In a world where business people communicate and collaborate primarily via the web, it's important to have the best tools available.
Ideally, a meeting platform should be dependable and cost-effective, while offering plenty of great features. At the same time, it should be easy for all collaborators to connect without joining difficulties and unexpected interruptions. So, which platforms offer the most bang for your buck? The following five offer impressive attributes for meetings, group collaborations and screen sharing.
MeetingBurner: With an easy-to-use interface and fast load times, MeetingBurner is one of the most popular free online meeting services. Good for screen sharing and hosting webinars, this meeting platform includes conference lines, Skype integration and one-click sharing and recording.
GoToMeeting: A desktop alternative to MeetingBurner, GoToMeeting is a nice platform for HD meetings and web conferences. You can choose from three different products: GoToTraining, GoToWebinar and GoToMeeting. Each offers voice conferencing abilities, desktop and application sharing, drawing tools, one-click recording and more. Meetings can be accessed from PC, Mac, iPhone, iPad or Android devices. While the service does come with a free 30-dial trial, the cost then increases to $49/month.
ClickMeeting: Rated the number one video conferencing tool by PC Magazine, ClickMeeting is versatile, robust product that's easy to use. It offers a lot of meeting controls for the host, along with several ways to improve the audio-visual experience. It's also quite affordable at only $30 per month.
WebEx: Cisco's WebEx offers unlimited online meetings with phone conferencing, high-quality videos and mobile access. Hosts can pack up to 25 people into a single meeting and view up to 6 webcams on-screen at a time. There are also a lot of great online collaboration tools, including annotations, note-taking and whiteboarding. WebEx comes with a generous free plan, along with upgrade options for reasonable monthly rates.
Join.Me: A popular videoconferencing pick for small businesses, Join.Me offers an intuitive, modern interface with lots of nice features to optimize your online meetings. The service displays up to 10 video streams at once and comes with a generous free plan and some scalable, cost-competitive options. On the other hand, it does not offer toll-free conferencing and the whiteboard feature is limited to iPads.
If you run a small enterprise with just a handful of workers, you may be able to get by with a free video chatting service. Skype, Facebook and Google+ Hangouts are all fine options for small business owners who haven't quite developed the need for feature-rich, subscription-style meeting platforms.