Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, a growing number of businesses had already embraced remote work and conducted online meetings with participants in different geographic locations. Today, nearly every company that could switch to working from home has done so, and groups that once met in person are now logging in to virtual meeting rooms for their everyday business conversations. Even one-on-one calls are being held over video conferencing software to replicate that face-to-face interaction people are missing in the age of social distancing.
While the majority of the business world has adopted Zoom as their preferred video conferencing platform, there are countless other choices for businesses that need to conduct online meetings. If you’re not familiar with the different tools out there, though, it can be challenging to determine which fits your company best.
To help you explore your options, we asked members of Young Entrepreneur Council which online meeting software they recommend and what sets it apart from the others. Try out some of their recommendations to find your new favorite meeting platform.
“We’ve been using Zoom for our remote team meetings, both as a solution for large group presentations and discussions. What really helps us maximize our meeting time is the breakout room feature, where the meeting leader can create mini discussion rooms for a portion of the session, then call everyone back into the main meeting to share their insights and feedback.” – Nathalie Lussier, AccessAlly
“Zoom works perfectly for conference calls. They have a ‘waiting room’ for people waiting to join the call if you would like to go over a few things with your business partner before your employees join the call. You can set different backgrounds as well if your room is disorganized or if you would like to leave something to the imagination.” – Patrick Barnhill, Specialist ID Inc.
“Zoom is amazing for online meetings, as it has chat, recording capabilities, gallery view so you can see everyone and even a ‘hand-raising’ feature so as to not disrupt the flow of conversation. We depend on it!” – Rachel Beider, PRESS Modern Massage
“I recommend and personally use Zoom because of its ease of use. You do not have to be tech savvy to use Zoom, and in my view, more important than any bell or whistle is a product’s simplicity and intuitiveness. When something is too complicated or intimidating, it scares off potential users.” – Adam Mendler, The Veloz Group
“BlueJeans is a truly simple way to create and access companywide video calls. With a single click, you can add a meeting to your corporate calendar that has all the information already embedded into the invite. The security is solid, and the integration with other business platforms such as Slack is straightforward.” – Jared Weitz, United Capital Source Inc.
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3. Microsoft Teams
“Microsoft Teams offers some unique and new features. Unlike some other tools, it lets you host audio, video and web conferences with almost anyone in the world. And unlike other software, there’s no limit for the number of people who can join in a call. So it’s easy to use, share files, and chat with your team safely and securely.” – Vikas Agrawal, Infobrandz
“Facebook is launching a 50-person video conferencing feature that might incorporate some interesting new tech, such as an AI-enabled virtual background. As competition heats up in this space, the offerings of all video conferencing providers should improve. While Facebook might end up better suited for groups of people you know, it doesn’t hurt to try it once.” – Andy Karuza, FenSens
5. Google Hangouts
“Google Hangouts has stood apart because it has responded well to the communication demands of COVID-19. For example, Google Hangouts Meet allows you to host large meetings for free, and it is very versatile for iOS or Android. Google has a speech-to-text feature that allows real-time captioning, which is great for people who are hearing-impaired. It also lets you use a wide range of emojis.” – Shu Saito, All Filters
“Join.me is definitely a great option to test if you’re looking for a meeting software for you and your team. It allows you to have custom URLs [and] share your screen within seconds, and it also has an integration with Slack, another excellent tool for business owners.” – Kevin Leyes, Leyes Media & Team Leyes by Leyes Enterprises
“I, like most of the world, use Zoom for group calls, but I use Skype for one-on-one calls with screen sharing. For my clients, I subscribe to additional services on Skype. Recent security risks are part of the reason to use Skype. Skype has been around longer than Zoom, and the functionality and security of their video calls are better for me.” – Matthew Capala, Alphametic
“GoToMeeting allows you to organize and attend online meetings, video conference calls and online training. It also enables chat and messaging and real-time collaboration (e.g., cooperative writing and synchronous editing). What really makes it stand out is its dozens of features that take meetings to a whole new level, like tools to turn meetings into fully interactive visual experiences.” – Blair Thomas, eMerchantBroker
9. Online Video Call
“I love websites like OnlineVideoCall.com. They are simplicity itself. They do exactly one thing, and they do it well. No registration, no unnecessary stuff – just the one thing you need. You can do one-on-one or group video chats by sending each other a link. That’s all, and it works splendidly. It’s similar to Remove.bg, where you remove the background of a picture easily.” – Joey Bertschler, bitgrit
“There are a lot of great meeting software out there, such as Zoom, Google Meet and Join.me. But most teams are already communicating in Slack and don’t realize that Slack has a great video call feature where you can do just about all the same things – like video, screen share, etc. – that you would do on these other meeting products.” – Dave Nevogt, Hubstaff
11. The tool that’s currently trending
“Raise your hand if you enjoy downloading software just to join a meeting. Nearly every meeting I attend seems to be Zoom today. Every platform will improve its security, bandwidth and library of integrations. Google Meet knows this, and I wouldn’t be surprised to switch next year. Keep things simple and go with what’s trending. It’ll be whatever is easy and simply works.” – Ryan Meghdies, Tastic Marketing Inc.
[For more information on the leading platforms and which one might be right for your business, check out our reviews of the best video conferencing software.]