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Video Conferencing and Webinar Services
Video conferencing or web conferencing allow you to set up a meeting when you can't get everyone together in person, and allows you to share your desktop, show PowerPoint presentations or videos, and see participants' faces via webcams.
(If you all you need is a voice connection, you can use a free conference call system like Free Conference Call. The only drawback is that it's likely to be a long-distance call for each participant. You can use join.me to allow everyone on the call to see your screen.)
Listing of Services
|Service||Max. People||Share Screen||Host Controls Mute||Other Notes||Cost|
|Skype||9 (dicey above 5)||No||No||No recording.||One person needs Skype Premium ($10/mo.)|
|Google Hangouts||10||Yes||No||No support. Attendees must have a Google account or join by phone only.||Free|
|Google Hangouts On Air||10 participants, unlimited viewers||Yes?||Yes||Automatically recorded. Requires YouTube channel connected to your Google account. No support. Active participants must have a Google account.||Free|
|FUZE||25 participants||Yes||Yes||No recording Upload content incl. video.||Free|
|FUZE Pro||125 participants||Yes||Yes||Recording. Unlimited audio by phone or VoIP||$14/month
||200||Yes||Yes||$18/mo. for 25 people, $78/mo. for 200 people|
|GoToMeeting||100||Yes||Yes||Recording, polls. Attendees can “raise hands.||$49/mo. for 25 people, $69/mo. for 100 people
|ReadyTalk||150||Yes||Yes||Recording, polls. Attendees can “raise hands.||$49/mo. for 25 people, $149/mo. for 150 people.|
|WebEx||100||Yes||Yes||Recording.||3 people for free, up to $89/mo. for 100 people|
Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) Information Technology Services endorses AnyMeeting for web conferences. This allows meetings and workshops to be conducted online, and allows people who can’t attend worship or congregational events in person to participate online. An online attendee needs only a computer with high speed Internet and a telephone.
If you intend to host meetings using AnyMeeting, consider joining a community of congregational technology users for ongoing support. Take two minutes to subscribe to the UUA ChurchMgmtSoftware email list where you can ask a question, search for an answer, or give someone else a hand. After subscribing, you’ll receive an email asking for confirmation. In the email, select the link labeled “Or visit this web page” for best results.
You can have a free account if you’re ok with ads appearing on everyone’s screen during the meeting. Or you can purchase a month-to-month subscription for an ad-free account.
Depending on the account you choose, up to 25 or 200 people can join your conference. Up to six webcams can be visible at one time, people can raise their virtual hands, and you can record the meeting audio and screen sharing. You may also like the ability to conduct quick polls and easily send follow-up emails to your attendees.
Account Setup Steps
Only meeting hosts need an AnyMeeting account; attendees do not. Here’s how to setup your free or paid account.
- Go to AnyMeeting for UUA Community Members.
- Click on any of the three buttons at the bottom to begin the registration process. If you select either of the paid plans, you’ll receive a 10% discount by using coupon code “UUA” when you complete the payment section. In that case, you will be billed each month, and you can change your selection or close your account at any time without penalty.
- Fill out the registration form. Your email address will be your account login name. You can choose the web address (“URL”) that your attendees will use to join your meetings. The URL and phone numbers assigned to your account will not change over time.
- Before you run your first meeting, test your computer to make sure it’s ready to go.
- Click on “Support” at the top of the page to go to the Support page.
- Click on the “System Test” button to run a series of automated tests.
- The test will tell you if any settings need to be changed, or if you need to update Java or Flash.
- After running the automated test, click to test your network connection (if any), your webcam and microphone (if you plan to use those), and your speakers.
- We suggest watching the Support page “Help Videos” called Quick Start and Screen Sharing. The Support page also features a knowledgebase, FAQ, troubleshooting wizards, and other resources.
A Note About Audio
Unless you’re particularly tech-savvy, we recommend using the conference call phone number provided by AnyMeeting, rather than using AnyMeeting’s support for your computer microphone and speakers.