In an age of high gas prices, rising airline fees, outsourcing, and increasing use of social media for interaction, business trips to meet with clients are becoming a thing of the past. What was once a common occurrence has become less common – businesses can’t justify spending thousands of dollars to send someone halfway around the world (or even the country) for a 30 minute meeting.
Enter web conferencing, something people even one generation ago would have scoffed at as crazy talk. The ability to talk with and actually see someone from thousands of miles away? What was often treated as a nice idea has become a reality and is something used in many workplace environments today.
Looking for a free web conferencing tool to try out before fully committing to pay for one? Here are some services to try:
Perhaps one of the most popular video calling services, Skype is a great service to use for calls to one person. You can pay to get additional service which allows you to video conference with more than one person, but if you are looking for a free service to video conference with multiple people, Skype might not be the best for you. However, it is perfect for a one-on-one video call.
Similar to Skype, Face Time is a great free app (available on Macs, iPhones, iPod Touch, and iPads) for video calls to one person. As it is limited to these products, all of your clients might not have access to this app. If they do, however, it’s a great, free service to use.
A service of Logitech, SightSpeed’s website boasts being the “easiest to use” for video chat and voice calling. It can be used on Windows and Macs alike, making it easy for anyone to download and use.
Unlike many other video conferencing services, Tokbox doesn’t require downloads! Simply set up a channel, invite others to the video conference, and leave a video message if they aren’t there! Your conference can include up to twenty participants, and there is an area where you can type notes or keep minutes on the conference call.
Rondee is a great service that helps you schedule your call ahead of time using e-mail and SMS text messages. You can send out invites, keep track of RSVPs, and send out reminders for the conference call. You can also record the call. This service only requires an email address to which a PIN code is sent. Then, all participants will use that number to log in to the call.
Wiggio is a great resource for people working in groups. It is a great way to coordinate events on a shared calendar, create to-do lists, poll your fellow group members, as well as video call. Part of this service’s aim is college students, so if you are looking for a bit more trendy service for younger clients, this might be the one.
The world has come a long way from having to drive (or walk!) to someone’s house to converse with them. In keeping up with our changing society, these services are convenient ways to get things done with multiple people.