What makes the best virtual meeting platform?

When searching for the best meeting app, we are looking for a user-friendly, collaborative platform to connect, hold a conference call, chat with friends, or attend virtual conferences and events. With technology rapidly advancing, people are looking for alternatives to video calls. The best web meeting apps create a space that increases productivity, makes users feel comfortable, and steers away from restricted video chats that we are so used to experiencing. 

With well-known video conferencing tools such as Zoom, Google Hangouts, Cisco Webex, Microsoft Teams, and other open-source options, we have noticed people choose these platforms based on popularity rather than the software’s quality and experience. The rigid, uncomfortable feeling many users suffer from in a Zoom video meeting can result in teams experiencing anxiety throughout their working days, with many preferring phone calls to effectively communicate their ideas. Many individuals share what we now know as ‘Zoom Fatigue’ when in a video conference, causing people to feel tired, worried, or burnt-out from regularly using a video conference room.

Features that are a must!

When looking for the best web meeting app, various features are a must for your virtual office. Having an online platform that creates a space for meetings and includes break-out areas for natural conversations is essential. These breakaway chats are the glue that holds teams together and can be incredibly important to many individuals when focusing on their mental health and well-being. As a team leader, boosting your team’s morale and ensuring relationships are maintained between colleagues should be one of the top priorities. 

Being able to collaborate easily is also incredibly important when WFH. As you would in the office, presenting ideas via virtual tools such as screen sharing is an excellent way to show your team ideas and work together on solutions. Having an option to also include ‘sticky notes’ for the team to revert to after talks and update any further statements generated when stepping away from meetings is a great way to help projects grow and reach goals.

With many meetings held across low-quality phone calls and video conferencing software, using a platform for online meetings with no-downloads is the perfect go-to for remote teams. Using online platforms makes it easily accessible for all team members and ensures that no time is wasted trying to juggle multiple download links or dial-in numbers when you join meetings.

Remote teams

Recent technologies are making it possible for teams to work together wherever they are in the world. But businesses are now slowly adapting to these new working environments. They are hunting for a platform where you can hold meetings and maintain critical personal relationships within groups that positively affect productivity. Working from home is currently taking place in most businesses. Many organisations are discovering how practical working from home is and are shifting away from a physical office altogether.

Four tips on how team leaders can effectively manage their remote teams:

Hold regular, organised meetings

Regularly holding team meetings with colleagues ensures that the team stays connected and that everyone is staying on top of projects effectively whilst at home. It also establishes any issues that the team faces, allowing them to voice and resolve these to move forward with ease. Meetings also give people a chance to feel included and trusted, giving team members a sense of importance when delegating tasks and space to contribute to the companies success.

Work on team building

A virtual team building game will bring colleagues together in a more natural, relaxed setting. The virtual event will allow team members to work together, understand each other’s strengths and have fun together outside of the professional meetings, ensuring that friendships are maintained and built. There are many different virtual team building tasks that you can implement into the working schedule, including:

  • Quizzes
  • ‘Photo of your life’
  • Three truths and a lie
  • Bucketlist challenge

Set clear goals

Ensuring each of your team has clear goals set before each week will improve productivity and time-management when undertaking projects. Setting targets will give you something to evaluate when seeing how well people perform against the goals written out. Using desktop and mobile apps such as Trello can be a great way to track projects. 

Prompt frequent communication

Encouraging your team to stay in contact outside of meetings, and providing tools to do this is essential. As mentioned before, some of the best virtual meeting apps provide break-out areas where the team can navigate to after meetings, keeping the connection alive beyond the more formal discussions and building on more personal relationships. The more your team talk, the stronger the bonds will be. When friendships are made, this means that people will feel more comfortable around each other. Communication will then be easier when giving feedback, complementing each other, and collaborating.

Orbital, the future of remote working

Both large and small businesses are likely to have their team spread out in various locations. With current circumstances, we cannot have the usual physical face-to-face meetings we are so used to attending. With many of us missing this human interaction, we have been looking for a video conferencing solution as a replacement. However, when connecting virtually, audio-only platforms have been proven as highly effective and have a much higher positive psychological impact on their users. Not all team members are fond of video, especially whilst being in a new environment that they may not be comfortable with sharing; this is where the need for a new innovative web conferencing software has come in.

At Orbital, we are currently offering a free plan for 30-days, in which your team will have access to all the incredible features which Orbital has to offer. With this free version, you will be able to invite up to 20 team members to the galaxy, where you will be able to personalise your galaxy using our ‘pin’ spaces with visuals of our pre-set areas or upload your own! Whether you are looking to use Orbital for your remote-team, virtual event, or simply a meet up with friends, our features cater to all of your needs. Here are a few of our innovate features which we have to offer:

Break-out areas

Orbital has created an innovative audio-proximity feature that allows individuals to talk in separate groups, yet all under the same galaxy. This feature makes a natural office feeling, much like in real life; moving closer to others will enable their audio to become more evident and louder for you, and vice versa. The break-out areas allow for separated team chats to occur and ease moving to and from various spaces to speak on different topics. You can not only locate another ‘pin’ when looking to move away from a discussion, but you can also mute/unmute yourself by using the tool placed in the bottom bar or using the ‘push to talk’ shortcut—looking for time to yourself for a moment? Simply set yourself as ‘away’ so team members won’t disturb you.

Collaborative features

Orbital also allows you to broadcast multiple screens within your galaxy, making it incredibly useful to collaborate with team members and communicate ideas or visuals effectively. When you share your screen, this quick and efficient feature will appear above your image. Once accepted by other people within your proximity, you will be viewable in a sizable popup. You can also collaborate directly onto the galaxy by adding ‘sticky notes’ when chatting with others or as reminders in your own office. We have also made it possible to add bookmarks and documents using URL embeds, opening up a whole new world for the virtual whiteboard and productivity tools. 

Chat and emoji

Not only is Orbital audio-based, but you are also able to chat and send emojis for those more quiet moments. This message will pop above yourself in the galaxy for people in your close-proximity to see and appear in the sidebar chat for others. You will be given a set of default emojis in your first experience in the galaxy, yet you can replace this set with a vast array of emojis in our system. Simply use the edit option and personalise your collection to however you are feeling that day!

Meetup galaxy

We also cater to large events and meetups and have specific features to create the best space. We can toggle your galaxy into ‘meetup mode’, which will enable the feature allowing for only the people you’ve permitted to speak and share their screens, making it easy to assign speakers and presenters. All of our ‘pins’ make the perfect space for a virtual event, allowing for multiple areas to be created, such as networking areas, vendor halls, roundtable discussions…the options are endless! 

Ensure that your guests have enough time to create their accounts and become familiar with the platform before the event date. We recommend sending invitations up to 30 minutes before. To add guests, you can go to the Manage screen for your galaxy and input their email addresses: by default, your galaxy will have a limit of 20 people, but the more, the merrier! Contact us via the chat link on the bottom of this screen if you need more seats, and we can set it up for you.

Start building your galaxy

Are you looking to onboard your team to one of the best web meeting apps? Join Orbital today and watch your team flourish. The Orbital platform is trusted by remote teams worldwide, with proven success stories from business remote-teams, university students, and holding events. If you are interested in exploring Orbital, take a look at our free trial package and pricing list here.

Five meetup pins with people in each

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