Web meetings are a great way to save time and cut costs within a company, especially a startup. Applications like LiveMeeting and Go-to-Meeting are great ways to rally employees that are in different locations while keeping the expense of traveling to a minimum; but there are other alternatives that work just as well for free. AnyMeeting is a great and definitely one of the best free alternatives to LiveMeeting and Go-to-Meeting. With this user friendly application you can invite anyone to your meeting either by sending them a link or formal invitation. AnyMeeting’s free application surpasses other free social meeting applications allowing up to 200 attendees, Microsoft Outlook integration, a free conference call number, custom meeting link to name a few.
As with most free software or applications there are advertisements displayed; however, I do not find them to be distracting when conducting a meeting. For those who prefer an ad-free meeting experience the pro upgrade might work better for you. Although there is an added expense, it offers the benefit of allowing you to record your calls which is great if you do not have a note taker or you just want to go back and review the meeting content. Other features of the pro versions Pro 25 (at $18/month) and Pro 200 (at $78/month) include customized background, no advertisement, in-meeting file sharing, and more attendees allowed in your meetings. You can pay monthly or yearly (with a discount of 2 months) which is a really great deal. Go to meeting offers 25 attendees at $49/month and up to 100 attendees at $69/month. Live Meeting ranges from $42/month to $199/month with up to 1,250 attendees.
So let’s review the options available in the free version of Anymeeting:
Meeting Questionnaire – upon creating a meeting, you can create a questionnaire for your attendees to fill out prior to the meeting
Discussion Mode – Everyone is unmuted on the call
Q&A Mode – Everyone is muted, however they can unmute themselves
Listen-Only Mode – Only the presenters can unmute for those monologue presentations
Lock Meeting – No one can enter after a certain time
Enable entry and exit dings – alerts you if someone is entering or leaving your call (similar to Live Meeting)
Invite – invite more people to your meeting
Record (Pro only) – allows you to record your screen and all audio on your conference call
Cam – activates your web camera so that you have the added feature of video chat
Phone – audio options to use a phone or the computer microphone
Share – allows you to share your entire screen (pick a particular monitor if you have multiple screens)
YouTube – type in the link of a video and it immediately shows on the screen for your attendees to view
Upload SharePoint Presentations or PDF Documents so that your attendees can view those only
Polling – allows you to create a poll for some or all of your attendees to cast votes. (this is a great idea; however, it does not have an option to vote multiple times if there are multiple people using one computer.)
Notes – take private or public notes as you go through the meeting. Once you end your meeting, you will receive an e-mail with the notes that you wrote so don’t worry about having to copy and pasting them
Mood – once pushed will show up next to the attendees name in the top left box and defaults to “I’m fine”
Raise Hand – if you would like to ask a question instead of interrupting the call by interjection.
Yes/No buttons – users may select “yes” or “no” if asked a question during the conference call and you do not wish to open the call to conversation mode
End Meeting – ends the video conference
Chat box – privacy setting that allows you to have private chats or just have a conversation with the presenter(s)
Because our contributors are spread out over the country, here at Beloda Magazine we find AnyMeeting to be a smart way to collaborate on ideas and save money at the same time. I recommend that anyone needing to conduct remote business meetings give it at least one try. The standard version is absolutely free. Once you start using it you will completely forget about wanting to use Live Meeting or Go-to-meeting.
~Screenshot taken from Anymeeting.com