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  1. #1
    Star Lounger
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    Question Online meeting recommendations

    Did a search and found that the last identifiable thread on this topic is 4 years old, so essentially repeating an earlier question although with different parameters. I apologize in advance for the lengthy post, but am trying to give enough background to allow any respondents to know exactly what I'm looking for!

    I am on the board of a not-for-profit, 100% volunteer organization. We are required to have two board meetings per year. One is held at our annual convention, so no problem. The other, though, has no other purpose to bring us all together. Board members can be scattered across five states, three provinces, and two territories, meaning it's not practical to travel for a 2-hour meeting.

    I took on the task of looking for some online meeting software that would suit our needs. Since we only need it once a year, we're certainly not interested in a service with a monthly subscription fee. We're not averse to paying a reasonable fee for the meeting, but the key word is "reasonable."

    We could have 25-30 people involved, using Windows, Apple, and even Linux operating systems. The visual capability is nice but not essential; a voice hookup is mandatory. We need to remember, though, that these are individuals calling in, so asking them to pay for their calls is something to avoid (I know I wouldn't appreciate a 2-hour call on my cell phone!).

    I've done some looking at various services, but the ones that look the most promising on the surface either (a) have a much-too-small participant limit, or (b) don't really give any information until you register on the site, something I'm not going to do without more information. Vicious cycle!

    Anyway, after all that the question is: can anyone tell me about their experiences with various online meeting services?

  2. #2
    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
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    I've been on meetings on WebEx with and without video, and on Adobe Connect for audio only. Each was fine, but certainly benefits from a high bandwidth connection (if you want to use web audio rather than calling in).

  3. #3
    5 Star Lounger
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    For free web conferencing and webinars, I've used Mikogo (http://www.mikogo.com/). Its free for personal or business use. I have to say, for free, its pretty impressive. If any of your participants are on dial-up though, it probably won't work well.

    I've never done a bridge call for more than a few people, but these look promising: http://www.freeconferencecall.com/, http://www.powwownow.com/, http://www.instantconference.com/ . There are probably more, but that may be a good start. As far as participants paying for calls, long distance is included in most cell plans so that should not pose a problem. They will only use minutes.
    Chuck

  4. #4
    Star Lounger
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    Thanks for the help, guys. Thanks especially for the comments about mikogo.com; they're the one I was specifically referring to when I said they don't really give you much information until you register, but what little they have available before that does sound good.

    I completely forgot about WebEx, for some reason! I think maybe in the back of my mind I associate significant fees with them.

    Just for the record, my concern about users paying for their calls is that while most cell phone plans will include long distance, I think most of the people on this call will not have hands-free devices for their phones. If that's the case, a full-size phone is a lot more comfortable on a 2-hour call than a cell phone is (and the speaker-phone feature of every cell phone I've used, so far, is of very poor quality).

    I'll report back after the meeting -- as yet unscheduled -- to let you know what we ended up doing and how it worked out.

    Dave

  5. #5
    New Lounger
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    mikogo User Guide

    Hi Dave,

    Here's the link to the mikogo User Guide. Quite a bit of info about how the service works.

    http://www.mikogo.com/downloads/docs...user-guide.pdf

  6. #6
    Super Moderator WebGenii's Avatar
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    I'm just going to chime in here
    Our local College is experimenting with on-line training. Currently we are experimenting with Adobe Connect, and the results (tho requiring high speed) have been very satisfactory. You might want to check if your local college can host your session. Check with the Adult Education or Continuing Studies department.
    Alternately, I know that a lot of Alberta libraries have video conferencing facilities available. I have to believe that if the library in my tiny rural town has video conferencing that other locales will too. You might want to see your local library can help.
    [b]Catharine Richardson (WebGenii)
    WebGenii Home Page
    Moderator: Spreadsheets, Other MS Apps, Presentation Apps, Visual Basic for Apps, Windows Mobile

  7. #7
    WS Lounge VIP mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    If all you need is audio, one option would be phone.com, a VOIP company. Get a basic account (around $12 per month), which includes free conference calling. Then everyone can call in. Since you get free incoming calls, none of your monthly minutes are used up when you do a conference.

    I've never used the conference call feature, but I used to have an account with phone.com, and they told me the above information.

  8. #8
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    Team Viewer has a meeting option as well.
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  9. #9
    New Lounger
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    We use on premise web conferencing appliance to conduct web meetings. We think it is a better solution as compared to hosted services. You can check the comparison between hosted and on-premise web conferencing at https://www.rhubcom.com/v4/web_confe...omparison.html

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