Virtual Meetings & Webinar Options For Small Businesses

Small business owners may be hesitant to hold virtual meetings and webinars, but the trend is starting to build up. It’s only a matter of time before companies start to leverage three-dimensional virtual platforms to provide greater value to business properties as well as clients and customers.

While you may think virtual conferencing doesn’t give you the same value that face-to-face engagement provides and can’t possibly replace in-person meetings, it’s still a wonderful tool to complement ongoing events and processes.

One of the virtual meeting and webinar tools that is being used by several entrepreneurs and small business owners is GoToMeeting. This tool offers an enterprise suite of features such as video conferencing in HD, desktop sharing and mobile apps to use the tool on the go. Anyone can join the meetings created through this tool by simply installing a small plug-in.

However, there are a lot of alternative ways to take advantage of three-dimensional virtual platforms at a lower cost than GoToMeeting (which, by the way, costs $49/month). Luckily, GoToMeeting doesn’t have a monopoly in the virtual meeting universe as it stands.

Alternatives to GoToMeeting

1. StartMeeting

SmartMeeting includes desktop conferencing, which allows you to connect with multiple businesses at once, screen sharing and other robust features that help create your virtual meeting/conference within minutes. The starting price is less than what GoToMeeting offers.

Screen sharing pricing starts at $19 per month and there’s also a 30-day free trial to test it out first. Up to 50 participants can join in this plan. The meetings can also be customized and can be saved to the cloud. StartMeeting’s audio plans and enhancements are scalable so you don’t have to pay a fixed amount upfront. It’s also compatible with Android and iOS.

2.  WebEx by Cisco

WebEx offers a comprehensive list of features. You’re also given a two-week’s trial that allows you to take the software for a run before you decide to spend cash. It also costs $49 per month, so how’s it better than GoToMeeting?

Well, GoToMeeting’s $49/month version allows you to host 15 people in a single meeting, a barrier you may want to avoid. WebEx on the other hand allows you to host 25 people in a single meeting for the same price. You also get the same core features offered by GoToMeeting.

3. Mikogo

Among the freebies of virtual conferencing available out there, Mikogo makes this list because of one reason, it actually allows you to bring in several attendees to the meeting (10 to be exact).

Most free web conferencing options only allow you to host one or two people, but Mikogo offers an honest 10 person option. You may be worried about upsells right? The good news is no hard upselling from Mikogo, and the company only asks you to check out its parent website.

4. Fuzemeeting

Fuzemeeting can be your pick if you’re looking for a tool that offers good quality along with decent features. The viewing quality is top-notch and stands side-by-side with GoToMeeting. Desktop sharing, webinars and the easy-to-use interface also contribute in making it an attractive option.

Perhaps the biggest advantage FuzeMeeting has over GoToMeeting is it’s $20 cheaper and allows you to host 25 people per meeting (gaining an edge over WebEx as well). If you still find it sub par for some reason, there’s a 30 day trial present to change your opinion.

5. DimDim

DimDim was acquired by Salesforce a couple of years ago. Since then, the tool has out-paced several old-school web-conferencing solutions out there. It allows you to share a computer screen, presentations and a whiteboard.

DimDim also has a free version that allows for 20 attendees per conference, winning over GoToMeeting in this regard. Customization of the live conference and providing users the ability to record meetings makes it a worthy mention. Paid options are also available if attendees grow large in number such as on year-end meetings.

You now have a wide gamut of options to choose from. Still confused? You can take free trial of the paid-web conferencing options and if you’re still not satisfied, there’s always a free service you can leverage.

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One Response to Virtual Meetings & Webinar Options For Small Businesses

  1. Allan Roger January 10, 2014 at 6:29 am #

    Another option is on premise RHUB web conferencing appliances for conducting online meetings.

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