Many people are working remotely, from home and having to conduct meetings “virtually”.
At Visionary we’ve been doing so for a few years, however for many this is quite a new development and there has been a rapid growth in using tele/video conferencing platforms. They can be incredibly useful in terms of still ensuring work still takes place, trustee meetings etc…..
A lot of our meetings and support activities are now done through tele/video conferencing and in the last few weeks we’ve had several inquiries about what system we use and why. Before we went with the GotoMeeting platform we use we did our own research and we’ve shared our findings and decision making process below, we hope this helps you in your considerations.
- Skype – getting increasingly unstable and is going to be “switched off” next year. Isn’t accessible as a dial in from landlines/phones and relies upon people all having Skype accounts etc.
- Microsoft Teams – great if you are all connected or have office 365 – but not everyone does. Internally we will move to using this across the Visionary team and leave Skype completely.
- Gotomeeting and Zoom – the big names around at the moment:
- Gotomeeting is a video/teleconference facility where as Zoom is a webinar platform.
- For tele and video conferencing they both offer pretty much the same functionality and various free to use (with limited functionality) trial packages.
- On both platforms you can access sessions online via laptops/smart devices AND also dial in via a landline or mobile.
- Both packages are generally accessible for those with a VI.
- We’ve had the odd issue with people struggling with voice over when using the weblink to connect in via iPads/iPhones but they have been very isolated.
- The in session text chat functions don’t appear to accessible to assistive tech users so we don’t reply upon that in sessions.
- Anyone dialing in via a mobile or landline to Zoom/GotoMeeting session will be charged a national rate fee per minute (circa 10p/min) for their call.
What did Visionary go for and why?
We decided to go with a GotoMeeting paid for monthly subscription. We pay £22.50 a month and that means:
- We can hold tele/video conference calls for up to 250 people and with no time limit.
- It is free for people who dial in on mobiles/landlines, but we as Visionary get charged 6p/minute for each caller who dials in.
- We decided to go for this package and offer free dial in as we are conscious that many members staff/trustees are all working from home and using their own resources so having a free call in facility helped relieve that issue for people.
- Zoom offers paid for packages, but does not offer any free phone dial in options for UK users.
- Both platforms enable you to record any sessions you hold. We’ve done this for a few sessions and it can be very useful.
We hope sharing that helps with your decision making on which platforms to use.
If you’ve any queries or would like to share your own experiences then please do contact us.