ec Newsletter #78
Greetings from a sunny Gisborne and welcome to a new EC Newsletter.
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Unleash the power of Virtual Meetings
Although the price of petrol has come down a little from the highs of a few months ago – it is still costly to meet face to face.
Add in the cost to the environment and virtual meetings start to make very real sense.
Being based in a great place like Gisborne has disadvantaged us from time to time – even though it has great weather especially with the current warm spring weather.
The time cost of getting to Auckland or Wellington is quite high – even if I fly – the trip from Auckland airport to city can take longer then the flight time.
Meeting and interacting with a number of people using virtual meetings has helped us to be “local” for many of our customers – here’s how you can use them for you customers too.
A headset is the best way of communicating with everyone during virtual meetings and these have done in price a lot lately.
You can spend over $200 on good ones but I find the ones around $30 - $40 are fine for most use.
If you get a USB one it seems to make it quicker to set up with the virtual meeting software and doesn’t cause as many problems as with one that connects through the sound card on your computer with separate speaker and microphone plugs.
As to the software - there are many “free” or low costs systems to use for Virtual Meetings.
Skype is a great tool that is free and has the ability to connect up to 25 people at the same time – see www.skype.com.
You can’t share your desktop screen like with some of the other tools with more then one person but could use Google Docs to have a shared document open that you all could be editing.
This works well for a collaboration with a team of people creating documents or to discuss a list of agenda items.
There are also free screen sharing programs available such as www.mikogo.com so you can share your desktop as you talk on Skype.
Another free product is www.anymeeting.com – we haven’t used this and it is ad funded so if you do try it let us know how you found it.
For a more advanced product we use www.gotowebinar.com and have done so for many years. It has a 1000 attendee limit (the closest we have got to that was just over 350) and has worked very well for us with participants in several continents sometimes joining our virtual meetings.
It is easy to use and you can also record the virtual meetings to replay or distribute later as a movie file.
It has polls within the virtual meeting, has a good chat feature for those participants without a microphone and has great branding ability of the sign up pages and emails reminders that the system sends automatically
The best virtual meeting software is the one that has the features that you want – at the best price.
Here’s a list of the features that are possible – use this to refine your thoughts on choosing a virtual meeting platform to use: -
- Easy to use
- Easy to register for and join a meeting
- Total number of participants
- Being able to share your desktop
- Changing presenters though a virtual meeting
- Using the virtual meeting software for the audio
- Being able to be used on slow connections
- Recording the virtual meeting
- Able to be used on both PC and Mac
- Can run Polls
- Have an easy to use chat facility
- Have your own branded sign up and login pages
So what can you use virtual meetings for…?
We use them for providing training for our customers and have also used them in a pre-sales role.
We have a couple of our customers use them to add value to what their customers already have access to by providing group coaching using virtual meetings.
We have helped a national organisation host their annual AGM via webinar to participants throughout NZ.
If you would like to test hosting a virtual meeting for your clients – let us know and we can help you prepare and step you though the process using our virtual meeting software.
Here’s a blog that covers a lot of the latest information about Webinars and Virtual Meetings – it’s a good read and well worth the subscription.
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Cheers and thanks again