When the COVID-19 pandemic started raging across the globe, many organizations were forced to move their conferences and events online. While this was a challenge, it also opened new opportunities to reach a wider audience.
Virtual conferences offer a convenient and cost-effective way to connect with speakers and attendees worldwide. They are essential for delivering an engaging and immersive experience.
There are different platform providers to choose from when it comes to hosting a virtual conference. Each platform offers unique features and capabilities, and the right choice for your event will depend on several factors.
To help you make the best decision for your conference, we’ve compiled a list of the best virtual conference platforms available.
Zoom is one of the most popular video conferencing platforms available and offers a wide range of features for hosting a virtual conference. One of the critical advantages of Zoom is that it’s user-friendly and easy to set up.
You can create a meeting in minutes, and there’s no need for participants to download any software beforehand. Zoom offers a free plan for small events, making it a cost-effective option.
- Zoom offers a free plan for small audiences.
- It supports Google Calendar to help keep track of daily activities.
- It enables the streaming of meetings and webinars on Facebook.
- The free plan only allows for 40 minutes of conference time.
- There’s a limit on the number of participants, with up to 1000 attendees.
It costs $149.90/year per host and includes up to 100 attendees, access to three whiteboards, group chat, file sharing, and 5GB of file storage.
It costs $199.90/year per host for up to 300 attendees and access to unlimited whiteboards, group chat, file sharing, and 5GB of cloud storage.
It comes with a contact sales option, up to 1000 attendees, group chat and file sharing, zoom rooms plus conference room connector, unlimited cloud recording storage, automated & translated captions, and complete editable boards with standard features.
Webex is a feature-rich virtual conference platform suitable for hosting large events. One of the significant advantages of Webex is that it integrates with various business applications, including Slido, Slack, and Notion, making it easy for those already familiar with other tools.
It allows businesses to connect with employees, clients, and partners worldwide. With Webex, you can hold video meetings, share your screen, and collaborate with others in real-time.
You can also use Webex to record meetings, create transcripts, and share meeting recordings with others. Additionally, Webex offers chat, file sharing, and task management features. It provides a free plan for small events and excellent security features.
- You can record meetings and create transcripts for easy reference later.
- Attendees can easily ask questions.
- It enables closed caption.
- There can be occasional glitches with the audio or video quality.
- Webex can be expensive if you need to use it frequently for work or business purposes.
Business Meet plus Call Plan
It costs $25/month per user, offers 24 hours per duration, up to 200 attendees, local and 10 GB cloud storage, post-meeting transcript, Live polling, and Q&A by Slido.
It is available with a contact sales option, provides a minimum of 100 licenses, up to 1000 attendees, Local & Unlimited Cloud, live polling and Q&A by Slido, Post-meeting transcript, call recording, FedRAMP authorized
Google Meet is a video-communication service developed by Google. The service was launched on May 20, 2020, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which forced many schools and businesses to close their physical locations and move to remote work environments.
Google Meet is one of two apps that constitute the replacement for Google Hangouts, the other being Google Chat. Google Meet offers features such as Screen sharing, High Definition of video, and audio quality.
Google Meet is available on the web, Android, and iOS. It is free for individuals and opens with a G Suite account for business.
- The ability to join a meeting without a Google account
- End-to-end encryption
- Integration with Google Workspace.
- You can’t share more than one screen at a time.
- Google Meet only displays up to 16 participants in tile view.
Google Meet is free for individuals and available with a G Suite account for business.
Microsoft Teams is a chat-based workspace that brings together people, conversations, and content. It’s naturally integrated with the familiar Office applications and is built from the ground up on the Office 365 platform.
Microsoft Teams offers built-in Office 365, chat-based workspace, file sharing and collaboration, meeting and video conferencing, enterprise-grade security, and compliance.
- It promotes real-time collaboration between team members, an advantage when working on projects with tight deadlines.
- It offers robust tools for managing tasks and tracking progress, which can help teams stay organized and on track.
- The user interface can be confusing to navigate.
Microsoft Team Essentials
The plan is available at $4/user/month and provides unlimited group meetings for up to 30 hours, 300 participants per meeting,10 GB of cloud storage per user, and phone & web support.
Microsoft 365 Business Basic
It costs $6/user/month, which includes recordings of team meetings with transcripts, enhanced cloud storage of 1TB per user, standard security, and web & mobile versions of Office apps 3.
Microsoft 365 Business Standard
The plan costs $12.50/user/month, offers desktop versions of Office apps with premium features, webinar hosting, attendee registration &reporting tools, and managing customer appointments.
Skype is a communications app created by Niklas Zennström and Janus Friis. It provides audio and video calling between computers, tablets, smartphones, the Xbox One console, and smartwatches via the Internet.
Skype also provides the option of instant messaging. Users may transmit text, video messages and can exchange digital documents such as images, text, and video. Also, Users can contact other Skype accounts for free or call local and international numbers at meager rates.
Skype offers free video and audio calls to anyone else on Skype, screen sharing, video messaging, video conference calls, call recording, and translating messages and calls into over 50 languages.
- Free Skype-to-Skype calls
- Inexpensive subscription plans for calling local or international numbers
- Feature-rich communication tool with voice, video calling, and text messaging.
