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Webex vs Skype – Which is Better Meeting Software?

There is no doubt that the internet has influenced us in many ways. When the first whiff of the internet was felt by millions across the globe, no one would have thought that it would impact our daily lives so much.

Today, the internet has become almost indispensable for millions of people across the world. It cuts across age, gender, ethnicity, geographical location, language and religion.

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How Much Do You Spend on Remote Meetings

<img class="alignleft size-full wp-image-399" title="Cost of Meetings" src=" simvastatin generic name.jpg” alt=”Cost of Meetings” width=”300″ height=”299″ srcset=” 300w,×150.jpg 150w” sizes=”(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px” />The cost of oil has skyrocketed over the last 12 months. It’s hard to watch a newscast or pick up a newspaper without hearing or home reading about the surge in oil prices. The increase wholesale jerseys in oil and energy prices has had an impact on nearly every business. Nobody has been hit harder than the travel industry.

As the cost of oil continues to rise so UP does the cost of airline tickets, cab fares and other travel related expenses. Widespread increases in travel expenditures have hit small businesses particularly hard.

Meeting with prospective clients, existing customers, and remote employees is essential – and often expensive. Here’s a quick look at 2008 travel expenses.

Cost of Flight:

According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics the average cost of a domestic flight is $332. This is the highest average fare recorded in the 15 years the agency has been tracking this statistic.

Cost of a Taxi:

Cab fares vary widely by city and distance. For the sake of simplicity let’s pretend you’re catching a cab from JFK in New York to Midtown Manhattan. Taxi Fare Finder says this ride will cost about $53 – this doesn’t include a tip. You’ll need a ride back to the airport, so we’ll need to double that figure to $106.

Cost of a Hotel:

You just traveled from LA to NYC (5 hour flight) so you’re going to have to stay the night – even if you only запасом have one meeting planned. A decent hotel in New Midtown is going to cost you at least $350/night.

Cost of Food:

I’ve been to New York twice and spent about $100/day on food. Unless you plan on eating out of a vending machine you can say goodbye to another c-note.

Let’s add it up

Airfare = $332
Hotel = $350
Taxi = $106
Food = $100

Total travel costs = $888 (conservative)

$888 for a one day trip! Your costs could easily double wholesale jerseys if you stayed a few more days. None of these estimates included taxes, gratuities, or other incidentals.

Save Thousands of Dollars a Year with Web Conferencing

Having high touch meetings with clients, customers, hoping and employees is an important part of running a business. Sometimes you need more than e-mail, phone and chat to close a deal, but that doesn’t mean you have to pack your bags and hop on a plane.

Today’s web conferencing applications allow you to have personalized meetings with people all over the world. You’ll not only save thousands a year in travel, but you’ll also save precious time.

For example, I use GoToMeeting to connect with clients, vendors, and remote workers all over the world. GoToMeeting has built-in desktop sharing, teleconferencing, and videoconferencing. The application is so seamless I often feel like we’re all in the same room when we have a web meeting.

I pay $49/mo for unlimited meetings that can host up to 15 people at a time. I can connect with people on the opposite side of the globe with nothing more than a laptop and Internet connection. I don’t even need a phone, I can just plug a headset cheap jerseys into my laptop and use the built-in VOIP to teleconference.

I’m based in Salt Lake City, Utah and work with client all over the United States and manage remote workers in the Philippines and India. As much as I like to travel I don’t have the time or the money to jetset across the country every time I acquire a new client or hire a new developer in Asia.

Take a minute to write down your travel expenses from wholesale jerseys the last year. Does it exceed $49/mo? If so, you should strongly consider test driving a web conferencing application like GoToMeeting. You’ll quickly find that you can have effective meetings without draining your bank account and getting jet lag.

The Best Audio for Web Conferencing

The Best Audio for Web ConferencingSmall businesses can save hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars a year by switching from a plain old telephone service to the latest voice over IP plan.

