An Introduction to GoToMeeting
GoToMeeting, the original product, is a platform for creating online video meetings for any purpose. While the service is mainly used by businesses, it’s useful for anyone looking for a reliable, secure video conferencing solution. Let’s look at some of the top features offered by GoToMeeting.
Schedule Meetings With One Click
One of the advantages of using GoToMeeting is that you can create a meeting in seconds. Whether you want to create a spontaneous meeting right away or schedule one later, you can create the meeting with one click. Meetings can be created using applications such as email, via instant message, or Microsoft Office.
You (or the people you invite) can join a meeting instantly simply by answering a call. There’s no need to enter a PIN or code, as other applications may require. Join from a PC, Mac, Chromebook, Linux, or mobile device. Mobile apps make it easy to invite and accept meeting invites with iPhone, iPad, Android, or Windows mobile devices.
Conference calls serve an extremely useful function for businesses. They let people who aren’t in the same physical space communicate. Conference calls are ideal for meeting with remote employees, teams in your company’s other branches, as well as potential investors, partners, and clients.
While conference calling has been around for a long time (way before the internet), it’s also come with some typical challenges such as poor sound quality, difficult to operate controls, dropped calls, and high cost. GoToMeeting provides a solution to such challenges.
- Works on multiple devices and operating systems. No issues that some people’s devices won’t be compatible.
- Easy to use, so attendees aren’t fumbling with buttons and getting disconnected.
- Clear audio so everyone can be heard.
- Plans allow for unlimited calls/conferences. This allows businesses to affordably have as many conference calls as they need.
- Optional toll-free numbers for over 50 countries.
- Custom email invitations.
- Mobile conferencing.
These are just some of the features that make GoToMeeting such a flexible and complete audio/video conferencing solution.
While group audio calls are often convenient, video conferencing lets you approximate the atmosphere of a live meeting. When attendees can see one another and note facial expressions, the experience is much more personal. As with audio calls, though, the quality of the technology makes all the difference. If you’re using an unreliable or overly complicated system, video meetings will be more frustrating than helpful. GoToMeeting has quite a few benefits in this area.
- As with audio conferencing, you can hold video meetings with people all over the world using any device or operating system.
- High-quality video with multistream HD technology.
- Live screen sharing. Share desktop, laptop, or mobile screens.
- Drawing tools. Explain and educate by drawing right on your screen and sharing.
- Anyone with a webcam and internet connection can participate.
- Integrates with other video conferencing equipment and systems with InRoom Link (with Custom plan).
- Technology quickly adjusts to the hardware resources and bandwidth of all users.
- Easy to operate control panel with clearly marked features.
- Initiate meetings with a single tap.
GoToMeeting is equipped to make both audio and video conferencing simple.
GoToMeeting works with several applications for added functionality.
- Slack Meeting Launcher -launch meetings directly from Slack.
- Office 365 Plugin -Schedule and manage meetings from your Office 365 calendar.
- Salesforce -Schedule and manage meetings directly from Salesforce.
- Google Calendar Plugin -Schedule meetings from Google Calendar.
GoToRoom with Dolby Voice is a video conferencing technology that combines the latest advances in software and hardware. GoToRoom provides businesses with a one-stop solution for an entire office with video conferencing technology.
- Install the system in minutes.
- Affordable bundling.
- Provides industry-leading reliability and audio/video clarity.
- Intuitive interface.
Plans and Pricing
Let’s look at the plans for GoToMeeting. Prices are per organizer (defined as someone who can invite attendees, share recordings, and access meeting details from their dashboard). Annual plans are approximately 15% cheaper than going month by month.
- Professional: $14/month or $12/month if you go annual. Includes 150 participants, unlimited meetings, no meeting time limits, web audio, mobile apps, meeting diagnostic reports, dial-in conference lines, HD video, screen sharing, personal meeting room, and more. Included for free with any GoToWebinar plan.
- Business: $19/month or $16/month if you take the annual plan. 250 participants, all Professional features, co-organizers, unlimited cloud recording, Slide-to-PDF (turns slides into shareable PDF files), Smart Assistant, drawing tools, keyboard & mouse sharing, meeting lock (lets you lock meetings for extra security), and more.
- Enterprise: 3,000 participants. Custom features and pricing. Includes InRoom Link, Customer Success Manager, On-boarding and training, volume discounts.
If you need an online training solution, GoToTraining provides a comprehensive system for online or hybrid (live + virtual) learning.
- Simple collaboration and sharing tools. Easily share videos and documents for group learning.
- Record training to observe how effective your training is.
- Distribute learning content quickly.
- Streamlined registration and scheduling for courses.
- Analytics let you track your results.
GoToTraining is a distinct service, billed separately from GoToMeeting, with plans starting at $119/month all the way up to $349/month.
Now let’s look at GoToWebinar, a separate service offered by GoToMeeting, for anyone who wants a simple way to launch webinars. Here are some of the features that come with GoToWebinar:
- Webinar templates for many businesses and interests.
- Set up one-time or recurring events.
- Record your webinars to share them later (with Pro plan and above).
- Prerecord webinars so viewers can access them at their convenience.
