Choosing The Right Web Conferencing Platform: A Guide
Are you looking to invest in your first web conferencing platform?
If so, you’ve made a great choice.
Whatever the size of your business, the decision to purchase a web conferencing platform will definitely pay off.
You’ll cut down on travel expenses, boost your productivity and broaden your horizons considerably in terms of who you can collaborate with and what clients you can take on.
Deciding to purchase web conferencing software, however, is only the first step. More importantly, you have to consider your options and, at some point, actually settle on a product.
Luckily, these days, there are lots of excellent web conferencing platforms you can choose from.
Of course, the flipside is that settling on one - or, heck, even narrowing it down - can be quite daunting.
Unless, that is, you know what to look out for.
Choosing the right web conferencing platform for your business doesn’t have to be a challenge. In fact, if you follow this guide, you might even enjoy the process.
Be Practical: Know Your Business’s Needs
At the risk of stating the obvious, determining your real needs should be your starting point. And in order to do this, you need to take a close look at your business.
If you’re a sole trader, a freelancer or even a small businesses, your needs are clearly different to those of a large corporation, government agency or even a non-profit organization.
In fact, you might do just fine on a free plan.
After all, let’s be realistic, you’re probably not going to discuss classified information with over 100 attendees any time soon, are you?
But there’s more.
Because the web conferencing industry is so competitive, many providers have opted to specialize.
Some providers, for instance, have optimized their platform for e-learning, giving it limited functionality outside that niche. Others have gone the route of formal corporate meetings, team collaboration or large scale online events.
Knowing what you’ll be using your platform for will go a long way towards narrowing down your options and leading you towards the right path.
Ease Of Use Is Paramount
The whole point of getting a web conferencing solution is that it saves you time, cuts costs and generally makes your life easier by streamlining and simplifying your communications.
If the platform is hard to navigate, that’s going to be a problem.
You’ll want an intuitive interface where all the main controls are easy to understand and within easy reach. You don’t want to accidentally mute the call and miss out an important bit of information, or end it just when you’re about to seal the deal.
Of course, because you’ll probably get used to the interface after a few times (unless you’re really technically challenged), you may underestimate the importance of ease of use.
This is a mistake.
Web conferencing is a two way street; and just because you’re used to the interface doesn’t make it any less challenging for someone else on the call.
With this in mind, try to approach each platform from the point of view of someone with average to low IT know-how.
Is the software easy to navigate?
And how quickly can you grasp the basic functions?
Don’t forget to check out customer support, either. The best services will have information and training that will help you make the most of your investment.
Make The Most Of Freemium Products And Free Trials
Just because a web conferencing platform sounds great on paper doesn’t mean it will work for you. The proof of the pudding is, after all, in the eating.
Thankfully, these days, signing on the dotted line doesn’t need to be a shot in the dark. Most reputable web conferencing platforms have fully featured free plans or, at the very least, a free trial, which means you can try before you buy.
Even better, you can try multiple web conferencing platforms concurrently and see which one you like best.
Of course, if you go down this route, don’t forget to keep track of when each free trial expires. Otherwise, you could find yourself with way more than you bargained for!