Let’s face it: meeting and events are joining the digital age. Face-to-face interaction is always better than just a phone call, but is often cost-prohibitive for small businesses. Have you searched for a modern way to make your meetings easier, more cost-effective, and eco-friendly? If you have, you probably considered using a virtual meeting service, but then found out the set-up process was a bit too overwhelming for your needs and time.
Have you scoured the internet only to find a slew of different options for file sharing sites and virtual meeting apps, and then realized, WHOA! There are way too many choices – how do you pick? Or you thought you found a great virtual meeting solution, only to discover that these apps or services may have a learning curve a bit too steep and it might take a while to train your employees – who has the time? Lastly, how do you know that all of your business contacts will be able to access the meetings (everyone has a different type of computer)?
Our business too faced this same conundrum--and then we met Google+ Hangouts.
Just think: you can meet with anyone face-to-face without leaving your office (or your couch, if you happen to be working at home for the day). Money won’t need to be spent on gas, taxis, planes, or hotels! And, for those of us thinking of the environment, your lack of commute won’t add pollution.
There are many reasons why we fell in love with Google+ hangouts.
Discover our top 4 reasons why we fell hard for Google+ Hangouts:
1) The world is at your fingertips
Google+ is gaining momentum on Facebook and will be the next social network to dominate (in consideration to Google’s world takeover initiatives). If you are not on Google+ yet, go ahead and create a profile. Start connecting and you will soon learn, WOW, a lot of influencers and businesses are on Google+.
Your coworkers, colleagues, and clients don’t need a specific device in order to join your Hangout. Different types of computers, operating systems, and browsers support Google+ Hangouts. In order to participate in video chat, users just need to install the video plug-in by following the prompt when they first join. Always on the go? No problem, you can even use your smartphone and be on the Hangout session!
3) Marketing Amplification
Big brands host weekly hangouts, even industry media like Plan Your Meetings, #EventProfs and The Event Alley Show. Allowing your social networks a weekly intimate event to hang out is a great way to network and develop relationships. Have a specific market you are trying to target? Joining other industry groups that host Google+ Hangouts gives an opportunity to virtually connect face-to-face!
Another possibility to amplify your marketing efforts: Google+ Hangouts possess the ability to live stream your Hangout for the entire world to see. This is a particularly great feature for conferences and trade shows since you can publicly broadcast a keynote speaker or discussion panel. The video will be automatically saved to your YouTube channel.
Offline integration with cool features is another advantage. If you like using Google+ Hangouts during a conference or board meeting but have a face-to-face meeting coming up and do not have your computer or laptop accessible, Chromebox is a great tool to bridge this gap for meetings. Chromebox is a device that houses everything you need to host video chats: processor, display connections, USB ports, webcam, speaker, and microphone. You just hook it up to your TV and off you go! Presto: meetings on a big screen for the entire office to view! More info here.
Extra Tidbits & Need to Knows:
Google+ Hangouts make small meetings personal and interactive. You can chat with 100 contacts at once, and up to 10 participants at a time can join a video Hangout. With Google+ premium features, you can have 15 people at once on a video call. Collaboration is made easy by using Google+ Hangouts: you can share documents and edit them live on Google Drive, easily show what you are looking at on your computer screen, among other features. Nothing gets lost in translation from emailing back and forth and you are able to use visual aids that phone calls lack.
Technology is moving fast and so is the Internet. Utilizing a tool that is user-friendly and allows you to easily connect makes for an invaluable tool to integrate into our businesses.
Are you using Google+ Hangouts? What is your favorite feature?
Michelle lives, eats and breathes marketing for the event and meeting industries. Known as the "Event Marketing Maven" and a consummate social media/ online marketing enthusiast. Her innate ability lies in helping companies create an online presence through smart and engaging marketing strategy. Her company's client portfolio includes many influential event planners, suppliers, and small businesses in Central Florida and beyond. With an intensive 10 + year background in advertising, marketing and communications, she brings innovative design and savvy marketing approach to all her client projects. As a national speaker and educator on social media for event businesses and at events, Michelle is passionate about lending her expertise in contributing to international blogs, renown local and national publications. She has been featured in Fast Company, Crains New York Business, Special Event Magazine, Orlando Sentinel, Orlando Weekly, and BizBash.