Choosing Software for Online Meetings

With an increase in global remote hiring and the onset of a pandemic, online meetings are increasingly becoming the norm in workplaces. However, to make sure these virtual conferences are a success, it is essential to know the tips for handling online meetings. While there are several tips and tricks, the most important one is to choose the right conferencing software that adheres to the needs of your project. These software are commonly known as web conferencing software that allow you to meet for different purposes via the internet. Every web conferencing software in the market is abundant with distinct functions and features to make your online meeting a success, but not everything will suit you the best.

To help you narrow down, let’s have a look at the factors to consider when it comes to choosing a good software for online meetings.

The Type of Conference

A girl studying online

There are several online meeting types. Keeping the meeting type in your mind is essential to choose the right web conferencing software. Modern web conferencing softwares allow you to host a bunch of them by offering personalized virtual rooms for each. Whether you wish to host presentations, webinars, online video calls, or training workshops, you can choose from several options at different costs. Considering the meeting type helps you pin down what you need accurately.

For instance, if you’re about to host a webinar, the software you need should let you access audience mics and facilitate smooth screen sharing. On the contrary, if you wish to launch a product and see the reaction of your colleagues or have an engaging conversation, a video calling software like ZOOM or Skype should work out the best for you.

Not sure what your meeting type is? Have a look at the following meeting types, conducted across the internet, for ease in identification and categorization:

  • Presentations or Webinars
  • Conference audio & video calls
  • Training Workshops
  • 1-on-1 conferences with remote employees
  • Online customer support

Still unsure? Pin down the exact features you need to achieve the purpose of your meeting!

The Number Of Participants

An image of a woman at a virtual meeting with her colleagues

One of the best tips for handling online meetings is to consider the number of your audience. Keeping that in mind will prevent last-minute accommodation problems. Several web conferencing softwares have a virtual room limit. Hence, to ensure everyone in your team gets to join, choose softwares and subscription plans with the fitting room limit.

Considering this factor can also help you save a couple of bucks if your audience is low. Many web conferencing softwares let you connect with a small audience for little to no money. However, if your crowd is large, you will need services that specialize in hosting large numbers. Since there is a vast range of online meeting softwares out there, we recommend spending ample time exploring and choosing.

User Friendliness & Flexibility

An image of a happy ethnic woman with her laptop on a table

A user-friendly and flexible web conferencing software typically has an easy-to-use interface, multi-device support, and global operations. All three features can have significant positive impacts on your virtual conferences.

Easy to use Interface.

Having an easy to use Interface is incredibly significant to run a smooth virtual conference. Complex systems cause delays and interruptions as participants struggle to use even basic features such as audio and video on-off. Studies and surveys reveal that there is a lot of time waste if hard-to-understand web conferencing software is employed. A well-designed interface has everything on the main, only one tap away. It is also essential to ensure that your software allows easy dialing-in and out.

Multi-Device Support

Choosing software that has multi-device support can boost the number of your audience as people can easily dial-in from any electronic device they have. Multi-Device Support also aids mobility and ease of users. Your audience can quickly and easily dial-in from their mobiles and tabs instead of laptops.

Therefore, we recommend going for software that has both a web and mobile-friendly version. Some examples of such software include ZOOM, Skype, and Google Hangouts.

Global Support

For meetings with remote employees, make sure that your virtual conference tools are operational in their country, and support their time zones. Not being careful can lead to last-minute problems causing frustration and annoyance, or worse, meeting cancellation. If the official websites do not mention this, remember to ask the customer care service specifically to be on the safe side.

Enhanced Security and Encryption

An image of wooden blogs citing ‘security’ and icons 

While online meetings have several positives, their one downside is decreased security by being on the internet. However, with enhanced security and encryption features, you no longer have to worry about this. Several modern virtual conferencing software now offer end-to-end encryption with additional features like user authentication and meeting passcodes. Applications like Zoom also have waiting rooms, and only the host can allow people to enter. Some applications also allow you to hide attendee lists. We recommend giving this feature good importance if your company comes within the domain of highly regulated industries.

High Quality Audio & Video

Picture of a man attending a virtual conference with his colleagues

Having a high audio and video quality is incredibly essential to create an authentic atmosphere where the participants feel connected. While the quality of audio and video heavily depends on the hardware, software can feature some tools to enhance the overall experience. Noise cancelation, auto-mute, and adjustments for low bandwidth users are some examples of tools that software employ to increase the quality of these both for you.

Advanced Features

A video conference

In today’s world, virtual conferencing softwarecome with a plethora of advanced features. Some examples include:

Recording: Being able to record the meeting and saving the highlights can save the day for some employees if they can’t attend because of genuine reasons. Companies can also make an archive of past meetings for new employee training.

Screen sharing: For a successful and engaging webinar and meeting, being able to share your points of notion on screen can do wonders. People that miss out on your words because of connectivity issues can read the document shared on their screens. Screen sharing also comes in handy to display meeting rules or the meeting goal to keep the virtual conference on track.

Third-Party Application Integration: Application integration, such as Microsoft PowerPoint, can help import and export files during your conference. They also allow participants to work on a range of official tasks virtually, such as co-writing a document while discussing on the call. Plugins of Outlook and Google Calendar also come within this category. They allow you to quickly schedule meetings.

Smart meetings with integrated artificial intelligence (AI): Such software has spectacular features that increase the productivity of your conferences by working alongside you. For example, some web conferencing software use AI-powered voice recognition to note down points for you and also assign action items.

Customer Services or Customer Support

Picture of a customer care team

From the meeting type to the number of participants and the features of virtual conference software to check out, everything is at risk if your company offers poor customer support since even the best of software can have technical issues at times. Therefore, one must never ignore the quality of customer care centers when picking up online meeting software. We recommend calling the team for a first-hand experience on how the customer services’ team treats you. After all, if something goes wrong, you’d want a team of professionals that responds immediately with seriousness and professionalism.

The Takeaway

Now that you can choose the software yourself, it is time to dig in and choose one. List down your needs and cross-check it with the feature-guide of every software. We also recommend sending in a video demonstration on how to use the chosen software to your teammates for a smooth virtual conference.