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GoToMeeting Review - GoToWebinar Review - Making Meetings Flexible and Easy

For those who spend a lot of time explaining things over the phone, giving presentations or demonstrations, training, or collaborating on projects, GoToMeeting software is a godsend.   Not only does it allow business consultants, executives and clients to meet in a timely, flexible manner, but the software is conveniently easy and hassle-free.

Citrix Online has three Online Meeting solutions: GoToMeeting, which allows for a single organizer and up to 15 attendees; GoToWebinar, which allows for a single organizer to host up to 1000 attendees; and GoToMeeting Corporate, which allows for multiple organizers and includes GoToWebinar.

GoToMeeting allows participants to view and utilize applications on each other’s computers in real time.   Essentially, participants can watch as the meeting host edits a document (for instance) on their own screen, while he does it on his.  GoToMeeting is perfect for training, presentations, demonstrations, collaborations, and overall synchronizing.    

Easily Invite others to your Online Meeting


Online Software – Getting Connected
All of Citrix Systems software is online, so you don’t need to install anything to host a meeting from any computer. The audience members and attendees don’t need to install anything either.  I’ve never come across a single person who wasn’t able to connect to one of my meetings.

Starting or joining a meeting is as simple as going to www.GoToMeeting.com, clicking "Host A Meeting" or "Join A Meeting", and clicking "yes".

Sending someone information to connect is really easy too. Right as the meeting starts, there is a popup with different ways to tell people how to join, such as calling them, emailing them and more.

Record your meeting for future reference


Present, Demonstrate, Collaborate and Train
I found this to be amazing. As an editor for LA Splash Magazine, I could meet with journalists and demonstrate how to post articles and teach them to edit their own articles.  One moment I’m demonstrating something on my computer, then I give keyboard and mouse control away so a member of the audience can demonstrate that they understand what I just did by doing it themselves.  A lot of people are shocked at how awesome it is to be able to see and control each other’s computers during a meeting. I even used this software to provide technical support for one journalist’s software.

This software is a must have for any corporation that deals with people and computers. Instead of mailing a power point presentation for them to read through, or flying all the way out to visit a client, you can have a compromise of pointing out everything live over the internet.

Give your keyboard and mouse to other attendees


Software Usability
Hands down this software is the easiest to install and  setup. There are some things that make it harder to use, but they can easily can be overcome. The user interface that pops up sometimes gets in users' way, it’s hard to explain to someone new to the software where the minimize panel button is since the control panels are invisible except to the user so you can’t point to it with the GoToMeeting software.

After using GoToMeeting, I realized how much I need this software. It has defiantly spoiled me, since explaining things over the phone is so much more frustrating and this software is so simple for clients and affiliates to join your meeting.

Features
There are some really cool features that make this easy to use software even more awesome. There are drawing tools that allow you to draw on each other’s screen to help with your presentation. By default they are off, but  can be enabled to allow attendees to highlight, draw, point with an arrow, and play tic-tac-toe with each other. The Highlight tool is a little frustrating, it shows a red clear highlight around the mouse pointer but doesn’t allow you to click so you have to change back to the normal cruiser, meaning you’ll have to use the keyboard instead of clicking through presentations.

Draw on each other's screens


Free Voice Conferencing Service is also included with GoToMeeting and GoToWebinar. This makes it very convenient for spontaneous internet meetings with many people. When a user joins a meeting, the voice conferencing number is provided to you immediately. The phone number and access code are generated for each meeting and can also be configured to be your own phone number if you want. It could use a built-in VOIP feature but this free conference service is simpler to use then having to configure a microphone.

GoToMeeting also has a built-in recording function. This allows you to add a recording bar to your control panel that lets you record, pause, and continue recording your meeting for future reference. Using GoToWebinar, you can upload it immediately afterwards to send out and allow others to stream.  To save it to a windows media video file, it has to process the video after the meeting ends. This means your computer is slowed down,  depending on how fast your computer is and how long of a meeting you recorded. There’s no way to pause this or avoid it except by saving in a special GoToMeeting codec that requires others to install the codec before being able to view the video, which is a slight inconvience. The recording will also not record the voice conference call, which is a let-down. There is a way to route your office phone, cordless phone and even cell phone through your computer so it does record it using a special connector, more about this at the end of the article.

The security features on GoToMeeting are also impressive and reassuring.  The security keeps confidential meetings private and prevents sensitive information from leaking.   It is also firewall friendly.

GoToMeeting and GoToWebinar have a system tray tool that allows you to keep GoToMeeting easily available. With a right click and "Meet Now," you can have a meeting ready in a few seconds for someone to join.

