Meetings in a company are inevitable; they sustain continued business. But with company operations and offices spread over wide geographical areas -some even global- it can be a challenge to conduct meetings.
Traveling for a meeting is always an option -and it has been done before- but the cost of travel is high, and the ROI is hardly ever justifiable given the length and/or output of the meeting. In addition, as the world grapples with how to do business in the era of covid19, online meeting tools are useful now more than ever. Travel is not an option for anyone and even when travel resumes, having the option to hold online meetings while saving costs will still remain a preferable option.
In this article, we will explore online meeting tools that make having business meetings easier, cost-effective, collaborative, and productive.
Top 10 platforms for hosting online meetings
ClickMeeting is a reliable meeting platform that comes loaded with many useful features. It’s ideal for video conferencing, hosting webinars, online conferences and holding online meetings.
It’s easy to use, making it ideal for anyone with little to no technical skills. Click meeting runs online, so you do not need to download or install anything.
- Host online conferences with thousands of attendees and multiple presenters
- It works straight from your browser
- Customize with your logo and colors to suit your business or event
- Stream live on FaceBook and Youtube and reach new audiences through those channels
- During Q&A sessions, use “question mode” to control your audience
- Translation feature allows attendees speaking a different language to participate
- You can share your screen
- Recording feature is available, making it ideal for record purposes and future analysis
- A call-to-action feature, to increase productivity
- Record up to 10 hours of meetings
Free: for 30 days
Enterprise: Contact for more details
Skype has been around for a long time. It is online meetings platform that is trusted by brands and individuals alike for its reliability and security (thanks to the Microsoft brand name). Though skype is great for chat, its video conferencing capability is its most hyped feature.
Most people use the free version of skype, but paid options are available for meetings hosting 50 or more participants.
You need to download and install Skype on your computer, although the process is quite easy to follow. After installation, you can sync Skype to your address book, making it easy to access and call your contacts in one step.
The search feature allows you to find and invite anyone who is not in your contacts, to connect witty you.
- Free for up to 50 people
- You can chat, group chat, call or video
- File sharing enables collaboration
- It has versions for web and mobile
- Skype has subtitles feature
- You can call phone numbers from skype
Despite its popularity, Skype is a bit of a heavy app and may sometimes have unclear output on calls having many users.
Free for up to 50 participants. Otherwise, contact for more details
BlueJeans is an online meeting and video conferencing app trusted by enterprise brands like Facebook, LinkedIn, Zillow, among others. BlueJeans was acquired by Verizon in April 2020, a move that will see the app leverage Verizon’s 5G technology for better video conferencing.
Its analytics, live meeting controls, minute-taking and enterprise-level security are some of the features that make BlueJeans an enterprise meeting tool of choice for most.
Other features include:
- One-touch-access allows users to join from their browser or device
- It is integrable with more than 30 apps
- Confiture to suit many meeting room systems
- Make phone calls for free to more than 40 countries
- Customize to suit your brand
- Record meetings and save to the cloud
As with most enterprise-grade apps that host many users, video and audio quality may be unclear when using BlueJeans. However, the acquisition by Verizon may just fix this issue.
Enterprise: contact for pricing
4. Aira by Eduba
Aira is an online meetings platform that offers quite a number of interesting features that make it unique. These include:
- Its Voice AI feature automatically records meetings. The AI continuously upgrades, enhancing performance and productivity
- Recordings are available as transcriptions. Therefore, you don’t have to miss out on meeting discussions or take minutes later on
- Aira will attend multiple meetings for you, allowing you to still keep up with your busy schedule without missing out on important meeting details
- Aira uses Zapier to integrate with your CRM
- The analytics feature allows you to suggest ways to optimize future meetings and improve performance
To use Aira for online meetings, you can sign up for a free trial.
Available during the demo.
5. Blizz by TeamViewer
The Blizz Collaboration Companion™ is a video, voice and instant messaging application created by TeamViewer.
TeamViewer specializes in providing remote support through cloud-based technologies to businesses around the world. Boasting installations on more than 2 billion devices, TeamViewer’s popularity as a collaboration tool is unquestionable. Blizz leverages some of TeamViewer’s features, allowing screen sharing and remote access to all your essential meeting and communication tools.