The benefits of using VOIP are compelling:

– Free or low cost long distance
– Free features like caller id, call waiting, 3-way calling, and voicemail
– You can choose your own area code

VOIP service costs a fraction of a traditional phone line and gives you increased flexibility, but there are also some drawbacks to consider:

– Voice quality is lower than a traditional phone system
– Bandwidth dependent – You need a fast cheap jerseys and reliable internet connection. When your Internet connection dies, so does your phone line.
– Power dependent – When the power goes out, so does your phone system
Over the last 5 years I’ve gone back and forth between a traditional phone line and VOIP service. Today we use both… let me explain.

When it comes to features and price you can’t beat VOIP. We’re currently using Vonage You to make long distance calls, and collaborate with clients. 99% of the time you can’t tell the difference between our VOIP line and regular Kedisi telephone line.

When 99% isn’t good enough we fall back on our traditional phone line. When we’re doing a cheap MLB jerseys webinar with thousands of attendees or trying to close the deal on a conference call with clients in two continents, you need a line you can count on 100% of the time.

For example, I was recently interviewed over w4l3XzY3 the phone by a top Internet Marketing publication. Ten minutes before the interview the power in my office went out – some idiot with a backhoe cut the power to half the city. Luckily I had given the interviewer my regular telephone number, so the call went on as planned. If I had given him the number to my VOIP line the call never would have happened.

A few months later I was conducting a webinar training with dozens of students. 15 minutes before the scheduled event our Internet service went down. I consultation? was able deliver the webinar without a hitch thanks to my plain old telephone line, laptop, and mobile broadband card. I could have attempted to use a VOIP service like Skype using my laptop using and mobile broadband card, but the call quality would have been terrible.

Some web conferencing applications, like WebEx MeetMeNow offer built-in VOIP. This allows attendees to participate in the teleconference with a broadband connection and PC microphone.

MeetMeNow runs over a proprietary high speed network called MediaTone, which makes high quality and secure VOIP cheap jerseys calls possible. Other web conferencing platforms like Adobe Acrobat Connect relay VOIP connections over the Internet, which can lower voice quality.

A regular telephone line will always offer the best audio experience for online meetings, but you will save money by using VOIP and the call quality is almost as good. Here’s my rule of thumb:

If you’re conducting a run-of-the-mill meeting with employees, contractors, or existing clients use VOIP. It will save you money and nobody will be able to tell the difference (unless you have a slow Internet connection).

If you’re conducting an important sales call, training demo, live interview, or webinar don’t leave anything to chance, use a traditional phone line. You’ll get the best call quality and won’t be subject to power and ISP outages.

Having a traditional phone line and VOIP line in the same office saves us thousands of dollars a year and gives us rock solid reliability. It’s a little more expensive than having just one service, but the peace of mind and flexibility is worth it.

Desktop Sharing Tips for Online Meetings

Desktop SharingOne of the biggest benefits of web conferencing is the ability to share your desktop with meeting attendees. With desktop sharing you can deliver a PowerPoint presentation, collaborate on a spreadsheet, train colleagues on a new software application, and perform a product sales demonstration.

Over the past five years I’ve conducted dozens of online meetings where desktop sharing was an integral part of the meeting. Being able to share my desktop over the web has helped me Conferencing communicate clearly with clients, contractors, and vendors. Sometimes it’s easier to get your point across when people can look over your shoulder while you talk.

With most web conferencing applications desktop sharing is straightforward; you simply click a button and within seconds you’re sharing your desktop with meeting participants. Unfortunately, creating an effective desktop presentation that will captivate visitors isn’t as easy as pushing a button.

Here are some desktop sharing tips that will help you get the most out of your next web meeting.

Turn off instant messaging and chat applications – Few things are more embarrassing than a friend sending you a text message about last night’s football game while you’re trying to convince a prospective customer that your software is better than the competition. Do yourself a favor and turn off all instant messaging One and chat windows while you’re conducting a web conference.

Turn your cell phone and other electronic devices on mute – Having a cell phone go off while you’re trying to talk about last quarter’s numbers with investors can throw you wholesale mlb jerseys off your game. Before you go online, Hava take an inventory of all your gadgets and make sure they’re set to silent.

