Since the pandemic first shook the world, it has impacted our lives dramatically but one of the biggest changes we’ve seen is in the workplace with millions of people retreating from the office to work from home. While it doesn’t seem like we’ll be returning to the office any time soon, the good news is that as fast as our lives have changed, so has the technology to accommodate us.
From fully-immersive video conferencing platforms to AI software allowing you to interact with your team and leverage the most capable applications out there for your business, technology has provided us with new solutions. We’ve rounded up some of our favourites.
Usually the start of September means “back to school” for students, and the end of summer vacation for many of us. For a lot of companies, it’s also the start of strategic planning and annual meetings to hit the ground running after employees return to work. While some students and employees will be physically returning to school and their offices, many will continue to keep their learning online and work remotely for the foreseeable future. As a result, companies will need to navigate a remote work environment, or, in companies where employees have returned to the office already, some changes will need to be made − workflows, meetings and schedules will need to be adapted to comply with new restrictions.
For companies that typically hold an annual company meeting for their employees, this will likely mean a shift to a virtual meeting format, with employees joining via their own workstation − in the office or from home. A virtual annual company meeting requires additional planning and different tools than what we’d expect from an in-person meeting format − especially for companies who will be running a virtual meeting for the first time. For those wanting to ensure that this year’s annual meeting goes off without a hitch, we’ve rounded up some helpful tips and resources to get you there.
Use a Reliable Video Conferencing Software
Recently, we featured six top video conferencing platforms — from Zoom to Skype to Google Hangouts. Each platform comes with its own unique set of features, and depending on the call, one may be a better fit over the others. When it comes to an annual company meeting, where the number of participants is likely to be high, we recommend opting for an enterprise-grade solution like Zoom or Skype for Business. You’re less likely to need to worry about call quality and software-related glitches, and can ensure that all participants have a productive experience.
Engage Participants with Interactive Components
Annual company meetings are typically longer, sometimes multi-day events. Organizers must consider how to keep participants engaged throughout the duration of the meeting, particularly in an online setup. Consider incorporating interactive components throughout the meeting, such as live polling and surveys, and a social wall (a live social media feed), with the help of tools like Whova. Participants may find it difficult to concentrate during a long, online meeting due to distractions in the form of other applications, notifications, and without the ability to be fully present as is the case in an in-person meeting. Interactive components can not only keep participants engaged and focused, but also ensure that they are retaining information.
Share Meeting Documents and Presentations via the Cloud
Google and Dropbox are two of our favorite tools for better productivity and collaboration. Both are easy to use, offer integrations with other software and e-mail, and are an ideal way to share files amongst co-workers. Consider sharing meeting documents and presentations with participants in the cloud − either before or after the meeting. This way, participants needn’t have to focus on jotting down every detail during the meeting, but instead can focus on the presentations and conversations without missing any key points.
Enable Live Video Recording
Finally, a newer technique being adopted by remote-operating businesses (and those using video conferencing) is to use a video recording solution in tandem with notes and minutes with tools like Replay Telecorder. Meeting participants are able to refer back to a particular presentation for further reference, or those unable to attend the live viewing can get up to speed on what was discussed. Replay Telecorder is the most powerful, easy-to-use video conference recorder out there − you can record virtual annual company meetings held on Zoom, Skype, Google Hangouts, Join.me, GoToMeeting, and every other application you can think of with perfect accuracy.
With simple, one-click recording and a fast background mode to capture and multi-task, it’s a super-efficient solution to recording and saving every virtual business meeting, brainstorm, and more. Check out the user guide to see how easy it is to get started.
Over the last few months, video conferencing has served as a temporary substitute for various in-person interactions such as professional meetings, social hangouts and entertainment. As a result, we now place a greater reliance on video conferencing platforms for all of these important moments.
While most of us are likely familiar with the best-known video conferencing offerings such as Facebook, Skype, Zoom and Google Hangouts, there are other platforms out there that you probably haven’t heard of, but deserve your attention!
For all of your virtual work-related and social hangout needs, we’ve rounded up the top 6 video conferencing platforms of 2020. In no particular order, check them out…
Microsoft Teams is the ultimate corporate video conferencing solution. Designed for seamless efficiency and collaboration, it integrates with Office applications like Word and SharePoint, while its design and infrastructure make it incredibly interactive. It also integrates with Skype for Business.
