Within a short period of one month, COVID-19 has already dramatically changed how we work and live in many aspects. As remote work becomes the new work modality, many businesses are migrating their meetings from offline to online. Whether you are running one-on-one consultation sessions or large group workshops, it's important to host your virtual meetings on a reliable and easy-to-use videoconferencing platform.
Google Hangouts, Zoom or Whereby?
While all of these tools allow you to communicate virtually with your clients, they have their own pros and cons. Each app has slightly different focus. Depending on your priorities and needs, you can compare the key features, limitations and pricing among them and decide which one is the most suitable platform for you.
Why we choose Whereby
We have tried all three tools. Based on our user experience, Zoom and Whereby deliver better video quality than Google Hangouts. But if you are a heavy user of Google's products, then Google Hangouts might be the better choice since it integrates with Google suite.
We chose Whereby over Zoom for two main reasons:
- Whereby doesn't have any meeting time limit on its free plan, whereas Zoom's free plan caps meeting time at 40 minutes. Sometimes our demo sessions and virtual coffee chats would go over the 40 minutes limit. If we are using Zoom, we would need to send the guest a new meeting link after the meeting limit is reached, which can be quite a hassle. So we love how Whereby allows the meetings to go on for as long as needed.
- Whereby doesn't require guests to download or install any apps. Guests can join your custom meeting room directly from their browser. While Zoom also offers creation of personal meeting ID, guests will need to download and install Zoom's app. In addition, we like Whereby's clean and easy-to-use interface.
Another important feature to us is being able to lock the chatroom to prevent uninvited guests attending the meeting. Before the pandemic, Whereby already has a built-in feature that allows the host to lock the chatroom. Guests will need to enter their names and knock on the chatroom before they are allowed to join the meeting.
Before arrival of the coronavirus pandemic, Zoom did not have a feature that protects the room which resulted meetings being Zoombombed or hijacked by unwanted participants. To address the security concern, Zoom added a virtual waiting room that gives the host the ability to put everyone seeking to join the room in a wait room and manually select attendees to join the meeting. This added layer of security is certainly welcoming because no one wants unpleasant party crashers to a virtual meeting.
However, Whereby's free plan only allows up to 4 participants to join the meeting which is great for one-on-one or small group meetings but not for large group meetings. Even with their Pro plan and business plan, the maximum number of participants allowed in a meeting is 50 people. Zoom's free plan allows up to 100 participants to join the meeting at once. When you upgrade to the Pro plan, you can remove the 40 minutes meeting time limit. Compared to Whereby, Zoom is definitely the more ideal choice for large group events with many participants. Whether you are hosting virtual conferences or online classes, you can count on Zoom's reliable performance.
Streamline scheduling virtual meetings with your clients
When guests schedule virtual meetings with you, it's important to be able to generate and share videoconference information easily for everyone. Right before a virtual meeting takes place, both you and your guests should be able to join the meeting with one simple click from their calendar event or within an email.
In CozyCal, you can add Zoom or Google Hangouts integration easily to your scheduling flow. Once a meeting is scheduled, all participants will automatically receive a uniquely generated meeting link in the calendar event description, event confirmation and reminder emails. You don't need to worry about sending any Zoom or Google Hangouts links manually to your guests in a separate email.
While we don't offer a direct integration with Whereby, you can easily add your Whereby chatroom's URL to your confirmation message and email notifications. For security purpose, you can lock your chatroom in advance to prevent uninvited guests from joining your meeting. By incorporating videoconference integrations in your scheduling flow, it streamlines the meeting booking process. Virtual meeting scheduling is made simple and easy.
Each business and organization has its own needs and priorities. Depending on the length, size and content of your virtual meetings, you can compare key features and pricing of videoconferencing tools to decide which one suits you the best. For companies that are running large group meetings with over 50 attendees, Zoom is undoubtedly the best option to go with and worth upgrading to the Pro plan to receive unlimited meeting time. But if you are running a small business like ours, then Whereby is our recommended videoconferencing tool because of its simplicity and high video quality.
If you are looking for an easy to use and scheduling tool to book virtual meetings with your clients, you can try CozyCal free for 10 days. If you'd like to learn more about how best to use CozyCal, feel free to book a demo session with us, and we're happy to show you around.