Virtual Meeting.

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.