robust security protocols for its users and provides encryption for the data transmitted during sessions.
Tips for Hosting a Virtual Meeting
When hosting live virtual events, there are several things you need to know when using virtual meeting software.
It’s essential to understand how to use the features that are included in the platform. The following list provides some tips for hosting a virtual meeting:
- Ensure high-speed internet access: If you have slow Internet speeds, you will not be able to host or attend a meeting.
- Don’t forget the microphone: If you are hosting a virtual meeting, ensure that the participants have access to microphones to pick up sound.
- Avoid distractions: When your participants attend your virtual summit, do not allow any distractions in the background. Make sure no noise or music is playing, and avoid using programs that might interrupt the audio or video transmissions.
Virtual meetings can be helpful for team-building, especially if you are planning on conducting these meetings over an extended period.
What is a Hybrid Event?
A ” hybrid event” is a type of meeting that involves both physical and virtual attendance. Hybrid events are somewhat familiar in the world of business, as it can be more cost-effective to have some people attend your town hall in person while others participate online.
The best example is a sales team. Some members will go to the actual meeting, while others will participate from home. In this case, you have a mix of both physical and virtual attendees. Every summit is unique, so it’s essential to understand the best practices for hosting each one.
When planning a hybrid event, you should consider how people might attend your summit either in person or online. Once that has been established, you can plan for what needs to happen during the event.
If you have a virtual meeting platform for conducting hybrid events, you should also think about how people attending in person and those participating online will communicate with each other.
Planning a virtual summit requires several planning steps before it can be successfully managed.
If your company is working on putting together a hybrid event, you should work with your team to ensure that everything goes according to plan. Or better yet, get someone else to do it for you, like a virtual team building company.
Virtual conferencing platforms are helpful for businesses of all sizes. They help teams collaborate on projects and allow companies to conduct meetings effortlessly with team members in different locations.
When choosing a platform, make sure you look at its security features, ease of use, and compatibility with mobile devices.
You might also want to consider the cost of the platform and what additional features it offers.
Do you have a virtual meeting platform that you would like to share? Let us know in the comments below and we’ll add it to our ever-growing list above.