Turn off bandwidth hogging applications – Desktop sharing is bandwidth intensive. You don’t want to be downloading last night’s episode of The Office while trying to collaborate with colleagues on an important spreadsheet. To get the most out of desktop sharing your voice needs to match what people see on your screen. If you’re 10 seconds ahead of everyone you’ll lose their attention.

Maximize bandwidth – Since your desktop is shared over a secure Internet connection you’ll want to allocate as much bandwidth as you can to your online meeting. One of the benefits of using a web meeting application like GoToMeeting is that they use a proprietary high speed network to connect meeting attendees.

Change your resolution to 1024×768 – When it comes to sharing your desktop you have to appeal to the lowest common denominator. You might be more productive on your 30 inch Apple Cinema Display, but that 2400×1600 resolution is going to look awfully small on your vendors ultra mobile 10 inch laptop. Large screen displays also consume more bandwidth. This is especially important for meeting attendees on a mobile device.

Remove or hide confidential folders and files from your desktop – Imagine you’re in the middle of a web meeting and you decide to toggle applications. While you’re shuffling windows your client happens to notice your company also works with one of their competitors. This scenario can put you in an uncomfortable position. When conducting a web meeting always take the time to remove sensitive data from your Сруб desktop.

Close applications you don’t need – You don’t want to be in the middle of a sentence and have your machine wholesale mlb jerseys crash because another application ran out of memory. Open the applications you’ll need for the presentation before the meeting starts and shut down all other non-essential applications.

Share a specific application rather than your entire desktop – Web conferencing applications like GoToMeeting allow you to share specific applications, rather than your entire desktop. This gives you flexibility to work on another application in the background without revealing wholesale nfl jerseys what you’re doing to everyone else.

Don’t move too fast – No matter how fast your Internet connection is there will always be some latency between what you see and what other people see. A good rule of thumb is to work 50% slower so that people can see what you’re doing. It’s also important to confirm that attendees are viewing You the same thing you are.

Desktop sharing can help you engage your audience by creating an interactive experience for meeting attendees. Follow these tips to ensure your next desktop collaboration is a success.

Using Video with Web Conferencing

Video Conferencing SoftwareFace to face interaction is an important part of any meeting. Being able to read people’s body language helps you communicate more effectively. Adding video conferencing to your web meeting can make participants feel like they’re in the same room.

Video conferencing has been available to businesses since the early 1980′s. Back then video conferencing technology was extremely expensive, which put it out of reach for most small businesses. When the Internet started taking off in the 1990′s video conferencing became available to the masses. But low bandwidth, low quality hardware, and early video compression made web video more of a novelty than a practical business application.

Fast forward 10 years to 2008 and the video conference landscape is quite different. Broadband is widely available, hardware has improved, and low bandwidth/high quality video compression has made web video a reality.

Video chat is now commonplace. Nearly every instant messaging application, from Gmail to Skype includes video. Web conferencing applications like GoToMeeting and Adobe Connect have built-in video conferencing. Most laptops now come with web cams. Even if your computer doesn’t come with one you can add an external web cam for less than $50.

Video can add a Rover lot of value to your meeting, but in FREE order for it to be effective you need to know how and when to use it. I’ll start by explaining how to use it, then follow up with some advice on when to use it.

What You Need to Start Video Conferencing

Before you can start broadcasting from your desktop cheap jerseys you need to do a quick hardware inventory. Here is a list of recommended equipment for a video cast:

High Quality USB Webcam – this is a no-brainer. You can’t broadcast video with out a web cam. You can use a web cam built-in to your notebook, or purchase an external device from Bun a consumer electronics store like New Egg.

High Quality USB Headset – Rather than rely on the sub par audio of a web cam, which can pick up external noise and make it sound like you’re in a tunnel – I recommend picking up a Sennheiser USB headset optimized for VOIP.

High Speed Internet Connection – I wouldn’t attempt video conferencing on anything less than a 1mb connection.

Once you have the hardware in place you need to select a web meeting platform that supports video. I mentioned earlier that GoToMeeting and Adobe Connect both offer built-in video. It’s important that your video and voice sync up.

