In-person business meetings have become more of a rarity due to the advent of technologies that allow people to easily communicate and collaborate over the internet. But face-to-face communication—whether online or in-person—is still incredibly valuable, research suggests.
Several studies have found face-to-face communication to be more effective than strictly verbal or written communication, because there are nonverbal cues that can’t be picked up over a phone call or email.
This means you should consider embracing face-to-face communication and try using it occasionally, if not regularly, when communicating with your team or your customers.
Video conferencing is an easy way to achieve face-to-face communication, and there are many affordable online conferencing solutions designed for small businesses that come with features that will make your video meetings more productive and efficient. Here are four video conferencing solutions to consider:
The free version of Join.me—which offers web conferencing for up to 10 participants—does not offer video. But starting at $20 per month, paid plans include video conferencing and allow you to host far more people and offer participants more features and customization, including advanced screen-sharing capabilities, toll-free phone numbers for callers and meeting documentation and storage.
Starting at $14 per month, GoToMeeting offers three levels of video conferencing service. Participants get access to web audio, screen-sharing and unlimited messages. GoToMeeting launches from email, CRM and messaging tools. It can transition from chats with a few people to full meetings. It also offers automatic transcripts of recorded meetings with its Pro and Plus versions. GoToMeeting officials boast that their remote conferencing service offers advanced encryption and government-standard security to ensure that the meetings stay private.
Zoom offers a $19.99-per-month business plan for small and midsize business owners. It can serve up to 100 participants, with the option to buy space for more. Zoom has user-friendly features including an administrative dashboard, single sign-on and custom emails. There is an option to keep video, voice and content-sharing data on your private cloud. Plus, the $19.99 monthly plan includes auto-generated cloud transcripts.
Skype/Skype for Business
The free version of Skype is great for small businesses with up to 20 employees, according to the company’s website. It provides high-definition video calls with up to 10 people at a time, along with screen-sharing and call-recording. Skype for Business, on the other hand, requires that you already use Microsoft Office 365, but it lets you add up to 250 people to a meeting while providing many extra features and controls. It costs $2 per user per month.
Before choosing a video conferencing solution for your business, consider how you will use it. This includes how often you’ll host video meetings, how many people will likely need to attend and which features you will benefit from most.Print this article