After the initial fumbled attempts at swapping face-to-face meetings with video calls, the world has largely settled into its new routine.
Video conferencing apps have experienced stupefying jumps in downloads in recent months. They were downloaded 62 million times between March 12–21 this year.
For many of us, daily life now revolves around a screen, from working to socializing. The use of audio-video conferencing is now less an option and more a necessity. Such tools are, furthermore, likely to remain an established part of business communications long after a vaccine for the novel coronavirus is found.
We are all familiar with video conferencing etiquette by now (you are wearing your pants, right?) – but what about the actual conferencing tools?
Video conferencing can be used on numerous platforms, including laptops and smartphones, which means you can host meetings with your employees, partners, and clients any time, anywhere.
Your company will not be able to retain its competitive edge without the flexibility that comes with using video conferencing. Getting into it, however, means choosing the best video conferencing solution for your company. Which platform suits your requirements? Which tools will enable you to have the smoothest and most productive meetings?
With that, let's dive in to the body of our article.
The number of participants:
How many people will typically participate in your video conferences? If it's only a handful, with some tools you can connect with them for free. Other specialized tools connect numerous users – on Zoom, for instance, you can host up to 500. There are myriad tools available, so having a good idea about what you need before you start searching can save you much time and effort.
Trying to hold a video meeting without screen sharing is like trying to fish without bait: you will not get far. Like in face-to-face meetings, often you need to show a document or presentation, or demonstrate how to do something. Screen sharing avoids the chaos of trying to explain something without a visual.
Ease of use:
Here we come to one of the basic tenets of any design: user interface. A poor one will cause snarls in your business and affect your productivity. You don't want to spend ten minutes at the beginning of the meeting making sure everyone can hear you. Make sure your tool is easy to use.
Many video conferencing services limit the number of video streams, despite technically being able to host hundreds of participants at a time. Not all of them, however, choose this model. Finding out if or how a service limits streams is a wise decision. While you're at it, find out if they stream in HD, if you think that will serve your company well.
Audio and video recording:
If you use MOMs, you know the value of saving the highlights of a meeting. Audio and video recording takes this a step further and allows you to replay meetings for future reference or for people who may have missed the meeting. Check if your conferencing tool includes recordings and if it limits the storage space.
Conferencing from mobile:
Connecting remotely is far easier if people can use mobile devices, especially since so many people use them. In 2019, 53% of web traffic globally came from mobile users. Jumping onto this bandwagon is a good idea across the board.
If you're prepared to loosen your purse strings a little, some high-end services offer different "rooms" according to the type of meeting you are having. Are you giving a lecture or presentation? Hosting a Q&A session in which everybody is to offer feedback? You can pick the tool that suits your needs.
If you require it, you can set up a conference room that is used specifically for video conferencing. For this, you will need to see if your tool can integrate with your conferencing setup.
Whoever is providing your tool should ideally also give you excellent customer service. If something glitches, you will want a tech support line that offers swift and efficient service.
Several video conferencing tools let you integrate third-party apps like PowerPoint. This in turn allows you to import documents and presentations.
Check if the service you are eyeing offers a free trial. With the range of tools available, jumping in blind is unnecessary.
Choosing a video conferencing tool shouldn't be a hassle.
BluEnt offers web-based video conferencing solutions that are user-friendly, efficient, and ideal for businesses of all sizes. We make conferencing a breeze and help you grow your company via clear communication. Maximizing performance while minimizing IT costs forms the bedrock of our services.
Maximum Value. Achieved.