Businesses have been moving steadily towards teleworking arrangements for the last ten years. According to Global Workplace Analytics, more than 3 million Americans considered home to be their main base of work operations last year. Robust online meeting tools have become an essential part of this developing work culture, especially since they connect professionals from all over the globe together to do efficient business. If you’re interested in expanding the scope of your operations remotely, our list of online meeting tools provides a place to start looking. Some of these products offer more thorough services, for a fee, while others are free with only basic features.
Online Meeting Tools
- anymeeting.com – Supported primarily by advertisements, AnyMeeting offers features like ticket sales to webinars, registration forms, and promotional tools. Most features require a subscription for a Pro account, which costs at least $18 per month. Each subscription only allows for a single host, so organizations with multiple presenters should consider one of AnyMeeting’s company plans, which provide multiple Pro accounts. Free meetings display advertisements, which may associate a business with organizations outside of its scope.
- facebook.com/videocalling – Primarily useful for one-on-one meetings with clients, Facebook Video Calling is free and can help small businesses keep costs down. It has few features beyond the ability to leave a video message, however, making it a weak choice for a more complex meeting, or meetings with large groups. The need to be Facebook friends with the other user can also present some logistical issues in using Facebook Video Calling for sales or other business efforts.
- fuzemeeting.com – With features like unlimited calls, cloud storage, and screen sharing available in its free version, and with even more features available for $20 per month, Fuze offers strong options for contractors, small companies, and large organizations interested in meeting online. Those who want to make extensive use of its audio features should consider paying for the product, as its unlimited free toll-audio only lasts 60 days in the free product.
- google.com/tools/dlpage/res/talkvideo/hangouts/ – Another free option for online meetings, Google Hangouts works with a variety of computers and mobile devices and supports as many as 10 people at a time. The low maximum number of supported users, however, means those who want to hold video conferences with large numbers of people, or deliver presentations remotely, should consider using a different service.
- gotomeeting.com – With both voice over IP and phone audio options, GoToMeeting offers highly accessible audio and video conference options for business and personal use. The free version is very limited compared to some other free offerings, making it useful for small businesses and sales calls but weak for presentations and larger meetings.
- huddle.com – With robust features like file sharing, customization options, and branding opportunities, Huddle provides great ways to ensure efficient collaboration and promote a sense of organizational community among meeting attendees. Nonprofit groups should take note of Huddle, as groups which meet certain criteria can receive donated Huddle packages for up to 25 users, and can purchase the service at a discounted rate.
- join.me – join.me offers simple, easy-to-use interfaces and a simple invitation-based access method. Those interested in the professional version receive benefits like unlimited audio, the ability to change presenters during a meeting, and recording features. As a result, join.me is great for companies that regularly hold presentations with multiple presenters. The interface makes it a good choice for teams and organizations with little technical savvy. The professional version also offers a large maximum presentation size, at 250, making it serviceable as a webinar software.
- meetin.gs – Unlike many of the other offers here, Meetin.gs focuses on scheduling meetings as well as carrying them out. These features are placed front and center, and can help those who prefer to keep their scheduling tools and communication tools together. Meetin.gs offers tools for both short-term, large-scale events and smaller sales and marketing calls, and integrates with other tools such as Lync, Salesforce, and Skype. Those hosting large events online can use features such as matchmaking registration to expedite the process.
- meetingburner.com – Those who need to schedule for truly massive numbers of attendees should look into MeetingBurner. Its Premier package, priced at $99.95 per month, allows as many as a thousand attendees to connect to a given meeting. Features such as recording, voice over IP, and meeting analytics require a paid subscription. Paid subscriptions also provide phone support, so those who expect their teams to need extensive assistance will want to consider paying. Those who want to try the interface and the program’s basic tools can host a meeting with up to 10 people for free.
- micromobs.com – Micromobs, rather than offering conventional voice or video services, primarily organizes meetings and chats conducted through email. Users can forward a lengthy email chain to Micromobs, which will turn it into its own proprietary format and invite the participants. Micromobs is a great free tool for those who often conduct long discussions with many short messages and many participants over email. It can also help those who find their inboxes routinely cluttered with long email chains, as it separates those from shorter, more direct email exchanges.