While presenting, if you receive a instant message or need to check your email, you can use the simple pause function which will freeze your screen so you can keep your meeting going while you quickly check on other matters.

Clean away your desktop icons and others to keep a clean look when presenting on your computer


Just as much as you don’t want to give a demonstration in a messy house, nobody wants to give a demonstration with a dirty and messy computer desktop and start menu. GoToMeeting has a very convient Screen Clean feature that hides all icons, background and toolbars before sharing your desktop.

The software is very complex and has many more features like Multiple Monitor Support, Attendance Reporting, Specific Application Sharing instead of the entire desktop.

Pricing
GoToMeeting and GoToWebinar are all available at one flat fee per month for unlimited use. $49.00/month for an unlimited GoToMeeting account, or get an Annual Plan and save 20%.

Recording Audio with DynaMetric
Recording is a great feature in GoToMeeting and GoToWebinar, so you can provide attendees something to refer back to. To be able to record sound using their built-in software, you need a device that will route your phone conversation through your computer to record. DynaMetric has many wonderful solutions for this.

DynaMetrics makes devices to route your conference call to your PC for video and audio recording


Definatly give GoToMeeting and GoToWebinar a try right now for free:
www.GoToMeeting.com
www.GoToWebinar.com

Get a device to record web conferences form DynaMetric:
www.dynametric.com/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWCATS&Category=5


 

GoToMeeting

GoToWebinar

GoToMeeting Corporate

Host GoToMeeting online meetings for up to 15 attendees.

X

X

 

Easily try or buy a single-organizer account online.

X

X

 

Deliver unlimited GoToWebinar Webinars to up to 1,000 attendees.

 

X

X

Host larger GoToMeeting online meetings (up to 25 attendees)

 

 

X

Use robust reporting features to track Webinar, meeting and usage statistics.

 

 

X

Rapidly deploy and centrally administer multiple organizer accounts.

 

 

X


 

FEATURES

• Intuitive User Interface: Easy-to-understand controls enable you to start and join meetings in seconds without training

• Share Keyboard and Mouse Control: Securely collaborate on documents in real time

• Instantly Change Presenters: Enable any participant to present to the entire group

• Drawing Tools: Draw, highlight and point to items of interest right on the screen

• Desktop Recording and Playback: Record meetings to review or share later

• Specific Application Sharing: For added privacy, share only the application you choose

• Integration: Access GoToMeeting through Microsoft® Office®, email or instant-messaging applications

• Macintosh® Attendee Support: Macintosh users can join and view GoToMeeting sessions

• Reporting: Get detailed reports for trend analysis and ROI validation




 

Features

Description

Easy Online Webinar Planning

 

Automated Email Templates

Using your Webinar description, GoToWebinar will craft automated email invitations, confirmations and reminders.

Customized Branding

Upload your company logo and a custom image to show your brand on all Webinar communications.

Full-Service Registration

GoToWebinar will host your registration page and send you weekly registration reports.

Free Voice Conferencing Service or Toll-Free Option

Choose between a free voice conferencing service and a toll-free conference call option.

Pre-Webinar Practice Sessions

Practice your presentation before your event begins to ensure everything goes as planned.

Interactive Presentation Tools

 

Webinar Dashboard

Monitor Webinar attendance, interest and satisfaction using at-a-glance Dashboard charts.

Desktop/Application Sharing

 

Broadcast a view of either your PC desktop or a specific application to Webinar attendees.

Change Presenters or Panelists

 

Use multiple presenters and panelists at your Webinar to boost audience interest.

Staff Chat

Staff Chat allows organizers, presenters and panelists to secretly communicate with each other during a Webinar.

Annotation Tools

Annotation Tools enable presenters to draw attention to a specific item or emphasize information.

Audience View Monitor

 

Organizers and presenters can see what their audience is seeing.

Polling & Survey

Get audience feedback by launching polls and surveys.

Simple Attendee Interface

 

Webinar Dashboard

Monitor Webinar attendance, interest and satisfaction using at-a-glance Dashboard charts.

Desktop/Application Sharing

Broadcast a view of either your PC desktop or a specific application to Webinar attendees.

Change Presenters or Panelists

Use multiple presenters and panelists at your Webinar to boost audience interest.

Webinar Analysis and Follow-Up

 

Attendee Profile with Interest Rating

Get a ranked list of qualified attendees that you can import into your CRM system for follow-up.

Webinar Reports

Use Webinar reports to identify your most effective Webinars and replicate successful efforts.

Desktop Recording/Webinar Playback

Record your Webinar – including audio – and play it back later for additional audiences.

Automated Follow-up Emails

GoToWebinar sends follow-up emails to all registrants after the Webinar is over.

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