Technology has come a long way in improving the way things are done. Communication, for instance, has never been easier, faster, and more convenient than it is right now. People can improve communication beyond different geographical locations, and better yet, defying different time zones. That said, what is the role of technology in a virtual meeting?
Virtual meeting technology
Virtual meeting technology allows for people from different places geographically to communicate and hold a meeting without having to be in one space physically. This is usually made possible through technology, usually online, in such a way that people use either video, audio, or text to communicate amongst themselves. The most important thing about virtual meeting technology is that it provides a way for people to communicate in real-time.
Usually, different people are involved in the virtual meeting process for the communication to be made possible. For one, someone has to schedule for a meeting and invite all the necessary parties beforehand. Other than that, each of the parties to participate in the virtual meeting must have the application or software with which the meeting should happen. For example, if people are to use Skype to video conference, then all the parties involved in the meeting must have Skype. Here is a look at the different types of virtual meetings there are:
Types of virtual meetings
i. Audio or teleconferencing
Audio virtual meetings are those that require speech only, and not so much visual communication. It is a common kind of virtual meeting, usually made over the phone. While most people may know of a phone call to a person in a long-distance, a virtual audio meeting can involve more than two parties at one go.
The one easy way to do it is to capitalize on the features of the phone, which is using the speakers. By putting the call on a loudspeaker, different users can participate in a meeting via a single phone call. However, as you would have it, audio-only virtual meeting are limiting. Without visual communication, it is hard to keep up with non-verbal cues and visual presentations. It is why these kinds of meetings are held for short delegations instead of long ones.
A virtual meeting on the web is based on the Internet. The relevant parties have to be connected to the internet, and not only that, communicate through a shared web platform. Ideally, they connect through a website, and rely on their individual computers to access information, and not only that but to communicate as well. The users use the microphone systems and the computer speakers of their computers to get the word out to their peers. Webcams and digital video cameras are also a function of this kind of virtual meeting for visual communication.
iii. Instant messaging
Instant messaging is also another way that people can hold virtual meetings. The technique combines with social networking among different people, and is best suited for sharing short pieces of MSN Messenger, Facebook chat, WhatsApp and even email, are all ways to get on with instant messaging.
iv. Video conferencing
Video conferencing involves two-way video transmission between different parties, which covers both audio and visual elements of communication. For this one, the users need a virtual meeting platform from which they rely on video input and video output feature for real-time communication. The virtual platform they use is what allows the users to share ideas in real-time, with interactive audio and visual communication from both ends.
Best virtual meeting platforms
i. ezTalks Cloud Meeting
ezTalks Cloud Meeting is a virtual meeting software that allows for video conferencing, with both video and audio features built for quality. This virtual platform has a video webinar feature that makes it possible for multiple users to communicate with ease. This platform allows users to access the services at a premium cost, starting from $12.99 per host, every month.
Join.me is yet another resourceful platform that offers its services on all types of devices, whether computers, smartphones, or tablets. The freemium software allows up to 10 users, who can view a screen simultaneously. For premium services of unlimited audio aptitudes, you need to part with $20 every month.
GoToMeeting is third in the list of best virtual meeting software, and rightfully so because it offers customization. Ideally, users can join the video conference meeting through the company page of the host. The service is very resourceful and better than most software as it allows communication between up to 1000 people at one go. More to it, the platform lets users record online meeting sessions, and comes at a fee of $99 per month for 100 users and $499 for 1000.
iv. Zoho meeting
Zoho Meeting is known for its screen sharing and online presentation tool that makes video conferencing possible. The free version of this software allows a meeting for only one person, that is, one host and one participant. However, you can do so much more with the premium version of this software, at a cost ranging from $12 to $980, and flexibility of up to 20 hosts and 100 users.