- mikogo.com – While many meeting software tools require browser plugins such as Flash, or a proprietary application, Mikogo offers browser-based meeting tools without downloads. Commercial use of Mikogo costs $13 per month, with more robust options available for up to $78 per month. Its most popular plan, which offers unlimited hosts and 25 participants per session, costs $39 per month.
- showdocument.com – While most of the other collaboration tools offered here primarily help with presentations or conferences, ShowDocument is best suited to direct cooperation. Its unique tools include an online whiteboard, document sharing, and the ability to co-edit documents, enabling users to support each other in a variety of work functions. Organizations which prefer Google Chrome for Web browsing can also use the ShowDocument Chrome Web Store app for improved compatibility within Google Chrome. ShowDocument makes a great supplement when conducting a meeting over the phone, but can’t replace telephone calls or Skype sessions on its own.
- skype.com – An instant messaging, video, and audio calling client, Skype has a variety of features that make it a particularly good choice for productivity. Its 25-person conference calls online are a great choice for high-quality audio conversations in small groups, and those who need to distribute handouts or spreadsheets remotely can use its file transfer features. Presentations, however, should be carried out with another client, as Skype will often automatically boost the microphone volume of quiet participants. The base client is free, though many productivity features require payments.
- teamviewer.com – What distinguishes TeamViewer in both its free and paid forms from many other pieces of online meeting software is its remote desktop access. Users can, with permission, access the computers of other participants in the meeting, making it a strong choice for those who need to demonstrate new technology for team members or employees. Rather than charging a monthly fee or fee per user, TeamViewer asks for a one-time payment of $749, $1499, or $2839 for organizational use.
- twiddla.com – With simple features such as an online whiteboard and basic voice chat, Twiddla works great for sketching out concepts as part of a brainstorming session. More robust versions are available starting at $14 per month. Users can collaborate with other users regardless of the level of account they have for themselves, so those interested in using Twiddla for sales meetings online can connect with clients who only have free accounts. For large organizations, Twiddla offers 24 hour technical support and a service-level agreement.
- vyew.com – Supported by advertising in its free form, Vyew can help small businesses and startups stretch their budgets while still providing strong online meeting options. Vyew also offers continuous, always-on discussion rooms, enabling users to comment at any time. All functions can be accessed by both free and paid users, differing only in advertising content. Those who like Vyew but want to avoid advertisements can pay as low as $10 per month to remove ads.
- webex.com – A meeting tool that can integrate with Outlook for scheduling and easy conference population, WebEx makes it easy for users to access a meeting with no dial-in or passcode requirements. Large, multifaceted presentations benefit from WebEx’s seven simultaneous video feeds. Accounts are free, but most features require a Premium account, which starts at $24 per month, or $19 per month if paid annually. Those who regularly coordinate training or educational meetings should look into WebEx Training Center, which adds functions such as enrollment tracking and grading tools.
- yugma.com – With Skype integration and single application sharing, Yugma is a great choice for demonstrating new software to clients or employees. The high amount of control available in Yugma’s screen saving features can help users minimize distractions in a presentation. Those interested in hosting webinars should pay close attention to Yugma, as it has a unique webinar package that can be added to any paid level of service except its A15 package, which offers features like registration, tracking, and attendance-taking.
- apple.com/mac/facetime/ – A good choice for organizations which only use Apple devices, FaceTime for Mac is ideal for one-on-one face-to-face meetings. Keeping in touch with a remote sales team member with FaceTime is simple and straightforward, and its low cost per user, at only $0.99, makes it an economical choice for freelancers and small businesses. Making sales calls with FaceTime may prove difficult, however, as it requires the other user to also have the program.