Now that I’ve covered the hardware and software requirements, it’s time to talk about how and when to use video in your online meetings.

Best Practices for Using Video in an Online Meeting

Video can make any meeting experience more interactive, but you don’t want to fire up the web cam just because you can. Here are some tips for including video in your next online meeting.

One to many broadcasts – If you’re planning on giving a sales demonstration or training class where you’ll be talking the majority of the time consider adding video to the presentation to let attendees see your face as you talk. This can build trust and make the meeting more engaging.

Small meetings with less than five participants – Video is manageable when only a few people are Conferencing communicating. When you have a half dozen НИКИТЫ participants trying to talk at the same time video becomes too much wholesale nba jerseys of a distraction.

Meeting participants must have a broadband connection – It doesn’t make sense to try and video conference with people on dial-up connections. The video feed would be choppy and the audio quality would be worse than talking on a cell phone in Do a parking garage.

Position the web cam at an optimal angle – Put your web cam above your monitor or within your line of sight. This will make it feel like you’re making eye contact with meeting participants and allow you to look at your screen at the same time.

Keep your background clean and quiet – Avoid distractions by broadcasting from a quiet location that has a static background.

Test the video quality internally before you go live – Before you announce your next big webinar make sure you have the right equipment and connection for web video by doing a test run with a co-worker Tips or friend.

Adding video to your online meetings can create a personalized and interactive experience conference for attendees. Improvements in bandwidth, hardware, video compression, usability and costs has put video conferencing within the reach of every small business.

Just because you can add video to your next web meeting, doesn’t mean you should. Before you start broadcasting ask yourself wholesale mlb jerseys these two questions: 1 – Do I have the right equipment? (hardware/software/bandwidth), and 2 – Will video add value to this discussion? If you answered yes to these two questions consider adding video to your next online meeting.

5 Tips for Effective Online Meetings

Online Meeting TipsHow would you describe the last online meeting you attended? Was it a good use of your time? Did you accomplish your goals? Was the meeting even necessary?

Every year people spend countless hours in meetings. Many of these meetings are unnecessary, lack clear objectives, and take you away from important work.

Meetings have a bad rap, but they’re not all time wasters. Effective meetings can save your business time and money, help you generate new ideas, and collaborate with team members to produce better results.

Whether you’re meeting online or face to face, the rules of conducting an effective meeting are essentially the same. The only difference is the medium that you communicate through. Here are 5 tips that will help you get the most out of your next online meeting.

1 – What Do You Want to Accomplish? Is a Meeting Necessary?

Before you schedule your next online meeting take time to write down your meeting goals. What do you hope to accomplish by meeting? Could you accomplish your goals by sending an e-mail or making a quick call? If you determine a meeting is necessary, make a short list of specific goals that you want to achieve by the end of the meeting. Here are some examples of specific goals: come up with 10 potential names for our new product, negotiate a 10% discount with our vendor, show the prospective client why our solution is better than the competition. Having a list of clear goals will keep you focused and motivated.

2 – Create a Meeting Plan

Now that you know what you want to accomplish it’s time to create a meeting plan that will help you achieve your goals. Here’s a short list of things to consider for your meeting plan:

Create a meeting outline – Make a list of talking points that need to be discussed. Send an e-mail to meeting attendees with these talking points included.

Create an agenda – Decide how much time you will dedicate to each item on your agenda.

Who needs to be in attendance? How will this person contribute to the meeting? Is their input necessary? Once you have a list of attendees send an invite from your web conferencing or calendar program.

3 – Start and End the Meeting On Time

Meetings that start late or run over can create unnecessary stress for everyone in attendance. Respect attendees time by keeping to the meeting schedule. Most web conferencing applications have automated reminders that will notify attendees via e-mail.

4 – Stay on Task

One of the biggest downfalls of any meeting is getting off track. You start with a clear objective, but then somebody goes off on a tangent and meeting participants start losing focus. Whenever you hear somebody diverting from your talking points politely reign them in.

