Updated: Jul 5, 2021
A few weeks after the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the COVID-19 a pandemic, an estimated 16 million knowledge workers in the United States have switched to a remote work setup. This number has climbed exponentially since more states and countries have urged citizens to stay home.
As we adapt to the new wave, finding the best video conferencing software is essential to stay connected. Facilitate better communication within your network with online meeting software that matches your needs. In this article, we’ve discussed the:
• Advantages of investing in webconference service • Top considerations in choosing the best video conferencing software • The best web meeting software in 2020 • Potential challenges in video conferencing and ways to address them
The Role of Video Conferencing in Today’s Changing Economy
Collaboration can be problematic with inefficient communication processes. This challenge can ladder up to bigger issues that affect your daily routine, focus and productivity. Using the right virtual meeting software, you can support flexible work and learning styles without delay or hassle.
Web conferencing software allows businesses to grow and globalize by facilitating effective communication with partners, employees, investors and customers. At the same time, free video conferencing software enables universities and institutions — especially those dealing with staffing shortages, budget limitations and new regulations — to broaden the scope of their subjects and provide students with engaging learning experiences.
Video conferencing presents countless opportunities to stay connected with everyone amidst economic uncertainties. Whether you’re using webconference software for engaging remote employees, holding online classes, collaborating across departments or catching up with your family and friends, this technology serves your purpose.
Choosing the Best Video Conferencing Software in 2020
Web conferencing has emerged as the primary communication platform of the virtual workforce. Today, people are powering up video conferences to replace the social gatherings that are not happening in person because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Do you have the right tools and resources necessary for remote work and learning?
Let’s take a look at the different considerations when choosing the best web conference software:
COST Most webconference service providers charge based on a per-host basis or depending on the number of participants. On average, paid web meeting software costs between $12 to $55 for each user per month.
Free video conferencing software is also available but typically restricts features, such as the number of participants and maximum call length. Take advantage of free trials to ensure the online meeting software you choose meets your needs.
SECURITY Digital platforms are at risk of cybersecurity issues, such as stolen meeting links, meeting bombing, data breaches and malware attacks. Invest in cloud-based video conference software to prevent any potential vulnerabilities.
NUMBER OF PARTICIPANTSSome webconference services allow you to connect with at least 100 participants for free, while others require premium upgrades when connecting large numbers of users. Be sure to determine the number of participants joining your scheduled calls to save money and resources.
EASE OF USE Don’t let the confusing user interface of some video conferencing software hold you back from transitioning to a remote setup. Look for online meeting software that is user-friendly and has a simple user interface (UI) to make it easier for all your employees or students to adapt to your virtual setting.
MOBILE EXPERIENCE Approximately 61.5 percent of the world population utilizes mobile phones for communication, including video conferencing. Before upgrading your plans or committing to webconference software, try it out on all smart devices that your participants use. In doing so, you can ensure everyone in your group has a positive web conference experience.
ROOM SYSTEMS Depending on your needs, you can organize a conference room specifically for video conferencing. Select online meeting platforms that bring HD video and audio into your meeting room and allow seamless content sharing with a tap of a button.
SMART MEETINGS If your goal is to increase productivity, look for web meeting software with integrated artificial intelligence (AI). For instance, some virtual meeting software automatically takes notes and summarizes the minutes of the meeting and assigns action items to participants. These features are designed to keep attendees focused on the discussion instead of scrambling to take notes.
APP INTERGRATIONS Many online meeting platforms allow integrations with multiple applications, such as Google Calendar, Outlook and Microsoft PowerPoint. Consider which apps you typically use during virtual meetings when selecting webconference software to streamline your online discussions.
UPTIME A reliable video conferencing software seldom encounters technical issues, provides HD video and audio conferencing and guarantees uptime reliability.
RECORDING Video recording capabilities are useful for organizations that wish to review the minutes of the meeting or share the presentation with other viewers. Online archives are also helpful when hiring new employees or hosting introductory classes.
SCREEN SHARING This feature offers the best way to illustrate your point to other participants in the call. Screen sharing is useful if you want to show how a specific process is done, share a document that only you have access to and ensure your message is delivered clearly.
VIDEO FEEDS Best-in-class web conference software allows the host to broadcast online meetings or seminars to large groups of passive viewers.
CUSTOMER SUPPORT The last thing you want is to select a webconference service provider that doesn’t respond to your urgent concerns. Be sure to call the customer support beforehand to assess whether the features and package inclusions fit your needs and budget.
Best Video Conferencing Software for Your Purpose
Cisco WebEx Meetings
Video Conferencing Challenges and How to Address Them
Securing the best online meeting platforms does not automatically eliminate virtual communication barriers. As the demand for online meeting platforms increases, more people grapple with unavoidable challenges. These include:
• Time zone difference • Connection issues • Understanding non-verbal cues • Compatibility issues • Technical difficulties • System glitches • Low-quality video/audio • Security concerns • Among others
Thankfully, there are some basic system guidelines that you can follow to maintain high-quality audio and video during web conferences. Follow these tips for a seamless video conferencing experience:
Choose a web conferencing software that has strict security protocols
✔ Ensure your team members have access to a stable internet connection and the right equipment ✔ Launch demo sessions before rolling out new web conferencing solutions to your team ✔ Hold meetings in a noise-free environment with good lighting ✔ Set specific meeting schedules ✔ Build rapport with your virtual team