If you’ve ever hosted an online meeting or webinar, you’re probably familiar with the costs involved and the hoops you have to typically jump through. If you’ve ever participated in an online meeting, you’ve most likely had to deal with trying to download and install the requisite client software while the meeting is getting started. As convenient and productive as they can be, online meetings are also sort of a pain in the ass.
AnyMeeting has a different approach, though, that you may find appealing. AnyMeeting delivers its online meeting platform as an ad-supported software-as-a-service (SaaS). That means there is no cost to you to conduct an online meeting with AnyMeeting. You can have as many as 200 attendees with all of the standard features--screen sharing, video conferencing, application sharing, etc.--and there are no time limits. You can even sell tickets and make money hosting an AnyMeeting webinar.
There are also advantages to AnyMeeting from the participant’s perspective. There is no client software to download and install in order to join an AnyMeeting session. So, no last minute scrambling to join the meeting, and no software to uninstall when the meeting is over.
There are other options available--at least for smaller meetings. You could just use Google+ Hangouts, or Skype. But, Google+ Hangouts requires that all participants be signed up with accounts on the Google+ social network, and a multi-party video chat on Skype requires Skype Premium access, which comes at a cost.
In a review of group video chat options, PCWorld found that Google+ Hangouts and AnyMeeting were the winners. The one caveat for AnyMeeting was that the meeting host still had to be registered with AnyMeeting before conducting a meeting. Well, now AnyMeeting has introduced a new service called AnyMeeting Now which removes that barrier.
AnyMeeting has added a “Start a Meeting Now” button on the AnyMeeting home page that lets anyone instantly start an online meeting without even registering. You can send out email invitations with the online meeting details, open a presentation to share, and get the meeting started. There is still no software for participants to download, and the host does not need to register or provide any credit card details to use the service.
The on demand AnyMeeting Now provides access to most of the standard AnyMeeting features. AnyMeeting still stresses, though, that registration is free and encourages users to join the 120,000 other registered users to gain access to all of the features and capabilities AnyMeeting has to offer.