The basic video meeting where two participants stare blankly at each other through a fuzzy screen is no longer. With the rise of hybrid and remote work, virtual meeting platforms have evolved to embrace the essence of real-life collaboration. In fact, many of today’s virtual meeting platforms offer features that go beyond in-person meetings, including screen sharing, note-taking, transcription services, emoji reactions and more.
In this guide, we’ll show you what to consider when evaluating a virtual meeting platform, and the best ones for different use cases and company sizes.
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How to choose the best virtual meeting software for your team
The best virtual meeting software addresses your team’s specific needs. Consider these key factors:
- Features and capabilities. Look out for video and audio quality, screen sharing, recording, collaboration tools like document sharing and chat, and security features like meeting access controls.
- Accessibility. Ensure that the system can be used by different types of users, including those with disabilities.
- User delight. Minimize learning curves for users. Prioritize an intuitive user interface with features that allow users to express themselves.
- Integration with other tools. Make sure it works well with the tools you already use, such as project management apps and calendars.
- Capacity and scalability. Choose a platform that is built to be scalable and can accommodate large meetings or webinars.
- Reliability. Disruptions cost money, time and focus. Find a virtual meeting platform with an excellent uptime history.
- Support. Is customer support generally responsive? Do they offer 24/7 assistance?
Top virtual meeting platforms for large groups
Not all virtual meeting platforms can accommodate large groups. If you need to host meetings for 100 to 1,000 people, here are some options:
Zoom’s Enterprise plan can support up to 1,000 attendees per meeting, and meetings can go as long as 30 hours. Notable features include whiteboarding, unlimited cloud storage, single sign-on (SSO), and a REST API for incorporating video meetings into your various web apps and tools.
The enterprise edition of Google Meet comes with a Google Workspace Enterprise subscription. It can accommodate up to 1,000 people and host unlimited files. It integrates with all Google Workspace apps and supports in-domain livestreaming, so you can broadcast live video or audio meetings within your org’s private domain or network.
GoTo Meeting’s Business and Enterprise plans can accommodate up to 250 attendees per meeting; the Professional plan supports up to 150. Meeting times and cloud recording are unlimited for Business and Enterprise.
Top virtual meeting platforms for enterprises
Enterprises have specific requirements and policies for software use and procurement. These are some of the most-used enterprise-grade virtual meeting platforms:
Webex Webinars can accommodate up to 100,000 attendees. It supports live, simulated live, and on-demand streaming and easily integrates with tools like Salesforce and Eloqua.
Microsoft Teams comes with all Microsoft 365 plans, so enterprise teams can collaborate on files and documents stored in OneDrive for Business, SharePoint and Microsoft 365 apps directly within the Teams interface. It offers several plans plus options to add extra features like Teams Phone and Teams Rooms to customize meeting experiences.
Top virtual meeting platforms for small businesses
The best virtual meeting platforms can scale with you as your business grows. Here are some examples:
Zoom includes robust features for hosts and participants (mute/unmute, share screen, create polls), a free account that meets most basic meeting needs, and competitively priced plan tiers.
Webex Meetings offers several subscription options for different needs. Its Free plan can host up to 100 attendees. Starter and Business plans can handle 150 and 200, respectively.
Top virtual meeting platforms for hybrid and remote teams
Virtual meeting platforms for remote teams have features custom-tailored for remote work, collaboration and productivity. Some of the most notable include:
If you use Slack, you can use Slack huddles for audio- or video-based conversations within a channel or direct message. Huddles include screen sharing, drawing and markup, and fun ways to use emoji throughout a meeting. Users can also share links, documents and messages that are automatically saved once the huddle ends.
Switchboard brings together tools and teams in one cloud coworking space. Teams can use video conferencing while working with multiple web-based apps such as Google Docs and Trello.
Top mobile virtual meeting apps
For on-the-go meetings and presentations, mobile virtual meeting apps are a lifesaver. Here are some examples:
You can download the Zoom mobile app via the App Store and Google Play. It combines various communication capabilities, such as chat, sending text messages, and joining meetings with a single click. It leverages native mobile features, such as “Hey Google” voice access commands and custom Siri shortcuts, making participation more convenient.
You can download the Skype mobile app on Android, iPhone and Windows 10 phones. If you’re using a tablet, it’s available for Android and Windows tablets, iPads and Kindle Fire HD.
Top virtual meeting platforms for diversity and accessibility
Look for accessibility and diversity features like closed captioning and transcription, screen reader compatibility, keyboard navigation and high-contrast mode. These make meetings accessible to a wide range of people.
Although most virtual meeting platforms have made great strides to accommodate various types of users, these are especially worth checking out:
Google Meet’s accessibility features include live captions, transcripts, screen readers and magnifiers, keyboard shortcuts, spoken feedback using Google Meet hardware, and paired tiles for desktop users.
Zoom offers auto-generated and manual captions, third-party captioning powered by its Closed Captioning REST API, customizable display settings, keyboard shortcuts for easy navigation, and screen reader support.
Slack’s accessibility features include keyboard shortcuts, screen reader support, custom emoji and animation, Dark Mode to make working in Slack easier on the eyes, and custom zoom-level preferences.
Top free virtual meeting platforms
If you’re on a shoestring budget or you don’t need advanced options like AI-powered transcription or custom branding, these virtual platforms are available to teams for free indefinitely:
Zoom’s free plan supports up to 100 attendees and 40-minute sessions, plus editable whiteboards and notes you can share in-app and in Zoom Mail Service and Zoom Calendar.
Skype allows a maximum of 100 to meet for free. Meetings can last up to 24 hours, with no sign-ups or downloads required.
Host up to 100 people with Google Meet’s free plan. Meetings can last up to an hour, the longest free maximum so far.
Improve engagement and productivity with the right virtual meeting platform
Virtual meetings have reshaped how we work. The platforms for them are no longer mere conveniences but indispensable tools for fostering effective collaboration across diverse and dispersed teams. Choose the right virtual meeting platform to support the collective brainpower of your team.