Our Top-5 Virtual Conferencing Tools

One of the best ways to stay connected with customers and colleagues while maintaining social distance is to turn a face-to-face meeting into a virtual video conference. There is plenty of technology available, both for free and at a cost, to be able to create a virtual space to come together while we’re apart. Our Top 5 Virtual Conferencing Tools

Here are 5 of our favorite tools:

SKYPE

A messaging and conferencing tool from Microsoft with flexibility for teams large and small.

Benefits: Built into Office 365, with versions for PC, Mac, and most mobile devices

Drawbacks: Features vary across different platforms

Cost: – Free for teams up to 20 – Paid version supporting up to 250 people at $2 per person, per month

Website: http://www.skype.com

ZOOM

A remote conferencing service often used by educators and trainers for virtual classes.

Benefits: Interactive features allow the audience to participate without taking over the conversation

Drawbacks: Video quality is unpredictable, and can be expensive for larger teams

Cost: Available for free for 1-to-1 conversations only – Paid packages starting at $14.99/month for up to 100 participants

Website: zoom.us

FACETIME

An Apple® video chat app designed for the mobile user.

Benefits: Freely available on Apple devices, supports up to 32 participants at once

Drawbacks: Works only on Apple® devices (i.e. iPhone and iPad)

Cost: Free with an Apple® device

Website: www.apple.com

HANGOUTS MEET

A business-oriented videoconferencing application, part of the G Suite of collaboration tools.

Benefits: User-friendly and supported on most mobile devices

Drawbacks: Limited features for those without a Google account

Cost: – Included with G Suite service bundles, starting at $6/month

Website: gsuite.google.com/products/meet/

BRAND.LIVE

A video live-streaming platform ideal for hosting virtual events or large-scale training.

Benefits: Interactive features allow the audience to participate and ask questions live

Drawbacks: No free options available

Cost: – Paid pricing based on platform and usage needs Website: www.brand.live

SanMar Guest Blog

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This blog was originally published on SanMar's educational website, SanMar U.

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