Keeping Connected

Choosing the Right Video Conferencing Tools

2 minute read

When in-person interactions came to a halt in early 2020, businesses, organizations, families, and friends all had to find alternative ways to function and stay in contact. While video conferencing was not new for some of us, especially those of us in the creative/advertising industry, it quickly rose to be a staple for most people’s daily life.

The idea of video conferencing was first introduced in the late 1960s. While it did not gain true traction until the 1980s and 1990s, with help from the newly introduced internet and world wide web, this piece of technology has been around far longer than most of us are aware. Fast forward to today, we are inundated with numerous options to fit our needs from well-known household names like Skype, Google, and Facebook.

With the importance of keeping staff, students, communities, etc. connected now at the forefront, it is important to understand our options and how they can best serve us. That one-page word doc. that used to guide in-person meetings might not cut it for video conferencing; so, when considering your options, consider your needs. A good video conferencing tool, at its foundation, should be high quality, reliable, and user friendly. While familiar names instantly come to mind, there are also a few newcomers shaking up the video conferencing space.

Video Conferencing Tools to Consider

Pros: Seamless integration for GSuite users, includes live captioning

Cons: Struggles with large groups and slow internet connections

  • Microsoft Teams

Pros: Full integration with Microsoft Office (namely Outlook), guest access, app integration

Cons: Limited flexibility, semi-confusing user interface

  • Zoom

Pros: Incredibly reliable, allows for large groups, more options with paid plan

Cons: Viral security and privacy issues, time limits, more options with paid plan

Pros: No time limit on calls, no Facebook account necessary

Cons: Only 50 users per room

Most notably, a video conferencing tool must make you feel a sense of connection to others while we continue moving forward with the new norm of being apart. It is crucial to weigh all options against your individual needs, as we have learned this is not a one-size-fits-all situation.

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