The year 2020 has shown us that working virtually and conducting virtual meetings does not have to be overly complicated.
A lot of organizations use to stray away from the practice of running their business virtually for many reasons, law firms included. Some thought it would lower productivity or that it would cause lower morale amongst employees, even that it would hinder the managerial process. All of these fears are valid however, technological advances have shown us that all of these fears can be easily conquered when you have the right equipment.
Virtual meeting apps are the new way to stay connected with your team, existing and potential clients in an effective way. In today’s work environment, every distributed team relies on a virtual meeting app to keep daily communication flowing. While virtual meeting applications are so effective, there are some difficulties with them such as video lag, rough audio, and unreliable connections.
Choosing the right application is key for making your virtual journey work. There are many different apps to choose from that can help you facilitate better communication and collaboration. Take a look at some of the top virtual meeting platforms that you can use within your law firm.
Zoom is probably the most popular video conferencing platform because it’s very user-friendly. You can invite anyone to a Zoom meeting with a URL, even if your attendees do not have a Zoom account. Once team members click on the URL, they will instantly join a virtual room with the rest of the team. Registered users can also host meetings with up to 100 people using the free version of Zoom’s software. Zoom also has special features like break-out rooms that allow your meeting to have multiple meetings at the same time. Aside from the flawless HD video conferencing, other perks include mobile or desktop screen sharing, integrated audio, content sharing, and a nifty scheduling display. They even let you choose from different backgrounds to add some variety to your meeting.
Learn more about Zoom.
Google Hangout is another quick and easily accessible platform to use, all that’s required is a Google login and a webcam, you can even launch the application from inside Google Plus. GoogleHangout allows you to connect up to 10 people at a time, so this is a great application for a small team meeting or client briefing. A unique feature of this application is that it allows you to view and collaborate on Google docs while still maintaining visual contact with multiple people on the webcam. You can also add voice-only participants by clicking the “Telephone” tab at the top of the page, or the “+telephone” link on the left side of the invite screen. GoogleHangout also does not require a download so set up is quick and easy.
Learn more about GoogleHangout.
Skype is one of the oldest platforms for video conferencing its melodic ringtone use to be a beacon for all types of virtual meetings. Its acquisition by Microsoft in 2011, has helped Skype’s comeback into the virtual meeting arena. The app now offers meetings for up to 50 participants accessible by a generated link. No registration or download required.
Learn more about Skype.
GoToMeeting is a popular web conferencing app and an industry leader in virtual communication. There are benefits to using this application. Like other applications, GoToMeeting does not require a download and is completely browser-based. The way you set up a meeting is by using a code that is generated by the system. 3rd party tools are easily integrated into the application as well, so you can use Chrome, Zapier, Google Calendar, and more.
Learn more about GoToMeeting.
Slack is known as one of the best and most feature-rich software for team communication. It is used to track productivity and manage employee projects in a one-stop forum. Slack recently added video conferencing from its desktop version, making it super convenient to initiate a video call to your team. Its video conferencing feature is somewhat limited because Slack is mainly a messaging applicatin. Slack allows users to hold one-on-one calls or invite an entire channel to join a call. You can also install the mobile app to check messages and make calls. You can also annotate notes during a video call and draw on the screen while sharing it, which can help make presentations more effective.
Learn more about Slack.
Facetime is a quick and uncommon way to hold your virtual meetings. It’s highly effective if all of your team has apple products, but if they do not then this wouldn’t be the application for you. Facetime will give you quality audio and imaging but is definitely ideal for small meetings.
Learn more about Facetime.
Toasty is a virtual meeting platform that empowers the meeting host to engage with their audience and drive collaborations in online meetings and workshops. The app has built-in activities like icebreaker questions, conversation cards, and polls. This is a great app for building morale amongst your employees. It also features an interactive meeting agenda which the host sets beforehand and allows all participants to follow along with the schedule and activities; knowing what will happen and when is a great way to keep attendees participating. Toasty is built on AWS and Jitsi, which provides for secure, stable, and easy-to-access connections.
Learn more about Toasty.
This list is a good starting point for venturing into the realm of virtual meetings. There are so many applications that are easily accessible for your team meetings and client briefings. Look out next week as we dive into 7 more apps that can help your virtual meetings thrive.