Meeting virtually - focusing in on videoconferencing

You’re on mute! This may be one of the most common sentences heard during 2020 and it’s still prevalent today. As we make our way down the road out of lockdown, everyone is looking forward to a resumption of more standard working practices, including face to face meetings and the ability to be a bit more sociable again. For many businesses and their employees, though, working from home will remain the norm for some time to come. Our executive chair, Tim Ryan, explores options...

Videoconferencing seems to have come a long way in the last 12 months. Whether that’s due to new features that have been developed to help us all to chart the new challenges of business, or whether that’s because we’ve all become more used to using them. There are many to choose from, though, and finding the right one for your business needs, and your personal preferences, is easier said than done.

Having reviewed platforms for the very first virtual UNA Alliance conference, that took place in November 2020, as well as for team meetings, one-to-ones with staff, customers and suppliers, and for recruiting new people too, I’ve noted down some key features for four of the best:


GoToMeeting – mobile friendly at a reasonable price

GoToMeeting offers audio and video conferencing, plus screen sharing, and as a part of the LogMeIn portfolio, it also offers a webinar option. This relatively cost friendly app is easy to use on your laptop or desktop, and it’s also very mobile friendly, which is handy if you need to meet with someone while you’re on the move or, indeed, if you’d like to move around while you meet. Most features are available in the standard package, which provides for up to 150 people to meet at the same time.

 Microsoft Teams – value for money as part of Microsoft 365

For a joined up approach that enables you to connect your teams with calendars, file sharing and audio and video conferencing, as well as webinars, Teams is ideal for businesses already using Microsoft 365. And, for guests invited from outside the organisation, no app is needed to take part in meetings. 

Microsoft Teams also offers all the features you’d expect from a leading videoconferencing platform, including screen sharing and call recording, chat and background blurring, and it’s easy to use via a mobile app for meetings on the go, too.

Google Meet – cost effective and great with Google Workspace integration

Google Meet, previously called Google Hangouts Meet, is part of the Google Workspace office productivity platform, so it’s connected to other Google apps, such as Google Calendar, and has been developed specifically for business needs.

For guests invited to your meetings there is a web app, meaning no software needs to be downloaded to join. It also provides a dedicated dial-in number, which means that people on the go can join and ensures a good quality connection.

Zoom Meetings – affordable and intuitive to use

Zoom Meetings is quick and easy to set up and offers video conferencing and messaging with a wide range of scalable features. As well as high definition video and audio and screen sharing, Zoom Meetings can be recorded and saved locally or to the cloud, along with transcripts that include searchable text.

Perhaps best of all, the free tier of Zoom Meetings includes many features, with the ability to host a meeting for up to 100 participants and for up to 40 minutes. For longer meetings, a licence for business use is needed.


Bringing your team together

Of course, the platform you choose and the features you need will be individual to your business, and there are many other videoconferencing solutions to choose from as well. While chairing a meeting via video is certainly not my preference, it is far preferable to not seeing your teams at all. Staying in touch is not only vital for business, it’s important for the mental wellbeing of your people, too. It’s suggested that social connectedness can help people to build a stronger immune system, improved memory and cognitive skills and lower stress levels, all helping to keep your workforce productive, too. See you online soon!