In the last six or seven months, several aspects of our lives have become virtual. From shopping entirely on eCommerce sites and conducting classes and labs online to hiring employees via video conference interviews, the digital shift during the COVID pandemic is truly unprecedented in every way.
If you are a working professional or a student, you would have realized how vital video meeting services are. The definitions of communication and collaboration have changed significantly to incorporate the fact that face-to-face interactions are a thing of the past.
However, with the best video meeting tools, your experience can be as close to a real conference as possible. Here are the different aspects you need to keep in mind when choosing a video engagement platform to capture all the essential details of virtual sessions.
Features To Expect In Video Meeting Platforms
1. High-Quality Audio & Video
The fundamental requirement of any video engagement software is for the video and audio quality to be pristine as if the people communicating are in the same room. There is a contribution from the hardware and software to ensure that meetings are of high quality.
The hardware components like your laptop camera, microphone and speakers need to be in good condition to ensure clear transfer of messages. At the same time, the platform can also assist the communication by incorporating features like noise cancellation, auto-mute for non-speaking participants, and appropriate adjustments for users with low bandwidth.
2. Screen Sharing
Whether it is for sharing business presentations or lecture notes, the screen sharing option has become the equivalent of a projector. As meetings become more collaborative, this feature is a must-have on all video meeting platforms so that users can display their work or content or results to everyone present. The screen sharing option should also have the ability to toggle it on and off quickly.
If you want to share pre-recorded content, you should have a feature to record the screen activities. The screen recorder must be of high quality and should have additional options to highlight or focus on specific elements, share screen capture videos, and generate a shareable link to let a guest caller record a video and send it to you.
In some select platforms, the software allows you to edit the recordings (without any watermarks) before sharing it on screen. If you are a professor using such a platform to connect with your students, this editor tool is useful to make an error-free pre-recorded video (if you choose to do so) over a live session.
3. Device Compatibility
Although travel around the world has reduced significantly, people still prefer a platform that enables communication on the go. The same video meeting service should be available on desktops, laptops, tablets, and mobile interfaces with no compromise in quality in any device. Dial-in options from mobiles and options to allow access to guest users are useful features to have, to enable multi-device compatibility.
4. Emails With Videos
Text content in emails often goes unnoticed, especially if the content goes on and on. What if you had a way to embed video links in your Gmail or Outlook? Your response rate would go up significantly, helping you communicate more effectively with your colleagues and clients.
You can always record videos and send them as attachments with your emails. However, some video engagement platforms have the feature to create video email templates and send out a single video email to multiple candidates by personalizing it with their name, email, company name, and so on.
This video email feature is especially useful when you are dealing with CRM (Customer Relationship Management) or marketing to grab the attention of your clients instantly. If the platform has an inbuilt analysis tool, you can monitor the video views and watch percentage, qualify your leads better and move them through the funnel faster.
5. Chat & Sharing
Apart from audio and video communication, the chat feature is becoming another necessity in video meeting platforms. The main purpose of having a chat option is to convey information privately to the host or other members without disturbing the flow of the meeting and to communicate before and after the meeting. The host can also use chat to conduct surveys or polls or to ask the audience to respond without having all of them shout at once.
Similar to a chatbox for sending messages privately, another useful addition to the software tool is the option to share files to everyone or to select members over the platform. Now, the attendees of a meeting can quickly send across any relevant data or document without stepping away from the session to open their email inbox.
Office meetings are often confidential, and hence, the meeting rooms are designed to keep the conversation private. When the “meeting room” is only an online link, it is subject to the risk of being hacked. An external agent can enter the meeting or virtual classroom and potentially cause damage or access data that is not available outside.
Some features in video meetings tools that can boost the overall security setup are user authentication, permissions, and confidential attendee lists. These will ensure that only the concerned people participate in online sessions and not anyone who has the link.
In some cases, it may be necessary to record the meetings as a formality or for future reference. If uninvited attendees or hackers record the video, the content becomes public. So, the platform should ensure that only the host (or co-hosts) has the option to record the meeting, and only those who attended it can access the content later.
Crystal-Clear Communication Online
The competition among companies to provide the best communication, conference, and meeting experiences for business professionals and students has become fierce in the last few months. High quality, convenience, and recording and sharing options in video engagement platforms have become the need of the hour.
So, if you want to download a new software tool or add an extension to Chrome, compare the different options you have in these aspects. The trend of virtual communication could likely last even after the COVID pandemic subsides, so you should look for the best deal today.