Virtual Meetings: Going Beyond the Conference Call
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Traveling out of town for business can be cumbersome and time-consuming, although sometimes necessary to meet with people face to face. Fortunately, technology advancements have given us many options to “virtually meet” clients, business partners or vendors face to face – and this month we’ll explore some of those ways to go beyond the conference call.

Today we want to share some free tools for video conferencing:

Skype, a Microsoft Service, is handy, especially when you want to video conference with multiple parties. You can have up to 25 connections free of charge but first you need to be connected to each other’s Skype IDs. There are a few differences between Skype paid and free versions, but clicking the plus “+” mark will let you add others to the conference as well as share your screens. You can also send files at the same time. These additional features are great for virtual conferences. Be aware, however, some companies may not allow for Skype to be used in their office.

ezTalks is a similar service great for hosting webinars and video conferences. You can also share files and screens, plus it’s free and easy to set up. The free version allows 40-minute video conferencing for up to 100 people per meeting. Like other programs, it does require you to pay for additional participants.

Zoom is a conference system similar to Skype. Although it does have a paid plan, it is free for 40-minute conferencing for up to 3 parties. If you plan to have more than 3 people on a call for longer than 40 minutes, this may not be the video conferencing solution for you.

Facetime is the latecomer to video conferencing. Apple finally added the ability to have multiple people on Facetime, up to 32 people. This feature is available for iOS 12.1 or later but unlike its competitors, it requires participants to have Facetime with iOS devices. And it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles you may need for your conference call such as screen and file sharing at the same time.