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15 Things to Look for When Choosing Online Meeting Software

Scott Gerber
Scott Gerber

Here are some things to consider when deciding which system will work best for your firm

Participating in online meetings has become increasingly common in today's work environment. However, with so many options to choose from, choosing the right online meeting software for your business can be a tough task. Each meeting software offers different features and functions to examine, and not everything will make sense for the needs of your project or team.

When narrowing down what will work best for your specific company, you need to decide what features are most important to you and your employees. If you have lots of remote employees, for instance, your needs will be different than a company that is just looking to sync up a few rooms in different buildings. And what about specific features? Is it more important for your company that you can share your screens, or is it more important that the software is easy to use? To help you decide what makes the most sense for your setup,  members of the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) share what online meeting software features they find most important.

1. Security and encryption

"Because my speaking gigs occasionally include collaboration with celebrities and high-visibility CEOs, security and encryption are incredibly important. Jami is a great option for video conferencing (the quality is amazing) and because communications are secure, encrypted and distributed, there's never any worry about part of the conversation leaking or being accessed on a centralized server." – Brittany Hodak, keynote speaker

2. Recording options

"I find it helpful to have the option to record meetings as they are happening. This feature works well because it allows us to take a look back at what was said, how the meeting went and can give additional insight as to how we can improve our process. It's always a good idea to record large meetings so you can look for ways to deliver the maximum amount of data in a reasonable time span." – Syed BalkhiWPBeginner

3. Text chat

"I like using meeting software that allows users to type into a chat box while the meeting is taking place. There are many times where I've been in a meeting and wanted to speak up, but someone else was talking at the time. A chat box allows you to jot down the idea so that the speaker can see and address the concern without anyone disrupting the flow of the meeting." – David HenzelLTVPlus

4. Mobile app

"For me, it's important that online meeting software has a mobile app. A mobile app allows you to join in on the meeting from wherever you are. So if I have a meeting planned that day, I don't have to cancel my plans or make sure I'm near a computer to participate. It also gives you a backup in case you run into issues with your computer or internet connection." –- Stephanie WellsFormidable Forms

5. Integrated calendar

"The biggest problem with online meetings is finding the time that will work for everybody. Sometimes scheduling the meeting takes longer than the meeting itself. Calendar integration is a massive time saver in this regard. I especially like the software that automatically generates free windows and lets people pick the time for an event, and then adds it to the calendar." – Solomon ThimothyOneIMS

6. Video chat

"Voice-only online meetings leave a lot to be desired. It's important that the chat software we use features video chat so the employees and business owners can see each other. We miss out on so many visual nuances when chatting via text or voice. If you want to build a strong relationship with your employees, opt for a program with video chat." – Blair WilliamsMemberPress

7. Technical support

"How often do you come across technical difficulties when conducting online meetings? Unfortunately, when you do things through an internet connection, things can go south pretty quickly. However, if your meeting software has technical support, it'll be much easier to resolve the problem and re-establish that connection so your business runs smoothly." – Jared AtchisonWPForms

8. Video quality

"I highly prioritize video quality of the software because I know that while having a conversation, a pixelated video can be a distracting feature and might become a hindrance to the overall quality of the conversation. This can translate into misinterpretations due to blurry visual cues, something that is necessary for effective communication." – Abeer RazaTekRevol

9. Screen sharing

"The screen-sharing feature is one of the most valuable in online meeting software, especially for remote companies like ours. In a remote company, you very rarely have a chance to sit down together and look over a document or a project. But with screen sharing for online meeting software, we can easily go over important documents together." – John TurnerSeedProd LLC

10. Dial-in options

"Many tech-averse users of conferencing or meeting systems will struggle to make sure their computer's audio and video systems are set up and working correctly. For this reason, we only use meeting software like Google Hangouts Meet, which sends a 'call-in number' with each scheduled meeting. That way, if the user has trouble connecting, they can always dial a phone number and connect the old way." – Keith ShieldsDesignli

11. No auto-launch

"I hate the apps that auto-launch the camera. It can really catch you off guard if you're not ready for the live video streaming. For instance, I'll sometimes take early morning calls from bed right after waking up. Other times, I might take late after-hours calls outside of a restaurant. I only prefer people to see live video of me if I'm in a professional setting." – Andy KaruzaFenSens

12. Audio quality

"Good audio quality is a must. We've had way too many experiences when remote people call into a meeting and have grave issues hearing one another. This impedes everyone's experience, including their ability to participate and take away important parts from the meeting." – Andrew KucheriavyIntechnic

13. Web-based application

"In a world with countless virtual meeting desktop applications, it's a breath of fresh air when I can join an online meeting by simply clicking a link without having to download software. Web-based applications are becoming more robust to provide the majority of features needed in 90% of online meetings. I'd highly recommend looking into these easy-to-use solutions. Google Meet is my favorite." – Colton GardnerNeighbor

14. Flexible and user-friendly

"With online meetings, participants may be using any type of device or operating system. It's important to use software that's flexible enough to work well with everything: phones, tablets, computers, Windows, Mac, etc. What you don't want is to have problems because someone can't access the meeting because the software isn't compatible." – Kalin KassabovProTexting

15. Simplicity

"One of the most important aspects of online meeting software for us is simplicity. There are a ton of online conferencing, collaboration and meeting platforms out there, and it can get a little overwhelming trying to compare them. Some are great and come jampacked with features and functionality, but they can also have a steep learning curve."– Jaime

Image Credit: Andrey_Popov/Shutterstock
Scott Gerber
Scott Gerber Member
Scott Gerber is the founder of Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched BusinessCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses. Gerber is also a serial entrepreneur, regular TV commentator and author of the book Never Get a “Real” Job.