- Custom registration fields. Collect the information you want for each event.
- Brand your webinars with your own logo and images.
- Create polls, surveys, and Q & A to collect information and make your events more interactive.
- Track your results with informative reports. Get data on attendees such as what devices they use, where they are, how long they stayed, and more.
- Many integrations, including LeadPages, Zapier, Unbounce, SalesForce, more.
GoToWebinar has recently cut its prices significantly and introduced several new plans. Annual plans are discounted and priced as approximately 10 months of payment. All plans include GoToMeeting Professional plan for free.
- Lite: $59/month or $49/m annually. 100 participants. Includes polls, Q & A, & handouts, automated emails, custom branding, full-service registration, GoToStage, reporting & analytics, flexible access options (VOIP, phone, & toll-free).
- Standard: $129/month or $99/m on the annual plan. 250 participants, all features of Lite, plus video sharing and embedding.
- Pro: $249/month or $199/m if you buy the annual plan. 500 participants, all features of Standard. 3 channel pages, custom URL, recorded events, video editing, transcripts, attendees can join from any browser.
- Enterprise: $499/month or $399/m for the annual plan. Up to 3,000 participants. Five channel pages.
GoToWebinar also offers a 7-day free trial with Pro features for up to 100 attendees, that you can sign up for without a credit card. And while no additional discounts are available, occasionally they offer an extended 14-days trial. See if these are available here and here.
GoToWebinar provides convenient and reliable services for anyone who wants to create professional, branded presentations.
Now let’s look at a couple of competitors to GoToWebinar, Demio, and WebinarJam, to see how they measure up in terms of features and pricing. Note that both of these services aren’t directly competing with GoToMeeting, which is for online meetings and video conferencing rather than webinars.
GoToWebinar vs. Demio
Demio is a popular webinar platform to consider. Let’s look at some of the advantages of Demio relative to GoToWebinar and vice versa.
- Has many of the same features as GoToWebinar, such as a web-based platform, polls, analytics, screen sharing, on-demand webinars, and branding.
- Slightly cheaper plans and more features are included if you host smaller webinars.
- Hybrid webinars. One of Demio’s innovative features lets you create events that combine recorded and live features.
GoToWebinar Advantages Over Demio
- A greater range of customizations when setting up webinars.
- Highly rated by users for overall stream quality.
- Access to GoToStage, where an audience of millions can find your webinars. Note: not every webinar is featured there, but it’s a possibility not offered by other platforms.
Demio, like GoToWebinar, has a free trial (see our full Demio review and up to 50% discount), so you can always try both if you’re not sure which is best for you. Before you do that, however, you might want to consider still another alternative.
GoToWebinar vs. WebinarJam
WebinarJam is another leading webinar platform that provides convenient tools for creating all types of online presentations. It provides some helpful features that are particularly suited to sales and marketing.
- Extensive template library for creating all types of webinars.
- Spotlight attendees and let them speak.
- Create clickable calls-to-action during webinars.
- Password-protected webinar rooms for added privacy and security.
- Create recordings of your webinars.
- Integrate webinars with email marketing.
Pricing for WebinarJam starts at $479/year for up to 500 participants. WebinarJam also offers another, separately billed service called EverWebinar, which is specifically designed for prerecorded webinars. Now let’s see how WebinarJam stacks up against GoToWebinar.
Most cost-effective. At $479/year, it’s significantly cheaper than any GoToWebinar plan while offering many equivalent features.
GoToWebinar Advantages Over WebinarJam
- Includes automated webinars. WebinarJam offers its own automated webinar service, EverWebinar, but you have to pay separately for that. With GoToWebinar, you can do both live, and automated webinars are included in all plans.
- As noted in the Demio comparison, GoToWebinar also includes potential access to GoToStage, which can open your webinars up to a large audience.
WebinarJam, like its competitors, offers a free trial. Actually, it’s $1 for 14 days. GoToWebinar’s offer is slightly more attractive, not so much because you save the dollar but that you can do the trial without providing credit card info (which, naturally, means automatic billing if you don’t cancel). Nonetheless, you do have an almost free trial either way. See our WebinarJam review and bundle discounts to understand the full features list and pricing options.
Recommendations for Choosing a Conferencing or Webinar Platform
Here’s a summary of the main strengths of each of these services.
- GoToMeeting – Best if you mainly need a platform for online meetings or audio/video conferencing.
- GoToWebinar – One of the oldest and most feature-rich, high-tech webinar platforms. GoToWebinar used to be highly-priced and out of reach for many small or solo businesses. However, with the recent price drop, it is now widely adopted not only by corporates but also by any size entrepreneurs.
- Demio – One of the most reasonably priced services for small attendance webinars that still provides many quality features.
- WebinarJam – Many powerful features for marketing webinars, such as interactive calls-to-action and convenient integrations with email marketing.
GoToMeeting, GoToWebinar, Demio, and WebinarJam are a few of your leading choices for advanced communications software. We also previously reviewed EasyWebinar and ClickMeeting, which you might consider as options. We suggest looking over their respective features and perhaps taking advantage of one (or more) trial offers and discounts.