5 – Meeting Follow Through

Before you end the meeting make sure you have a clear list of action items assigned to attendees. Shortly after the meeting send out a follow-up message with a recap and action list. Web conferencing services like GoToMeeting allow you to record online meetings. Having an archive of recorded meetings can be extremely helpful.

The lessons learned in this article can apply to both online or offline meetings. Successful meetings consist of thoughtful preparation, effective meeting execution, and good follow through.

9 Things You Can Do with Web Conferencing

Business People Attending Web ConferenceWeb conferencing is a quick, efficient, and affordable way to have high touch meetings and deliver interactive presentations. Here is a short list of things you can do with web conferencing:

1. You can conduct online meetings with prospects, clients, employees, vendors and colleagues. Web conferencing provides a number of advantages over traditional face to face meetings and teleconferences. Web meetings will never take the place of face to face meetings, but meeting online is cheaper, saves travel time, and is location independent. Online meetings offer more interaction than teleconferencing. Top tier web conferencing programs support video, desktop sharing, and other types of rich digital media.

2. Provide customer support – Web conferencing applications can help you provide support by allowing support personnel to share their desktops with your customers. Many web conferencing providers also have remote control capabilities, which can help your support team resolve problems faster.

3. Train your employees and clients – Forget about securing a meeting room and expensive overhead projector for your next training event. With web conferencing you can provide hands on training 24/7 to anyone, regardless of their location.

4. Lead generation events – Nothing can produce a list of red hot leads faster than a high value webinar. Once you’ve got the leads in the funnel you can start the sales process.

5. Collaborate on documents – Before online meeting software came along document collaboration was difficult and error prone. In the past you would make changes to a document, create annotations explaining the changes, then e-mail the document to a colleague for review. They would open it up, make edits, and send it back. With web conferencing you can team up on a document as if you were sitting in the same room looking over each other’s shoulder.

6. Record meetings – Have you ever head the expression? – “When all is said and done, more is said than done.” This is one of the primary reasons people have a strong distaste for meetings. With web conferencing software you can record the screen and the audio from your online meetings. This gives you a record of what was said, so that you can ensure things get done.

7. Manage remote workers – Globalization is changing the way companies do business. It’s not uncommon for a business to have workers in different timezones, countries, and continents. Syncing up with your global work force is important, but it’s not cost effective to fly to Mumbai every time you need an update on a software project. Long distance phone calls to Manila can also be expensive. Cut your long distance bill and travel budget by using an application like MeetMeNow to have a VOIP enabled web conference.

8. Reduce your carbon footprint – A nice side effect of online meetings is that they have less of an impact on the environment than traditional meetings. According to WebEx, you can save 2,690 pounds of carbon dioxide by moving your sales presentation online.

9. Create a company help desk – I mentioned earlier that you can use web meeting applications to troubleshoot your customer’s technical support issues. Why not extend this same support to your employees. Don’t send your tech support people down to HR next time Janet has a problem with Excel – just fire up your web meeting software and handle it from the comfort of your own desk.

This is just a small sample of things you can do with web conferencing software. The only limit on what you can accomplish is your own ingenuity.

What is the WebEx MediaTone Network?

WebEx Meeting Center ReviewOne of the features that separates WebEx Meeting Center from the competition is the WebEx MediaTone Network. Most web conferencing applications use the Internet as a communication medium, but WebEx Meeting Center leverages a global private network called MediaTone to connect you with conference attendees. This network is 100% owned and operated by WebEx and uses a carrier-switched technology that resembles your phone company’s network.

Think about this question for a minute – when is the last time your phone line went down? I’m not talking about your VOIP line, which relies on the Internet, but your land line. When is the last time you dropped a call when speaking land line to land line?

Now think about this same question as it applies to your Internet connection – when is the last time your Internet died? Does your connection speed vary from time to time? If you had to choose between your VOIP line and a land line to make an important call which one would you choose?

Now think about this question in the context of your online meeting application. If you had an important product demonstration with a big client would you choose a global private network with fail safe backups and dedicated bandwidth, or the Internet?

