Whether you’re working at a desk in your home office or in a cubicle in a high-rise building, there’s one part of your workday you can’t avoid. You guessed it—meetings. Though meetings are key to keeping everyone in sync and running a successful organization, they can get challenging to manage as your team grows.
Fortunately, there are several types of meeting technology you can use to help you run productive meetings. Each platform boasts its own standout features as well, and prices can vary too. This raises the question: How do you balance needs with costs? Below is a meeting technology cost comparison (and feature comparison) so you can keep your team—and budget—happy.
The importance of meeting technology
When you need convenience for your meetings, look no further than meeting technology. With these platforms, your remote and in-office teams can seamlessly meet and stay in touch when they’re apart. This technology also allows you to have more productive asynchronous meetings, as teams can attend without commuting to the office and potentially hitting traffic or delays.
1Video conferencing platform cost comparison
With video conferencing technology, you and your team can hop on video and audio calls to discuss just about anything and everything. It’s almost like being with your team in a typical office conference room, but from anywhere in the world.
Some of the top video conferencing platforms are Zoom, Microsoft Teams, GoTo Meeting, Webex, and Google Meet. Below are prices for each of these top video conferencing platforms:
- Zoom: This platform has a free version, and its paid plans start at $149.90 per user per year.
- Microsoft Teams: This platform has a free version, and its paid plans start at $4 per user per month.
- GoTo Meeting: Plans for this platform start at $12 per user per month.
- Webex: This platform has a free version, and its paid plans start at $14.50 per license per month.
- Google Meet: This tool is a part of the larger Google Workspace, which starts at $6 per user per month.
Pros and cons of each video conferencing solution
Consider the following pros and cons of each of these solutions to help you find the best video conferencing tool for your team:
- Zoom. Depending on the license you buy, you can host upwards of 1,000 people in a meeting. Also, you can use Fellow’s app for Zoom to access your meeting notes inside of Zoom and turn chaotic meetings into productive work sessions. However, unlike many other platforms, Zoom requires you to download its app before you can use the platform or join a meeting. If anyone forgets to download the app or has issues with the download, this could delay your meeting.
- Microsoft Teams. The video conferencing tools within Teams don’t require attendees to switch to a separate platform or open their web browsers to join a meeting. Additionally, when you integrate Fellow and Microsoft Teams, you can collaborate on meeting agendas, take meeting minutes during your video calls, and send feedback requests—without leaving your chat app. On the other hand, everyone on your team can create groups, share links, and start meetings, which could raise security and organization issues. You can give certain users special administrative permissions, but doing so can get a bit complicated.
- GoTo Meeting. This platform has a built-in remote access feature a team member can use to control another’s device during a meeting. This feature can be useful for troubleshooting an issue or demonstrating a concept. However, this platform often fails to perform properly on machines that are more than five or so years old. To use GoTo Meeting, your team members might need updated equipment and highly stable internet connections.
- Webex. This platform supports multiple end-user devices so you can switch between, for example, a laptop and a mobile phone during a meeting. While you and your team will enjoy high-quality video and audio, navigating the platform can be a bit tough for new users.
- Google Meet. This video conferencing service integrates seamlessly with your organization’s other Google platforms. This way, team members can easily join meetings from a link in their calendars and email inboxes. With Fellow’s browser extensions, you can access your meeting notes right inside of Google Meet calls and your Google Calendar to supercharge team meetings and 1-on-1s without leaving the tools that you are already using. However, team members who either don’t have or aren’t logged into their Gmail accounts can’t join a meeting on this platform. In general, external users may struggle to join your team’s Meet video conferences.
Bring meeting notes and agendas into Google Meet and Google Calendar
With Fellow’s browser extensions, access your meeting notes directly from your video call or calendar event with one click. This means, that all you need to focus on is having an effective and collaborative meeting!
2Web conferencing platform cost comparison
Though the term “web conferencing” is often used interchangeably with video conferencing, it has another meaning too. Web conferences involve virtual real-time hosting and a speaker addressing a large group of people.
Training sessions and orientations are among the most popular uses for web conferences. LiveWebinar, StartMeeting, FreeConferenceCall.com, BlueJeans, and Trainer Central are five of the top video conferencing platforms. Below, you’ll find prices for each of these top web conferencing platforms.
- LiveWebinar: This platform has a free version, and its paid plans start at $17.99 per month.
- StartMeeting: Plans for this platform start at $9.95 per month.
- FreeConferenceCall.com: This platform is free but has suggested contribution amounts starting at $4 per month.
- BlueJeans: This platform has multiple pricing options. It has a free plan for virtual meetings and plans for virtual events and webinars starting at $41.67 per month.
- TrainerCentral: This platform has a free version, along with paid plans starting at $16.67 per month.
Pros and cons of each web conferencing solution
Below are some advantages and disadvantages to consider for these web conferencing platforms.
