webmasterNovember 18, 2014November 18, 2014Your organization is holding a sales meeting, peer review or training seminar and as much as you would like everyone to be at the event, you realize some participants are going to have to attend virtually. Here are five online meeting tools to take a look at – each with their own strengths and weaknesses – that can help bring your team together and efficiently provide you a way to meet your goals. AnyMeeting This free, web conferencing application has many strong features and a few drawbacks. Its niche is in the small business meetings arena. Strengths Free app, but for a minimum monthly fee you can upgrade for more features Host up to 200 attendees in six virtual locations Screen sharing is available PowerPoint presentations can be uploaded and shared Weaknesses It has advertising on the screens There is no recording option for future distribution of the discussion No international support No file sharing on a real-time basis ooVoo This free video chat application is designed to tie in up to 12 individuals. Due to its informal standards, its niche fits well with Millennials who are used to social channels such as SnapChat. Strengths Free app, but for a minimum monthly fee you can upgrade for more features Cloud calling, so you can access the video feed from any device Screen sharing is available Calls can be recorded Weaknesses It has advertising on the screens Limited to 12 virtual users Can only view 4 users at a time Optimized for smartphone use, limited capabilities on other platforms Twiddla This fee based application is designed to bring 1-50 people into your brainstorming or mind mapping sessions. This app is best suited for teams that hold regular creative sessions where many of the members are remote. Strengths Can share images and documents Screen capture is available for note taking Unlimited online storage capacity Custom meeting URLs for invitations to remote users Weaknesses Can be pricy at $14-189 per month Limited to 50 virtual users Only effective if used often Probably works best in an all virtual environment Facebook Video Calling This free application is designed to bring in one other person into your meeting. Easy to use and no set up required, it just requires that the users be Facebook friends. Strengths Very easy to set up – all the remote user needs is a webcam and microphone This is a free app and integrated into your Facebook profile Call recording feature is available Instant messaging can occur during the video call Weaknesses The users must be on Facebook Limited to one remote attendee Optimized for desktop use Unwieldy and ineffective in a large meeting Vyew This application is no longer available; information presented for archival purposes only. This fee based application is designed to bring in 5-15 people into a meeting. This app is best suited for peer reviews, meetings and teaching or training sessions. Strengths Easy-to-use, no software to install Works on any platform Screen sharing available Tracks and logs all user activity Weaknesses Can be pricy at $10-30 per month Limited to 15 virtual users Only effective if used often Best in a small group setting In summary, assess the following when determining which meeting tool to use for virtual participants: How many virtual attendees will you have at your meeting? How many hybrid meetings do you plan on holding a year? Does your organization have the funding available for a more robust app? About Hartford Technology Rental Harford Technology Rental has the technology you require to help remote participants feel part of your meeting. If you need to rent a laptop, a large screen monitor rental and everything in between, We have it all! Give us a call at 888.520.5667 and speak to an experienced Account Executive about your virtual meeting needs.