Virtual Meetings: The Face of The Future
Virtual meetings are becoming more and more popular as the option of staying in your office for a meeting is so much more attractive than travelling halfway around the world…or even just up the street.
Virtual Meetings Explained
A virtual meeting, otherwise known as an online meeting or net meeting, is when two or more people located in different places conduct live, synchronous meetings through their computers’ being connected via the Internet. These meetings can take the form of online training sessions, e-learning classes, or presentations but they need not have any specific structure and all that is required to set up a virtual meeting is people, hardware, screen sharing software (to establish a remote desktop connection) and the desire to communicate simultaneously.
A virtual meeting occurs when each participant uses their own computer and these computers are all connected via the Internet through remote desktop software applications that are either web-based or downloadable. There are three basic models for virtual meetings: meetings held via a hosting service and meetings conducted through the use of either meeting software or appliances. A webinar is a specific type of virtual meeting and these are mainly used for online training or presentation sessions as they are ‘one-way’ meetings where only one person is active while no input is required from the audience. But where audience participation is required, there are special applications that can be used to make webinars collaborative, including remote access software which enables remote control of a distant computer.
Virtual meetings offer many different types of features and this is one reason why they are gaining popularity. The most innovative features include Voiceover Internet Protocol (VoIP) for live chat or streaming and shared screens, desktops and application sharing. Slideshows, the use of surveys and polls, text chat, whiteboards and the ability to record meetings are further features that have also proven extremely popular.
Why Virtual Meetings
Having your virtual meeting from your office rather than traveling across the world or across the street, saves both time and money and, in today’s unhealthy economy, anything that saves a business time and money is an extremely good thing. No longer is it necessary to pay for travel or accommodation and all those hours that would usually be spent in transit can be now used productively. Virtual meetings are specifically recommended for situations where meeting participants are located worldwide and they are also perfect for when you want to reach a large number of people simultaneously, such as in a web conference. Also, in a society where working from home is becoming the thing to do, web conferencing software for virtual meetings can greatly benefit both the employer and employee.