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5 online meeting apps for virtual businesses

In today’s digital world, many businesses operate across countries and even continents, and business meetings are conducted via Skype, GoToMeeting or other meeting software. These are time-saving options for work-from-home professionals which allow you to quickly and easily meet with colleagues, clients or even investors wherever you’re based.

Meet with clients, customers or colleagues in the four corners of the globe within seconds of connecting to the internet using an online meeting application. We compare five of the most popular choices for business:

1.       Skype

Skype is the tried-and-tested industry standard for many virtual professionals. It allows you to instantly communicate with your team members in a one-to-one capacity. It supports video and voice calls, and also allows you to instantly message your contacts if you’d prefer to communicate quickly through typing.

We like: The major benefit to Skype is that it is used by most businesses and that means that your contacts are online and available to meet with at very short notice.

Cost: Once available at a cost, Skype now offers conference calling for free for anyone with a Skype account.

2.       GoToMeeting

GoToMeeting has revolutionised the world of online meetings. Face-to-face video calls, webinars, training rooms and shared desktops are all available at the click of a button. Many online media experts use GoToMeeting to host global conferences, lectures and webinars with successful positive feedback.

We like: You can share your desktop and create annotated screens instantly while you’re chatting to your business associates. It’s like being in a real meeting room without having to leave your location. Plus, you can record the meeting for later, too.

Cost: You only need one account to host a meeting with multiple invitees. This costs just over $56.00 per month.

3.       iMeet

iMeet is a cloud-based meeting software that requires no installation or fussy sign-ups. The meeting host creates a personalised business “room” with a custom url and custom design, and then invites contacts to join. This becomes a virtual meeting room for future interactions – limited to fifteen people at once.

We like: iMeet is available on your mobile device which lets you take your conference meeting with you if you need to be on the move.

Cost: 250 audio minutes cost $19.00 per month.

4.       AnyMeeting

Recommended by PC World, TechCrunch and Forbes, AnyMeeting is an intuitive and easy-to-use group meeting software that allows you to instantly connect to your contacts. It offers small businesses free webinar, web meeting and video conferencing facilities with big business capabilities.

We like: AnyMeeting allows you to create customised surveys to send out at the end of a meeting so you can gauge your presentation and see what your contacts thought. You can also view meeting reports which is a great feature.

Cost: Free for 200 attendees, if you don’t mind the adverts. For $18.00 per month you can have AnyMeeting for 25 attendees ad-free.

5.       WebEx

WebEx is a Cisco service that allows you to have unlimited online meetings with up to three people absolutely free. Backed by Cisco, this software has all the bells and whistles you’d expect. The paid-for version features HD video and integrated phone and VOIP call-in with whiteboard and desktop sharing services. You also get file storage so you can all access relevant files needed for your meeting.

We like: you can record your meetings for free, and you can also use WebEx wherever you are on your PC, tablet or mobile device. Plus, you can upload meeting minutes, agendas and other data before and after your meeting.

Cost: Free for three people on a basic account, or starting at €19 per month for premium features for up to 18 people.

About the author Sandra Lewis is the Founder and CEO of Boldly. She's passionate about helping Businesses, Organizations and Executives increase productivity and move their work forward with the right skills and resources. Setting an example of the efficiencies gained working remotely, she’s been leading her entire team on a virtual basis for the past decade.

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