Virtual Meeting Rooms – The Key to Successful Online Collaboration

With the world falling into the grip of the Covid-19 pandemic, work from home & remote collaboration have become the new normal. While many have adapted themselves to the change with optimism, others have remained skeptical about it.

Unlike earlier days where you could sit physically sit around a table and interact with your teammates, the pandemic has changed the scenes upside down. Now that physical meeting continues to be out of the equation, an online meeting is the only option left on the table and yet online meetings are often frowned upon.

While online meetings are cost-effective, convenient, and the best viable option that's left on the table, people tend to have an aversion to it. The most commonly cited reason is the inability to develop a personal connection with the participants and the difficulty in collaborating with the participants.

Here are some of the prominent reasons for aversion to online meetings

1. Limited features for collaboration among participants

While most video conferencing platforms these days support 100+ attendees in a meeting room, collaborating with them can get cumbersome. Say you have an online meeting with 15 attendees, you can't expect to connect with the attendees the same way you could if you all were physically present in a conference room. It can also become difficult for the attendees to play an active role in online meetings.

The one thing about video conferencing as a mode of meeting online is that in most cases there will always be just one person talking to the entire group while the other attendees remain passive listeners. There's also less spontaneity, which means you might miss out on some of the most innovative ideas.

​2. Not the best technology driven methodology

Oftentimes video conferencing platforms are not the best technology driven methodology for online collaboration. For instance, prominent video conferencing platforms like Skype don't have an option for the host to mute the microphones of any of the participants in a call. Similarly it lacks an option to raise a hand when someone wants to speak, among many others.

Video conferencing platforms are mostly designed for personal uses & not exactly for business uses for which you need a virtual meeting room!

​3. Need to download 3rd party software applications

In most cases, attendees have to download and install an application to join/host the meetings. This is time-consuming as most organizations would have security firewalls blocking such downloads. One way to counter this is to use an online meeting platform that lets you join and host meetings straight from your web browser without any downloads.

To give you a better idea, say you are part of an organization that creates eLearning content. Your organization uses WebEx for video conferencing and your clients use Zoom. For you both to connect online, either you need to install Zoom or your client needs to install WebEx. While this might sound easy, it's not as simple! The reason sometimes boiled down to security teams only wanting their teams to install products they are comfortable supporting

In short, though video conferencing platforms make use of video & audio devices to facilitate meetings & conferences, most of them don't have collaborative features. The major drawback of video conferencing is that all that the attendees can do is to sit in front of their webcam seeing and listening to the presenter with limited options for collaborations.

Owing to which video conferencing platforms like Skype, Slack, Microsoft Teams, Google Meet, and GoToMeeting are only used for general meetings & brainstorming sessions. This calls for a better collaborative environment tool and hence the need to have a Virtual Conferencing Platform Tool.

While video conferencing and virtual meeting rooms are often used as interchangeable terms, they aren't the same. Though they are both used in collaboration and training, they make use of different technologies and are used in different ways.

Unlike a video conferencing platform, a virtual meeting room comes out of the box with features like multiple online whiteboards, HD audio & video, group screen sharing, reports, and more.

Let's have a look at how virtual meeting rooms help in better collaboration.

1. Virtual whiteboards for effective collaboration

Most of the virtual meeting room platform comes with an in-built whiteboard that helps the stakeholders better collaborate. Whiteboards such as the one in BrainCert come with intelligent features like the option to embed images, slides, documents to convey your ideas to the other attendees. You can also use the whiteboard as a Sketch note to encourage others to build upon each other's ideas.

When you have an online whiteboard, you can ensure that the attendees are a part of the meeting and not just passive viewers & listeners.

​2. Offers flexibility

Unlike the video conferencing platforms most virtual meeting rooms are WebRTC powered which means that you don't have to download or install any application or software packages. All you need is a web browser to join/host meetings. WebRTC & HTML 5 powered meeting rooms also have a responsive interface ensuring that the platform can be accessed from your Android/iOS devices.

If you have a PC/Laptop/Mobile (android or iOS)/Tablet (android or iOS) then BrainCert Meeting Room can help you collaborate immediately.

​3. Group Screen Sharing

Unlike video conferencing software platforms, virtual meeting rooms have the options for multiple screen share. For instance, BrainCert meeting rooms allow attendees to share their computer screens in a tabbed whiteboard interface with low latency.

With multiple whiteboards, all participants can pitch in their ideas and actively take part in discussions.

​4. Record meetings

Virtual Meeting rooms lets you record the entire meeting sessions without installing any other software or browser plugins. You can then download these files and share them with those who couldn't make it for the meeting or keep it for future references.

​To Sum Up

In short, a virtual meeting room is far superior to a video conferencing platform. It offers you a better platform to collaborate online for your eLearning projects. To know how your organization can better benefit from a virtual meeting room, get in touch with our team to get a full-featured live demo of our Meeting Room.

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