For businesses these days, arranging meetings in person can be a challenge. This is why more and more businesses are turning to call and web conferencing services, in order to schedule and take part in meetings without having to even leave their desks.
One provider that offers the convenience and ease of web conferencing is GoToMeeting, from parent company Citrix. It's a great option for smaller scale offices that are looking for a straightforward online meeting platform. Starting a meeting takes only one click and GoToMeeting has many great features including screen sharing, keyboard/mouse control, VoIP and drawing tools.
GoToMeeting can be used on a range of devices, including Mac, PC, Chromebook, Linux and mobile devices, however, Apple aficionados beware; consumers report that drawing tools and recording feature aren't available for Mac users.
GoToMeeting offers screen sharing for attendees to view all or part of your screen, it also allows you to take the control of someone else's screen and operate it from your location. You can share your screen while still keeping your webcam going, which is helpful for presentations, and the drawing tools can be used in the screen share too.
Unfortunately, there aren't any features for attendees to provide feedback in GoToMeeting while most of their competitors offer polling tools, or have a "raise your hand" feature for attendees who have a question during the meeting.
Tools like polls can be helpful in larger meetings to encourage engagement, although they may not be necessary for smaller meetings. It does, however, offer in-app chat and private chat. The free plan doesn't offer a chat function and only links up to your microphone and webcam for audio and visual communication.
Tools & Features
Like many other web conferencing providers, there's a 30-day free trial for GoToMeeting, a web-based software which requires no installation. GoToMeeting has apps for iOS, Android, and Windows Phone devices.
You can also download the Viewer from the Windows Store, for Windows 8.1 devices. GoToMeeting has a high quality of video conferencing from Android and Windows Phone and the apps are easy to find your way around. It's also free for up to three attendees, with plans starting from $39 per month for up to 25 attendees and $56 per month for up to 100 attendees.
Communicating Across the Globe with GoToMeeting
Citrix supports GoToMeeting in German, Spanish, French, Italian, and Chinese. When you switch language modes, all the text and menu options change right away. However, it doesn't have the interpreting option which is offered by some of its competitors.
When you participate in a meeting via iPad you can use a microphone to make your contribution, which is something that will appeal to many users. GoToMeeting also offers the choice of speaking via VOIP or toll-free numbers.
While the features that come with this service are not as comprehensive as some of its rivals, it does offer great value for the money and a range of valuable features that could prove ideal for many businesses. This service is designed for relatively modest sized meetings with a maximum of 25 people. One of the great features that this service offers is the ability to change who is hosting the meeting just by clicking a button.
One aspect to consider, however, is that while the program can host up to 25 people, only six webcams can be used at any one time, meaning up to 19 voices competing to be as fully involved in the meeting as the six who can be seen. Other providers, including Skype for Business and Join.me, allow up to ten webcams at a time, and Adobe Connect has no upper limit. If your meeting required a visual presence of more than six people, this is not the service for you. Another downside is that video conferencing calls can't be recorded for future reference.
Branded Meeting Space
For businesses who require a memorably, easily accessible portal, GoToMeeting offers a permanent, custom URL, meaning no more clicking on different contacts, sending links, save one link in your browser and that's your location for all future meetings.
For more options to adapt the site to your own specifications, go into settings in GoToMeeting and upload your company logo to have your chosen image displayed as the default image. You can also customize option the meeting space using your company's colors.
You can easily share files during your meetings, however, GotoMeeting doesn't offer a calendar integration service, nor cloud storage. This means that you must manually send meeting reminders and save any files to send out as these won't be automatically shared or made available to your attendees at the end of the meeting.
Artistic License with GoToMeeting
GoToMeeting's drawing option is a useful feature. Any attendee with control over the screen can draw or make notes freehand. The tools allow you highlight text, draw arrows or sketch out plans.
However, GoToMeeting doesn't have the capacity for the drawing tools to be used during a video conference, only audio. GoToMeeting uses built-in audio and users can choose between VolP and toll-based options at no extra charge. OpenVoice makes setting up toll-free conferencing easy and manageable.
Support & Resources
GoToMeeting has a wide range of support options with an FAQ page, user guide, video tutorials which cover everything from logging in, to scheduling meetings. You can benefit from access to a range of tools and resources with this service, including a range of training guides and videos to assist users.
You can also enjoy excellent customer service levels, with representatives available via live chat. In terms of consumer reviews, GoToMeeting 3.5/5 from PC Mag and 7.5/10 on the G2 Crowd.
GoToMeeting offers a reliable and affordable service that can take the hassle, time, and inconvenience out of holding in-person meetings. It's a great choice for small businesses looking for a straightforward service and, while it may be falling behind the competition in some areas, it offers a range of helpful features enabling businesses to benefit from its low-cost plans.