- LiveWebinar. With the option for breakout rooms, you can divide your team into smaller groups and discuss topics separately from the larger webinar or virtual conference. However, some users have reported occasional audio issues that require logging out and logging back in to solve.
- StartMeeting. This platform has a simple interface so users can easily set up their accounts and join meetings. However, if your team has more than 10 members, you can’t purchase a standard plan. You’ll instead need to contact StartMeeting’s sales team for a custom package.
- FreeConferenceCall.com. This platform has the basics for web conferencing, and you can access all of them for free. On the other hand, the user interface is somewhat dated, and it can be a bit difficult for new users to navigate.
- BlueJeans. This platform offers high-quality video with an easy interface for scheduling and joining meetings. However, compared to other platforms on the market, BlueJeans can be a bit pricey.
- TrainerCentral. Ideal for hosting training sessions, this platform has several tools to engage your audience, including options for quizzes, course building, and screen sharing. However, this platform doesn’t have the most intuitive interface, so navigating the platform might be challenging for new users.
3Collaboration software cost comparison
With collaboration software, team members can exchange ideas, give and get peer feedback, and share documents to stay in sync and move their projects forward. Among the top collaboration tools are Fellow, Slack, Trello, monday.com, and Wrike. Below are the prices of each of the above meeting solutions.
- Fellow: This platform has a free plan as well as paid, premium plans starting at $6 per user per month when billed annually.
- Slack: This program has a free plan, and paid plans start at $7.25 per user per month.
- Trello: This application has a free version, as well as paid plans that start at $5 per user per month.
- monday.com: This platform has a free plan and paid plans starting at $8 per user per month.
- Wrike: This application has a free version, along with paid plans that start at $9.80 per user per month.
Pros and cons of each collaboration tool
On top of understanding your pricing options, knowing each platform’s pros and cons can help you make the best decision for your team. Here are the biggest advantages and disadvantages of each collaboration platform:
- Fellow. This tool specializes in team collaboration through running delightful meetings. Your team members can contribute to shared meeting agendas, track meeting action items, and get real-time feedback from managers and other team members. While it doesn’t support real-time text-based chat, its collaboration features make for more efficient meeting prep, execution, and follow-up. And what are excellent meetings if not the bedrock of top-notch collaboration?
- Slack. With Slack “channels,” you can set up spaces that keep your team’s conversations organized by topic. However, some users have found it overwhelming to keep up with all the notifications from all the channels.
- Trello. This platform can integrate with more than 180 tools and applications to help your team members maximize their productivity. However, there isn’t a way to assign user permissions, so managers and team members will have the same privileges within workspaces.
- monday.com. This platform has a user-friendly interface, which makes it easy for your team to group, complete, and comment on tasks. On the other hand, this platform doesn’t integrate with some of the key tools that other platforms support.
- Wrike. Wrike allows your team to have full discussions so that everyone can share ideas, reports, and suggestions in one place. However, you have to manually add new members to the platform, so setting up user accounts can be time-consuming.
Meeting technology pricing plans
There are a few common ways in which meeting technology tools platforms their plans. Most platforms have a tiered pricing model in which they offer a variety of plans at different price points. Several platforms also use a per-user pricing model that raises your costs based on the number of people who use the platform. Others charge a flat rate for each plan so that, regardless of the number of users on the platform, you’ll pay the same price.
In many cases, platforms will give you a discounted rate if you sign an annual agreement. With these plans, you’ll pay a lower monthly rate than you would if you opted for a month-to-month contract. For example, Fellow’s Pro plan is priced at $9/user/month when billed monthly, or $6/user/month when billed annually, a savings of 34%.
To choose the right pricing plan for your business, think about how many users you’ll need on your plan. From there, list out the features you need. Finally, you can compare prices and features between tools and decide on the best platform for your organization’s needs.
The best meeting technology for all of your meeting needs
There are all kinds of meeting technology options available to your team, so it can be easy to get caught up in each tool’s features. It’s also important, though, to consider your organization’s budget.
As a cost-friendly, feature-rich online meeting platform and collaboration tool, Fellow offers the ideal technology for your team. Some of Fellow’s key features to help you run productive meetings and streamline your workflow includes:
- 500+ ready-to-use meeting agenda templates
- Collaborative meeting agendas
- Meeting action items that can be assigned to multiple team members
- Streams to organize your ideas and to-dos
- Real-time feedback on meetings, projects, and performance
- Multiple integrations that connect to tools you love
“Fellow has increased my productivity and has resulted in more collaborative 1:1s & team meetings. My team loves capturing their own agenda items. Getting prompted to add talking points is super handy when jumping from one meeting to the next.”– Sabrina Leblanc, Senior Director of Customer Success
- Meeting technology helps improve your organization’s meetings through increased participation, engagement, and productivity.
- While there are several types of meeting technology, organizations most commonly use video conferencing, web conferencing, and collaboration platforms.
- When trying to find the best affordable meeting technology for your teams, consider each plan’s pricing options and the features they include.