An online meeting room is a place where people can meet online just like they would in person to share information or generate ideas.
Most people think of Skype when they think of an online meeting room, but there is also Google Hangout which allows you to meeting online for free. And there is an array of premium online meeting rooms services available such as Adobe Connect, Anymeeting, Blackboard Collaborate, GotoMeeting (GotoWebinar / GotoClassroom) and WiziQ, just to name a few.
At a minimum, a good online meeting room should have the following features:
- text chat / instant messaging – where people can ask questions, add comments or share information / links, using text
- slide sharing – which allows presentation slides to be viewed by participants
- screen sharing – so people can share and interact with their computer screen which other people can see
- video streaming – so people can do demonstrations or see each other
- recording – to allow the meeting or session to be recorded and viewed at a later stage
- uses low-moderate bandwidth – to ensure even people with poor internet connectivity can still participate
Other good features (but not essential) are:
- interactive features such as: whiteboards for brainstorming and polls for gathering information / opinions
- break-out rooms – so participants can work in sub-groups by going into separate online rooms while allowing the meeting / session host to interact with all groups
So here are three key reasons for using of an online meeting room:
Increase business opportunities
Using an online meeting room means you can increase your business opportunities by offering your services or training to clients outside of your region. It also means you can employ staff or contract people outside of your geographical location to bring specialist skills into your business.
Communicating with others in an online meeting room is more personal than a telephone call because you can use the video streaming feature so people can see each other (and their body language) just like they would in a face to face meeting. This also allows you to engage with clients and staff through any device, including a mobile phone, to demonstrate how to do something, or make or fix something.
Reduce time and money
Having an online meeting room means that you can connect and communicate with others, regardless of their location. This means you can communicate with people from all over the world, or in the next suburb, without leaving your business environment. This means significant time and cost savings, and widens the number of people you can interact and do business with.
Online meetings are often shorter than face to face meeting, as people are more tasky. Integrated with Google Docs/Spreadsheets etc, using an online meeting room means that people can all be constructing and editing documents all at the same time – now that is amazing productivity.
Improve staff training
Online meeting rooms allow you to deliver better staff training, as these spaces allow people to interact more effectively than in a face to face environment through the text chat / instant message feature. People are much more likely to engage and contribute to group activities if they can do this autonomously by interacting and brainstorming on the whiteboard feature.
Having an online meeting room also means that you can engage trainers and special guests, regardless of their location. They also allow you to record staff training sessions which means that those staff members who couldn’t attend a training session can view a recording, and the recording can also be used as a resource for people to review when they actually need the information, even if they attended the live online training session.
These are just a few reasons why you should be using an online meeting room. Please use the comment box below to share any others that you know about or do.
Join us for the “Teaching Tips to build your learners’ foundation skills” webinar series on 14-15 October or contact us via email or on 0400 732 270 to discuss how you can fully benefit from using an online meeting room.
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