I've been asked to pull together a summary of web meeting tools and I'd like to make sure I cover the main contenders in the 'free' and 'paid for' space. If anyone in this well-informed community has a starting point of a resource or has research to share, I would be very appreciative. I will also check out Jane Hart's pages.

And I was interested to note that 'webinar' appears in the banned list of words for 2010 that the Local Government Association (LGA) publishes. This is a list of words and phrases that the public sector are advised not to use when communicating with the general public. Take a look for yourself at http://www.idea.gov.uk/idk/core/page.do?pageId=17636724

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I work for Hewlett-Packard and we have HP Virtual Room, although it is not free. It is a great tool and allows for file sharing, use of webcams, etc. I have used Go To Meeting in the past and I found it good, although a little less intuitive. In a past life, I also used WebEx in conjunction with GeoLearning which was our LMS. The integration was nice...attendance in WebEx sessions was then automatically recorded in Geo. We had no money either and I think the implementation was around $10,000 USD, which isn't terrible for an LMS and WebEx licenses.
Thanks all. Some preferences are emerging through popularity. I've used WebEx to deliver but also familiar with Adobe connect, Elluminate, GoToMeeting and DimDim as an attendee rather than setting up and hosting.

Interested in knowing more about experiences with 'free' versions as host and participant.
In response to the enquiries, please see attached Excel workbook. To put this in context, our organisation already had - and still has - Lotus Sametime as our inhouse Webconference tool but in IT Training, we recognised it as not fulfilling all the requirements for a fully-featured Virtual Classroom solution. However, in the best tradition of trying to leverage what you've got, whilst minimising costs, we had to compare it against the other players. Our evaluation criteria reflect our own understanding of the technical, network and user limitations, and was conducted by mself and my small team. Hope it's of interest. Happy to take any other questions. Oh, and we decided to stick with Sametime and have developed and are delivering a portfolio of 1hr VC sessions on a month-by-month basis. Can also share a flavour of the evaluation feedback from our users if of interest.
Thank you, Niall, this spreadsheet is extremely useful.
Hi Niall, this is a great share, thank you.

To add to the discussion, I've used many different systems in my time, but I do agree with some of the previous posts that the flexibility of setup and layouts make Adobe Connect my favourite. To me it makes it easy for me to deliver in a very similar way to being in a live face to face classroom. One of the biggest bonuses has to be the easy of access for the learners too.. There is no pre entry download as long as they have flash player on their PC. Over the last 6 years, Adobe Connect is the only one that I have not had technical difficulties with during actual delivery of sessions. That counts for a lot. As to the functionality, what you can do in one system you can pretty much do it another even if you have to use your imagination to reproduce some of the functionality that is missing in the free/low cost solutions.

The one thing I would add to your spreadsheet is a category that covers the additional add-in tools that you can download to enhance your virtual classroom. Quite a few of the brands mentioned have communities that develop and share additional tools (some free, some not!)
Good point Julie; Thanks. Given that we did this review a year ago, and the tools change and develop so rapidly (e.g. Citirx GoToTraining, which was not available for us to evaluate), we would have to do the whole exercise again anyway if and when we need to improve our current delivery capability.
Thanks Niall. Unfortunately I am unable to download from work but will take a look from home. Thank you.
Thanks Niall, this is really useful for me. We are currently evaluting platforms for virtual classrooms and I think currently leaning towards Adobe Connect. I am curious about your criteria "10 Accessing STT" as Adobe Connect scored low here - what does "Accessing STT mean"? I'm new to this :-)
Hi Julie, We use Kaplan STT Trainer as our simulation training and performance support tool and so we wanted to know if we could run some simulations via screenshare during virtual classroom sessions. Hence the inclusion of that criterion.
As you are doing your comparison, how about having a list of questions that would point someone to the most suitable tool. E.g. what is going to be your audience size, are you using the system for meetings, training or presentations, can you use saas or do you have to host behind a firewall, do you have other security/data requirements, how tech savvy are your audience, are you going to use VOIP or do you need to integrate with a phone conference system, can your client machines install JAVA or other mobile code, what are your bandwidth constraints, will you integrate with an LMS/LDAP etc, do you have an in house support team, and so on. Maybe group the questions into people process purpose and tech. Once you ask the right questions, this comparison will be far more useful than most that just compare functionality and cost as you will be focusing on how they are used rather than what they are or personal preference. Hope this helps, Myles
We have used MegaMeeting - Subscription p.a 10 users £1,128 / 25 users £1,680 / 50 users £2,600 + £600 set up fee (In-house s/w hosting incl servers 50 conc users, circa £16k) It seems to work well & the support is excellent

I see this thread is from 2010 and now in 2019 the market place is full of web conferencing software. What I'm looking for is some software that provides plenty of interaction for the user whilst being easy for the presenter to setup and run. My main requirements are the following, can anyone give me what products to review and what they actually cost over a year / month?

  1. Screen Share
  2. Upload of materials / presentations
  3. VOIP enabled
  4. Emotions for the attendees
  5. Ability for attendees to mark-up the screen
  6. Chatbox that is open to everyone
  7. Multiple presenters
  8. Integrates with Outlook
  9. Can present up to 250 but a small number may be ok

I'm aware of Adobe Connect and WebEx Training Centre but have only ever been a participant and don't know really what the cost is.

Just for information the WebEx wants to load an exe file when it opens which gets blocked by my IS systems, very frustrating, but I know Adobe and GoTo products don't.

Can any give me their thoughts?



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