- bluejeans.com – Offering a wide range of video conference solutions for different situations such as interviews, group meetings, and interdepartmental meetings, Blue Jeans sets a high standard for quality. This quality comes at a price, however, and plans with the company cost as much as $10 per meeting-hosting user per month. Its cloud services, however, scale appropriately to the size of any organization, making it an adaptable, easy-to-use platform that can be deployed rapidly. Users also receive comprehensive phone, email, and chat support.
- Info.vidyo.com – Vidyo has been adopted for a variety of purposes and applications, including hospital work, banking, and education, proving its adaptability in the field of connecting people visually. It accomplishes this by offering numerous products for specific applications, however, so those interested in adopting Vidyo products should perform extensive research on which programs are most applicable to their situations.
- meetings.io – One of the less common features offered by Meetings.io is its profile page, which allows users to present some basic information about themselves and more efficiently coordinate small meetings. Its other features include easy video sharing and an uncluttered interface, so even those with minimal technological experience can use the client easily. Signing up for Meetings.io is free, and those who do not want to create a new account can connect their Facebook account to the site. Some features common in paid clients, such as file sharing, are absent or in the testing stages.
- Zoom.us – With features like dual-streaming and joining via telephone call-in, Zoom can help both high-tech and low-tech firms meet and share ideas. Those who expect to make long presentations regularly will have to pay for Zoom due to its 40 minute cap on meeting duration for free users. Organizations distributed over large geographic areas should consider one of the paid programs, as features such as joining via toll-free dialing require an expenditure of at least $10 per host per month.
- Faceflow.com – A totally free service, FaceFlow works best for one-on-one sales calls due to its low maximum number of users and ease of access for those who haven’t used it before. While most of the other services described here allow for at least ten users at a time, with some in the hundreds or thousands, FaceFlow caps out at four. Ease of implementation, however, puts it ahead of many of its competitors, as it requires no download and can be put to use immediately.
- goober.com – Great for users on the move, Goober’s ChatCube service is a one-app tool for audio, video, and instant messaging. Its push notifications and offline message delivery make it a strong choice for those who do not keep the same hours as other members of their organizations, or those who travel often. It also provides voice over IP functionality, though this part of the ChatCube program costs money.
- meet.fm – Meet.fm offers plans for organizations big and small, with unlimited meeting minutes and expansive cloud storage in any plan. All plans require a financial commitment ranging from $9.95 per month to $59 per month, however, and the trial version only lasts 14 days. Organizations which conduct business predominantly online should consider contacting the company and discussing its custom plan program, which affords businesses greater control over the service.
- Tinychat.com – A simple group video chat service offered through browsers and its app, Tinychat lets many users broadcast and watch in a given channel. While easy to use, free, and readily accessible to those who do not have accounts, Tinychat has an informal atmosphere and a large teen community, so organizations worried about brand image should carefully consider whether to use Tinychat before doing so. Its relatively minimal number of features leaves it suited almost exclusively to conference calls or simple presentations.
- Vsee.com – While Vsee offers some general features for enterprise clients, such as file transfers, instant messaging, and screen sharing, as part of its enterprise video chat system, the system truly shines for health organizations. Features such as security meeting HIPAA standards, patient waiting queues, and mobile notifications upon patient room entry make its OneClick Waiting Room service one of the strongest available for medical professionals, though also quite expensive. Those interested in even more advanced features and enterprise deployment assistance must contact the company’s sales department.
- Oovoo.com – With its mix of user-friendliness and power, ooVoo is a good choice for those just starting to harness the power of online conference calls and meetings. In addition to its voice over IP and phone services, ooVoo lets users record video calls, upload chats to YouTube for those who could not attend, and share screens. Removing advertisements from the program and receiving priority support costs $2.99 per user per month, or $29.99 per year. It also integrates with Facebook and has an online client, making it easy to use for sales calls.
What’s your number 30?
Has this list helped you find the ideal productivity-improving tool for your business? Is there a valuable 30th online meeting tool that we completely missed? Let us know what you think in the comments. If you’re looking for other ways to extend the reach and power of your sales team, consider reading about our sales tricks that can improve your productivity and help you escape sales slumps.