Microsoft Teams gives other collaboration tools like Slack, who have dominated the market over the last few years, a run for their money — especially because its video conferencing option is just as impressive and powerful as its chat function. Users can launch video conferences directly from their chats, too!
Skype for Business comes packaged with Microsoft Office 365 and takes the free, standard capabilities of Skype to the next level. It’s an inexpensive solution that doesn’t cut corners, nor does it skimp on the most important features. Video call quality is good and the service is reliable!
All Skype for Business plans include:
Conferencing for upto 250 participants
Effortless integration with Microsoft Office programs like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote and Outlook
Zoom is one of the most popular video conferencing platforms out there — its user base has exploded in the last few months. It has a number of features that make it an ideal option for businesses.
Its free plan includes all of the basic features for video conferencing. Users are not restricted to a limit of meetings, and they can join with the Zoom app or by calling in from a phone line. Video quality is good and the audio can be heard clearly on fast internet connections. Businesses will especially like that with Zoom, users can share screens and annotate with whiteboard functions. It also integrates with Google Chrome and Microsoft Outlook.
Google Hangouts Meet is an affordable, no-frills video conferencing solution for businesses and individuals who regularly host video meetings, remotely manage teams, or regularly work from home.
However, as the platform’s features are pretty basic, including its enterprise tier, we recommend it for users looking to make personal video calls or organize social video hangouts. For a truly enterprise-level video conferencing tool users will need to look elsewhere — one of the options above, as a start!
As many of us are GSuite users or at the very least, have a Gmail account, Google Hangouts Meet is accessible and incredibly easy to get up and running.
Houseparty has been a saving grace for all of us looking to stay connected with our social networks — it’s a video conferencing and games room platform all in one! Available for iOS, Android, Mac and PC, it allows up to eight people to video chat at once in a “room.” Users can have unlimited rooms and easily switch between them. Users can stay in the know with notifications when a friend is active on the app. That way, you can join in a chat with your friends (and friends of friends) at any time!
Users can spice things up by playing games including Houseparty Heads Up!, Trivia, Quick Draw, and Chips and Guac! What’s not to love?
When it comes to linking up online, the possibilities are endless thanks to a plethora of impressive video conferencing solutions. Whether you’re dialing in for a business meeting or catching up with friends and family, you’ll be sure to find what you need in one of our picks above. Couple that with the right tools to make sure that you don’t miss out on a single minute and you’re good to go. Our pick? Replay Telecorder. It can record any video conferencing applications in background mode, so you can enjoy an uninterrupted connection for when you need it most.
Getting started is easy. Get your group together, start your video call, and make sure you have the latest version of Replay Telecorder, so that you can save the most important moments for later.
In response to the soaring usage of video tools, Facebook recently launched a slew of new video messaging and livestreaming features across its platforms. The move is in line with the social media giant’s growth strategy, which seeks to boost engagement and create cross-company integration across the Facebook platform. For its users though, Facebook’s new Room group video chat feature allows for greater connectivity in a time when video, as a means of staying in touch, is greatly valued — even more so than ever before.
In this way, Facebook has positioned itself as a first choice offering for those looking to stay in touch with family and friends, in addition to users needing a reliable and accessible video conferencing offering.
Facebook is also working to integrate the Rooms feature into its other platforms including WhatsApp, Instagram and Portal. At present, Messenger Rooms also builds on Facebook’s efforts to build out features that emphasize community. In particular, with “open hangouts” if a Facebook group or event has a video chat happening, other users within the group will be able to see the chat within their News Feed, allowing them to join in the call if they wish. Inspired by the likes of Houseparty, open hangouts are an easy and no-pressure way to stay connected.
With Messenger Rooms, Facebook is quickly becoming a one-stop shop for many users, offering an impressive and seemingly ever-growing suite of features for your social media, community and now, video conferencing needs. Businesses large and small can take advantage of the Rooms feature; for many, particularly where cost is a consideration and paid premium offerings like Zoom don’t fit the budget, Facebook is a logical choice. Likewise, for users looking for an easier way to connect with family and friends, without having to teach grandma and grandpa how to work the latest piece of software, Messenger Rooms simply fits the bill.