- Blizz is free for up to 5 participants but has the capacity to support up to 300 people on one call.
- It supports sharing on multiple 4K screens
- Records calls and store in the cloud
- It’s a secure application that uses 256-bit end-to-end encryption
- Message indexing for easier tracking of conversations and ideas
One downside with Blizz is that it doesn’t support whiteboarding, which limits interactive use of shared documents during video conferencing.
Pricing (billed annually):
- Free: for 5 users
- Core: 6€ / Month
- Crew: 14/€month
6. Microsoft Teams
Microsoft teams is an ideal online meeting tool for large businesses, as it supports as many as 10,000 participants on one call. Microsoft teams support chat, call, video and file sharing on iOS, Windows, Android and web, all while ensuring the privacy and security of participants.
- Navigating within Microsoft team is easy; with just one click, you can for instance navigate from group chatting to video.
- File sharing on Microsoft teams makes team collaboration easy even when traveling or away from your workstation, as you can access and edit relevant files through TeamViewer.
- Powerful search,
- Live training online
- Task management
Although Microsoft Teams has great features, it does not do audio calls, nor does it integrate with third-party software.
Pricing (annual commitment):
- Microsoft Teams (free): free
- Microsoft 365 Business Basic: USD$5.00/ user/month
- Microsoft 365 Business Standard: USD$12.50/ user/month
- Office 365 E3: USD$20.00 user/month
7. Google Meet
Google Meet is a free service that started off as a secure meeting service for businesses. It is now open to everyone. Google Meet integrate with Gmail, google drive, docs and google calendar, letting you manage your video calls straight from your communication resources.
- Live streaming on google meet supports up to 100,000 participants.
- In addition to enjoying Google’s security feature, GoogleMeet benefits from extensive AI research by google, giving the app powerful abilities like adjusting to environmental noise, so that calls remain clear even in noisy environments.
- GoogleMeet can adjust Performance to suit different network speeds. This ensures high quality calls in spite of network strength.
- You don’t need to download googlemeet.
- G Suite integration allows participants to join calls without internet
GoogleMeet is reasonably priced, making it ideal for a small budget
GoToMeeting is an online meeting tool through which users can host or join audio or video meetings from anywhere. It works on MacOS, Windows OS and mobile.
GoToMeeting has a high price tag, making it suitable for enterprises or businesses that can meet the budget.
- The GoToRoom kit allows you to turn your meeting room into a collaborative space.
- GoToMeeting helps you to fully leverage your video conferencing hardware
- Integrate with third-party apps like google calendar, salesforce, or Office 365.
- Use Siri voice commands
- Enjoy unlimited meeting time with screen sharing and HD video
- Get MP4 recordings of your meetings
- Enjoy end to end security feature
Business: $19/organizer /month
Enterprise: Call for details
Zoom only went public in 2019 and has in a very short time soared in popularity as online meetings and conferencing tool.
- Zoom offers free 40-minute calls for up to 100 participants
- It is intuitive and easy to use
- You can hold video calls, voice and chat
- You can share files and make presentations on zoom.
- Video and audio quality on zoom is good even on slow connections
- Supports dual screen sharing and HD video
One downside of zoom, according to the intercept, is that it does not offer end to end security encryption.
Basic personal meeting: Free
Business: $19.99 /mo/host
Enterprise: $19.99 /mo/host
EverWebinar is a reliable and fast online meeting platform that allows you to set up calls and webinars in as little as 3 minutes. it’s a great tool not just for meetings but also for offering live training and webinars.
EverWebinar can automate your trainings, all while giving your audience flexible scheduling options for specific dates, managing recurring events and managing time zones.
Other EverWebinar features include:
- Manage all your chats, videos and statistics in one compact screen
- Access all your communication and analytics safely and securely
- Download previous chat history
- Send notifications by email or sms
EverWebinar however requires a bit of time to learn the features but when you do, the ROI will be worth it. The testimonials on the app’s webpage bear this out.
Installment plan: 3x$199/year
Annual plan: $499/year
Biennial plan: $799/2 years
That’s it for now.
There are many factors to consider when choosing the right software. But this list of 10, feature-rich online meetings apps has something for everyone, and should make doing business in 2020 and beyond a lot easier.