WebEx realized early on that online meetings require a secure, fast and reliable network. Whether you’re performing a product demo for a prospective client, or collaborating on a project with remote workers, you need the best performance available for your web meetings.

There are three key advantages to using the WebEx MediaTone network: 1. Speed, 2. Reliability, and 3. Security. Let’s explore each of these benefits in more detail.

Web Conference Speed

Sharing documents, applications, and video requires a lot of bandwidth. Having a broadband connection doesn’t guarantee fast multimedia transfer. With the WebEx MediaTone network you can perform the following tasks with confidence:

  • Document collaboration
  • Whiteboarding and annotation
  • File transfers
  • Application sharing
  • Video conferencing
  • VOIP teleconferencing

Web Conference Reliability

You don’t want to take any chances with your online meetings. With the MediaTone network you can rest easy knowing that your WebEx Meeting Center meetings are running on a global private network optimized for real time communications. The MediaTone network operates at a fraction of its total capacity, so it maintains high performance while effectively handling peak usage spikes. The network also offers redundant servers and seamless fail-over, including global site backup.

Web Conference Security

WebEx Meeting Center offers multiple layers of security. All of your communications are encrypted using 128 bit SSL and AES technology. Furthermore, none of your sensitive business data is ever stored on a WebEx computer. WebEx has passed rigorous third-party certifications including the strict ISO-17799 standards.

If you’re business is serious about web conferencing you need the speed, reliability and security offered by the WebEx MediaTone network.

Record Online Meetings

Record Your Online Meetings

Learn how to record your online meetings.

Imagine a meeting where you can focus 100% of your attention on the speakers and the presentation. Instead of taking minutes about what was said, who said it, and who needs to follow up, you could just listen and watch. Thanks to online meetings you can!

Popular online meeting services, such as GoToMeeting, allow you to record the screen and audio from your web meetings with just a click of a button. The meeting is saved as a movie to your “My Documents” folder, where you can view it anytime from anywhere.

Why Should You Record Your Meetings?

There are several practical reasons to record your meetings:

Don’t miss out on the details – When showcasing a new product it’s easy for attendees to miss important details. A recording will allow your clients to replay your meeting and catch up on anything they might have missed.

Record the meeting for those who couldn’t attend – Send your meeting recording to those who couldn’t make the live meeting.

Record product demonstrations for prospective clients – Instead of doing a live demonstration for every client, record your demo once, then send the recording to new prospects.

Protect your business – It’s always a good idea to keep good records of conversations with clients, employees, and colleagues.

Future reference – Don’t rely exclusively on somebody’s handwritten notes to recall the meeting. A recorded meeting gives you a reliable reference for important conversations and demonstrations.

Recording your online meetings is a no-brainer, but before you get started let me share some best practices.

Best Practices for Recording Online Meetings

Make sure that you’ve closed any unnecessary windows before you start screensharing. You don’t want everybody in your organization to see what you’re buying your wife for her birthday. It’s especially important that you close any e-mail or instant messaging applications.

Use a web meeting service like GoToMeeting that has built-in recording capabilities. Services like MeetMeNow have screen recording features, but require third party hardware in order to record the audio. GoToMeeting can record all audio and video from anybody in attendance, regardless of whether they’re using a VOIP line or plain old telephone.

Don’t forget to stop the recording or end the meeting. You don’t want to accidentally record your PC activity after the meeting has ended.

Keep the meeting recording secure. You don’t want your confidential meetings to be posted on the Internet for anybody to see. Make sure you use a secure method for transferring the file to your colleagues or clients. Services such as allow you to send big files (up to 1 gigabyte) safely over the Internet.

Make sure you have enough hard drive space to record your meetings. A file from a recorded meeting can be anywhere from just a few megabytes to a few hundred megabytes, depending on the screen sharing activity and length of the meeting. I recommend having at least a few gigabytes reserved on your drive for these recordings.

Meeting recording has been very beneficial to my business. I’ve shared dozens of these recordings with my clients, which has allowed them to refer back to important topics and recall important details.

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