With the latest video conferencing offering in your quarantine toolbelt, you’ll want to pair that with a tool that will allow you to record important meetings and capture memories being made with family and friends. With Replay Video Capture, you can have peace of mind that you’ll be able to watch and capture all these important moments.
Not sure how to get started with Replay Video Capture? Not to worry: with our handy how-to guide, it’s easy to get started with capturing your professional and personal video calls. Be sure to download the latest version of Replay Video Capture so you won’t miss out!
As more of us are being called upon to #stayathome, the more creative people are getting about reshaping their daily lives online.
It’s more important than ever to stay connected, and nowadays there are hundreds of ways to do it. Whether we are looking to connect professionally, personally, or purely for social reasons, staying at home is still a great opportunity for people to meet and get together.
To do so, people around the world are turning to video chat giants like Zoom, Google Hangouts and Skype among others, making sure that they are able to not only get in touch with groups of people, but also to do it in a variety of ways. With Replay Telecorder, you can be sure to record your virtual events so that you can always playback your favorite moments.
What are some of the best opportunities to get together?
Connecting Remotely with Your Work Team:
If you work from home, then connecting with your team is a must. From creating a supportive environment in your home office, to managing essential planning meetings, connecting is crucial. One of the most effective ways that remote teams stay connected is to make sure to set up regular times to meet and connect virtually. With Google Hangouts, Zoom and Skype, your meetings can accommodate teams of any size. Make sure that you keep track of important information by keeping a recording of your virtual meetings.
You’d be amazed at the variety of fitness classes that are being offered online. From free fitness routines that you can find on YouTube, to the fitness class offerings that are opening up online, there is no reason to fall off of your fitness routine. But if you are like most, then it’s likely that having a fitness buddy (or a group of them) is your best motivator. Cue up your favorite online workouts, and then hop in a Hangout with your favorite workout partners to keep those endorphins pumping! Don’t forget to record your workout, so that you can practice those moves next time.
Most games are made to be played with other people. Taking advantage of video conference rooms to hold a game night with your favorite people can be a great way to stay connected. With the option to create a grid of all chat members, it’s a great way to create teams if your group is large enough. Record the action so that you can replay and share your favorite moments. A great app for this is Houseparty, which comes with a selection of games to play with your friends, and its split-screen capabilities keeps games fun and fast-paced for everyone. All you need to do is invite your friends.
If you’re looking to keep your spirits up, one way to do it is by hosting a virtual happy hour, featuring your favorite karaoke songs. You may want to share one (or a few) of your favorite seasonal recipes with your friends, and then join each other for a night of belting out your favorite sing-alongs. If you want to mix it up with your mixers, try adding in some trivia about your favorite bands before you start so that you can bring your virtual karaoke night to the next level. Just make sure you don’t miss a moment of it.
Few things are as restorative as joining up with a group to have a deep chat over a great book and delicious food. If themed brunches are your thing, you can set up the theme of your brunch to coincide with the topic of your selected reading. Connect with friends worldwide if you really want to add to the fun. It may become the highlight of your week.
When it comes to linking up online, the possibilities are endless, and they keep growing everyday. All you need is some imagination, a great idea, and the perfect tools to make sure that you don’t miss out on a single minute. Our pick? Replay Telecorder. It can record any video conferencing applications in background mode, so you can enjoy an uninterrupted connection.
How does it work?
Get your group together. You can invite your group attendees manually or just make sure everyone has a custom link to the meeting. That way you can keep them private and invite only who you want.
Start your video conferencing application. Replay Telecorder works great with Skype, Google Hangouts. Zoom, and any application with similar features.
Record and save for playback later. As soon as you join the call, just hit “Record” and you’re all set. You can stop recording anytime you like. It’s really that easy.
Getting started is easy. Get your group together, get creative, and then make sure you have the latest version of Replay Telecorder, so that you can save the best moments (or save your best moves to practice) for later. With the right tools, your house may become your favorite place to meet up with your favorite people!