What is the video conference?

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak, the way we work, run business, and socialize has drastically changed. Online meetings have become an integral part of various spheres, from business to medicine and education. If you aren’t completely familiar with this technology, that’s okay. We’re here to share best practices and tips for selecting and implementing video conferencing software.

What is the video conference?

What is the video conference?

To better understand what video conferencing is, let's choose the easiest and shortest from its definitions. 

Video conferencing is a virtual gathering involving two or more people in a real-life conversation. The call type depends on the used communication means — audio or visual — which allows participants to stay connected, no matter where they are.

Types of video conferencing

What concerns the video conference meaning, it’s necessary to note that it serves different communication purposes. Let’s discover which kinds of virtual meetings exist and the difference between them.

One-on-One Gatherings

Group Gatherings

Remote communication requires rapport and trust. The best way to build them is to hold one-on-one meetings, where only two people engage in the conversation. 

The main benefit of such meetings is the possibility to talk privately. It comes in handy when there’s something you need to discuss, which other team members don’t need to know.

Examples:

  • Daily/weekly briefing between a manager and an employee

It’s an effective practice for managers to make check-ins with their team members. It helps to establish good relationships, address an employee’s growth, and give personalized feedback.

  • One-on-one customer support

The key to success lies in satisfied customers. That’s why it’s essential to have the possibility to contact clients and discuss their needs. 

  • Job interview

Holding interviews with potential hires using video conferencing technology can make the process easier and quicker. 

A group gathering typically involves three or more interlocutors, talking in the same virtual room. 

It’s a perfect option for video conferencing in a business sphere, in case there are several offices, based in different locations with remote employees.

Examples:

  • Presentation or webinar

Online conferences are the best option under pandemic restrictions for sharing knowledge and skills with others. They are more flexible and can host more people than any public place. 

  • Team get-together

Whenever you’re a part of a large department or a small startup, team meetings are essential for creating a friendly and productive atmosphere.

  • Training session

With the introduction of new technologies or services to the working environment, it may be useful to hold online training to familiarize everybody with the recent changes.

 

 

Most useful tools of video conference software

When it comes to searching for an online video calling service, you need to explore the available features, choosing those that will suit your work and lifestyle perfectly.

 

1) Availability for all users, even for those who have little technical knowledge

Before the integration of a program into working life, it’s important to make sure it has a user-friendly interface. The app should be managed simply and fast, without wasting time on long manuals. Moreover, it should offer the possibility to conduct a free conference call, at least in the trial version.

 

2) HD video and audio quality

Providing HD quality calls is a must-have of any service. Each business team regularly hosts online events, using the camera. Nobody likes to look at the pixelated version of their interlocutors. Moreover, if you talk to an important partner or customer, the poor video quality may look unprofessional.

 

3) Screen sharing

It allows everyone to show their device screen in real time. Screenshots, documents, images, and just the opened window can be viewed by other participants without the necessity to download files. It reduces misunderstanding and saves time.

 

4) Meeting recording

It may happen that you forget about an important online event. With the possibility of call recording, it’s easy to catch up with everything you missed and stay acquainted with all the information shared. 

 

5) Data security

Nobody wants to be interrupted by unknown users while having a conference call between team members. A service must offer excellent web security. It may be realized in many ways: rooms locked by PIN or access codes, meeting IDs required to enter the conversation, or host approval of join requests. 

 

6) Chatting tools

It's better to offer the possibility of texting in a chat, during a conference, or webinar for a large group of people. It’s a practical tool for small groups as well, allowing asking questions while someone’s speaking.

 

7) Muting function

Remote work always involves background noise. To get rid of unnecessary sounds, a video conferencing app should provide the opportunity to mute background noise or people, who are not actively engaged in the conversation. 

 

8) Compatibility with all modern devices

If you want to keep working effectively, the software should allow you to switch between devices if needed. The program should offer a cross-platform service, which works well on any gadgets: desktops, laptops, tablets, and smartphones.

 

 

9) Integration with other services

Before installation, check if a program has pre-built integrations with other services you use, for example, CRM. The working process will become more convenient without the necessity to manually copy details each time you receive a call from a customer.

 

10) Scheduling and syncing with the calendar

This feature is close to the integration but puts the calendar first. An ideal application for business video conferencing should offer the possibility to schedule meetings and sync them with the calendar. Doing so won’t let you forget about the significant events you are to attend.

Top video conferencing services to try

Our team has analyzed popular offers on the market and chosen the best applications, installing which you can try yourself in video conferencing:

 

1) Whoosh

Whoosh is relatively new to the market but it's, for sure, a promising video calling app. The developers analyzed all the offers on the market, look through users' feedback and reviews, and have figured out that most people suffered from a so-called "video call fatigue". That's why they created Whoosh to become the most user-friendly and convenient app for comfortable video conferencing. Just take a look at its features:

  • Full-HD video conferences
  • Sound enhancements thanks to background noise cancellation and audio stream splitting
  • AI-powered features: touch-up tools, gesture and pulse recognition, smart scheduling assistant
  • Smart cloud recordings with transcripts
  • Touch-up tools, virtual backgrounds, and photorealistic avatars
  • Professional web protection

 

2) Slack

Slack is a popular platform for remote business meetings, team collaboration, and communication. You'll hardly find a company that doesn't use Slack for productive remote working. It's full of helpful tools for video meetings, instant messaging, and task management. Have a look:

  • 1-1 and group video conferencing with up to 15 people at once
  • Team communication in private and public channels
  • Engaging chats with @mentions, reactions, and customizable emojis
  • File and screen sharing
  • Slack Connect add0on to keep in touch with other companies

 

3) GoToMeeting

GoToMeeting is among the most popular and reliable video conferencing solutions for businesses of various sizes. It allows connecting workers from different locations in one virtual conference room via any modern device - Mac, Windows, Android, and iOS. Actually, there are two apps for online communication, varying by the number of active meeting participants - GoToMeeting and GoToWebinar.

Its other features:

  • HD video calls with enhanced audio quality
  • No limits on meeting number and duration
  • Unlimited cloud recordings
  • Workflow integrations, including Slack, Office 365, and Google services
  • High-end web security

 

4) Zoom

If you haven't heard of Zoom, you must be an alien! This platform has been an ideal companion for all remote workers since the beginning of the global pandemic. Zoom has become a classic among other video conferencing platforms thanks to its broad range of engaging features:

  • HD audio and video meetings
  • Touch Up My Look and virtual backgrounds
  • Cross-platform instant messaging
  • Integration with Google services, calendars, and other popular platforms
  • Upscale web security

Give it a try!

There’s no need to explain once again why video conference software is so helpful for all kinds of communication. No matter what your occupation is — business, sales, or education — it’s possible to find the right solution. All you need to do is to make a requirements list, choose an app, and download its trial version. After a few tries, you’ll definitely find the best service, which will bring success.

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