- The ability to call landlines
- Video and audio quality is dependent on your internet connection
- You cannot receive SMS messages on Skype (only outbound)
United States Subscription
Subscription for U.S. residents is available for $2.99/month with access to unlimited minutes, US-based mobiles, and landlines.
North America Subscription
It is available for $6.99/month with unlimited minutes to mobiles and landlines in the US, Canada, Mexico, and Puerto Rico.
Worldwide Skype Credit
Skype also offers a credit billed as low as $5 for up to 165 minutes with calls to landlines and mobiles in all countries.
BlueJeans is a video conferencing and collaboration software company based in Mountain View, California. It was founded in 2009 by Krish Ramakrishnan and Stu Aaron. The company provides cloud-based services that enable real-time communication between employees, customers, and partners.
The company’s products include video conferencing, screen sharing, and audio conferencing. BlueJeans also offers a mobile app for iOS and Android devices. It provides a free plan that includes unlimited meetings with up to 25 participants.
- The ability to join meetings without having to install any software
- BlueJeans’ automatic closed captions feature is helpful for those who are deaf or hard of hearing.
- Renewing a subscription plan is time-consuming.
- There is no permanent storage for recordings on the free plan.
It is offered for $9.99/month per host, hosts up to 100 Participants, unlimited 1:1 & group meetings, 5 hours of meeting recording per host, and dial-in phone numbers.
The plan can host up to 150 participants, 25 hours of meeting recording per host, command center analytics, and workstream collaboration integrations that feature Slack & Microsoft Teams.
The enterprise plan can host up to 200 participants with access to unlimited recordings, automated closed captioning, real-time transcription, and a conference room connector.
Bluejeans Enterprise Plus
Enterprise Plus supplies access to executive business reviews, advanced support options, customer success manager, onboarding, and technical account manager.
Livestorm is the first web-based software company that provides solutions for businesses of all sizes to connect and communicate with customers, employees, and partners. The company was founded in 2016 by Gilles Bertaux, Tom Forlini, Vincent Garreau, and Robin Lambert.
Livestorm offers a variety of products and features, such as polls and Q&A, webinars, web conferencing, live streaming, and video recordings.
- No need to install any software; you can access it from any device with a browser installed.
- You can send automated emails to remind participants of upcoming events.
- You can track who is attending your events and see how engaged they are.
- It can only accommodate a limited number of 3000 attendees.
The pro plan starts at 88$/month with at least 100 active contacts, up to four hours per session, and standard customer support.
The plan is billed through an option for contact sales, unlimited active contacts, up to 3000 live attendees, onboarding and training, and a VIP support system.
The enterprise comes with a contact sales option. Also, it includes everything in the Business plan with additional features like streaming up to 12 hours per session, multiple workspaces & unified billing, and custom integrations.
As a business owner, you understand the importance of face-to-face meetings. They’re essential for networking, building relationships, and growing your business. Now you could have all the benefits of an in-person meeting With ezTalks Meetings.
ezTalks Meetings is a leading video conferencing software that lets you quickly connect with clients, employees, and partners anywhere. With ezTalks Meetings, you’ll enjoy high-quality audio and video, screen sharing and collaboration tools, and much more. Plus, ezTalks Meetings is effortless to use – even if you’re not tech-savvy.
- It allows participants to view presentations and collaborate on documents in real time.
- ezTalks Meetings is cloud-based and offers on-premise solutions for businesses with sensitive data.
- It allows for recording and saving important meetings for later review.
- The starter plan is free for up to 100 participants.
- Users have complained of a poor support system and long wait times for customer service.
- It does not offer a free trial for premium features.
They range from $12.99 to $249.99/month per host and include 50 – 500 participants, a creative whiteboard for expression, and screen-capturing tools.
It is obtainable with a contact sales option, available for customized solutions, and accommodates up to 10,000 participants. It also includes everything in the pro plans.
GoTo Meeting offers a web conferencing experience with HD video and audio quality. This app allows you to screen share, record meetings, and enjoy collaboration features such as annotation and co-browsing. You’ll also have access to reporting tools that provide insights into your meeting’s performance.
GoTo Meeting’s commuter mode allows you to stay connected in an uncluttered setting, keeping you away from distraction. The commuter mode will enable you to use up to 90% less bandwidth with a color-coded audio feature.
- It features impressive customizable backgrounds.
- It has an Integrated chat system you can use even before meetings
- It gives an advantage of accessing automatic transcripts after meetings
- Ease of use and intuitive interface
- GoTo Meeting provides quality customer supports
- The mobile app is not as comprehensive as the desktop app.
The professional plan is billed at $12/month per user and allows up to 150 participants, toll-free numbers, integrated chat features, and custom meeting links to invite participants.
It is billed at $16/month per host and includes up to 250 participants with additional features like unlimited cloud-based recordings, note-taking, and drawing tools during meetings.
Video conferencing platforms benefit businesses in terms of increased productivity, improved communication, and reduced travel costs. When selecting a video conferencing platform, you must consider your specific needs and find a solution that meets them.
We hope this guide has provided you with more insights into the various video conferencing platforms.