What Webconferencing Service Do You Recommend?

I will be conducting some learning modules this month and need your webconferencing recommendations.

What services do you or your clients currently like/use?

Or, have you been on a webinar recently where you liked the webconferencing interface? If so, what were they using?

Here’s the snag I’ve been running into…

In the past, we’ve used GoToWebinar which allows plenty of room for attendees (GoToMeeting only allows up to 25 attendees, if I remember correctly).

GoToWebinar was fine when all we were doing was conducting webinars, but I now need something for conducting classes and it just doesn’t cut it.

Truth be told, I never really liked the interface.

For one thing, attendees couldn’t see who other attendees were. Plus, you can’t unmute everyone all at once. You have to unmute each attendee individually and then, you are only allowed to have 25 attendees unmuted at one time.

This is a problem because what I’m using it for is an interactive class. I need for people to simply be able to talk without having to go through a bunch of rigamarole.

The workaround is to use our own bridgeline, but then (since I want all the classes recorded), GoToWebinar can’t record the audio portion.

I could try to integrate the audio and video together later using Camtasia, but that’s just an irritating extra step/work that I’d prefer not to have. So that just isn’t going to work.

So here’s what I need in a webconferencing service:

  1. It must provide screensharing, not simply file sharing (CoolConferenceLive only provides file sharing, not screensharing, if I’m correct).
  2. A conference line that allows everyone to be unmuted all at once and not have restrictions.
  3. Ability to record everything (audio & video).
  4. Ability for attendees to see who other attendees are.
  5. Support at least 50-100 attendees.

I could really use your recommendations. Thank you!

8 Responses

  1. Mirna Bajraj says:

    Hi Danielle,
    Have you ever tried DimDim http://www.dimdim.com/?
    I used to attend training classes through it. I believe it has almost all the features you mention.

    On February 23 I’m going to attend a huge webconference thru webex.com. I’ve never used it before. Will let you know soon after what my experience is.

    All the best!

  2. Thanks, Mirna 🙂

    I have used DimDim before and we had some issues with it. It hasn’t been stable enough that I would trust it for paid classroom training. Definitely has potential, though, if they get those bugs worked out.

  3. Wendy Cooper says:

    We used to use Vere Converence – http://vereconference.com/ – LOVE the format and it does everything you’ve listed as a requirement except not everyone can talk at once but there is chat as well so usually the person (admin) running the room would stay hands free on the mic and interact with everyone while they typed or raised their hands to take the mic – it doesn’t use the phone at all just your computer mic (and webcam if you wanted to). If you had one of those free conference call line services and a Vere Conference room it would do everything you need.

    Vere Conference isn’t cheap – we rented ours out during times we didn’t use it and we also shared the cost and usage with partners to lower the cost.

    Good Luck!

  4. Thanks, Wendy… I will check that one out.

    Keep all those suggestions coming, everyone! Much appreciated!

  5. Thanks, Wendy 🙂

    I’ve been playing with Vere tonight and I’m liking it. Will have to explore some more, but I really like the whiteboard/drawing interface (some programs don’t have that capability, or when they do, I don’t like the feel of them).

    What else can you tell me about this program? You mention it is costly. I’m happy to pay well for an excellent program… what kind of cost are we talking about?

  6. Wendy Cooper says:

    Hey Danielle,

    They don’t have the pricing on their site unless you have the free room. Since you do have the free room if you go into the admin area of your account via the web find the Upgrade area and it should have the pricing information – it goes by how many attendees – if I remember correctly it’s between $75 & $100 a month for up to 50 participants and then goes up from there. It’s been a minute since I’ve used their services so I may be completely off. From their website:

    Go ahead and sign up for a Free Room by clicking the link to the left. Once you login to your back office you will see an Upgrade button along with our price list for larger rooms. If you need a room larger than shown, simply contact us at 858-863-9099. You’ll be glad you did.

    I hope that helps.

    I was thinking about it last night and I think I remember someone piping in a call done on one of those free teleconference lines (possibly using skype?) I can’t remember the logistics.

    We loved the room we had through them and I was talking with one of my business partners recently about how much we missed it.

    If you want to offset the cost I can talk to my business partner and a couple of other people to see if they wanted to share the cost of the room. I also know for SURE that there would be an opportunity for me to rent it all day on Black Friday this coming year. Feel free to email me if you want to pursue this – no pressure 🙂

    When it records it records everything AND just the audio separate.

    I’m going to send the link to this thread so Tammy – my business partner – can add her two cents because I forget if this one worked on Mac’s or not.

  7. Tammy Munson says:

    I agree with Wendy .. vereconference is great!! We used that before and it works fantastic! The best part is it works just as great on the PC as it does the Mac. (can’t always say that for these types of things on the Mac platform)

  8. Terri Piper says:

    I used to work for a large International consulting firm where we used WebEx for world-wide conference calls as well as training. It has some great features and I believe can accommodate up to 1000 people. I don’t recall having many issues with people joining, sharing, etc. Seemed to work quite well.

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