The days of running around town or flying halfway across the country just to attend a brief client meeting are no longer necessary. Although face time is important, technology has changed the game by providing a platform for online meetings that present incredible features and versatility.
With a number of tools and applications at your fingertips, such as instant messaging, whiteboarding, video connectivity and collaboration, and web conferencing, you can conduct meetings with your clients anywhere, anytime, and with many people at the same time. You can also create a great experience that brings your clients and staff together in one place, providing efficiency and endless opportunities for ideas, innovation and strategic client service.
Here are some popular online meeting applications for consideration:
A staggering 51 million people per month across the globe attend a WebEx meeting. While the free version allows you to meet and work with two other people, there are three tiered platform versions: Premium 8, Premium 25 and Premium 100, with the number signifying how many people can participate in one meeting.
Depending on the version, you can incorporate video conferencing with up to seven video feeds, a virtual whiteboard to sketch ideas and take notes, the ability to record meetings, and the luxury of sharing the presenter role with other individuals.
Another powerful and popular online meeting place, GoToMeeting, also offers three versions: Starter, Pro and Plus, ranging from up to 10, 25 and 100 participants per meeting, respectively. Benefits in all versions include HD video conferencing, one-click meetings and screen sharing. The latter two versions dig deeper, offering valuable features such as drawing tools, recording, keyboard and mouse sharing, and mobile apps.
The name says it all: it’s free. FreeConferenceCall is great for global business, connecting up to 25 people across 57 countries. In fact, it is the only free international service with in-country dial-in numbers. Advantages include the recording and sharing of any call, as well as the capability to have up to 1,000 people in your account to connect with for free video conferencing.
BlueJeans takes the online meeting experience to another level with cloud-based video collaboration. You are able to connect to thousands of people in more than 200 countries, enjoying the luxury of HD content and video sharing, meeting recording, text chat, and much more. In addition, BlueJeans is built for large-scale meetings and events, including training, with the capability to host up to 3,000 people.
UberConference offers various features, such as screen sharing and mobile apps, and no personal identification number is needed to dial in. Dive a little deeper and experience some other rich benefits, including HD audio, document sharing, free call recording and analytics.
As you move into tax season and hold other meetings throughout the year, keep these online application in mind. Don’t give up in-person meetings, but consider these options to maximize everyone’s time.
Editor’s note: Technology has also enabled innovations in tax planning and preparation. Take a look at the Intuit® ProConnect™ Tax Pro Center article “Learn How Connectivity Tools Can Transform Your Practice!” for more information.