Being able to do live webinars and meetings makes working from home and collaborating with the best and brightest around the world possible. Why not use the best solutions rather than those that are dated and do not support all users?
People in the corporate world often use GotoWebinar by default, not realizing that there are better options. There are two major drawbacks to GoToWebinar:
- Participants must download, install, and get software working.
- They do not support Linux which means a small percentage of very sharp folks can’t attend your Webinars or meetings.
Maybe GoToMeeting / GoToWebinar users installed it so long ago that they don’t recall that it had to be installed? Remember that every time your attendees change computers or replace their hard drive they will have to reinstall the software again.
Why use a solution that requires installation when there are
so many web-based alternatives with advanced features?
When choosing a solution, make sure it works for users on all operating systems and devices. Why eliminate any potential attendees? Even if they are a small percentage today, mobile devices will be a larger percentage over time.
Do your online meetings go like this?
There are much better solutions today, so don’t put up with that kind of call. Start by deciding whether you want to run meetings, web conferences, webinars or video conferences.
Difference Between a Meeting and a Webinar
Many solutions offer separate choices between meetings and webinars, but few understand what the differences are. Meetings are primarily used for collaboration while webinars are better for presentations.
- Default right to speak
- One or more presenters
- Attendees default to listen-only mode
Web Conferencing vs Video Conferencing
Web Conferencing is sharing data to a group while video conferencing is intended to simulate an “in person” meeting where you can see the other participants.
Must-Have Web Conferencing Features
While there are many web conferencing solutions, they do not all have the same features. One of the more impressive offerings is ClickMeeting from Implix (best known for their GetResponse email and landing page creation solutions).
The features they list make a good shopping list for comparison:
- Web based and not operating system or browser specific
- Works on iPhone, Android, Blackberry and other mobile devices
- Easy to customize logo, color and graphics – brand your conference to look like your site
- Built-in whiteboard
- Screen share with a single click
- Moderated Q&A and private chat
- Simultaneous translation into 52 languages
While they do not have a free version, their paid versions are very competitive and they do offer a 30 day free trial. I don’t recall seeing any other web conferencing solutions with all of these features. In particular, whiteboards and translation services are less likely with other offerings and many may not support mobile devices well.
Why Not Use Free Solutions Like Google Hangouts?
While you can do presentations using Google Hangouts, features are more limited without add-ons and Google Hangouts-on-Air are still rather buggy. If you have a business you are serious about it is better to use a solution you can rebrand.
Google Hangouts can be useful for practicing how you sound and look on camera. Record yourself and play it back. Pay attention to what is in the background and your mannerisms.
Avoid moving too much as the constant refocusing of the camera makes that particularly annoying for those watching. Here are some tips to make your web conferences more successful: