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Virtual meetings have become an indispensable part of our professional lives in the ever-evolving landscape of remote work. Forbes has shared that 11 million meetings occur daily in the US alone. However, ensuring consistent attendance in these virtual gatherings can be a considerable challenge. This fact was corroborated by an Atlassian report, which revealed that 96% of employees forget to join virtual meetings.

The secret lies not only in the choice of the right virtual meeting platform but also in implementing an innovative rewards system. With meetings becoming longer and more frequent with time, according to a study by Harvard Business Review, we need an element that could influence employee collaboration.

In this blog, we delve into enhancing attendance through creative incentives while exploring the 10 best virtual meeting platforms to elevate your remote collaboration experience.

As we navigate the intricacies of virtual communication, the importance of keeping participants engaged and committed cannot be overstated. Whether you're a team leader, an event organizer, or a business professional, our guide will equip you with practical insights on making virtual meetings more productive and enticing for attendees.

How to increase attendance in virtual meetings with rewards

Increasing attendance in virtual meetings can be challenging, but incorporating rewards can be an effective strategy. Here are some suggestions to boost attendance with rewards:

1. Recognition bonanza

Elevate the importance of attendance by shining the spotlight on your team members. Consider creating a virtual "Wall of Fame" where you showcase regular attendees, giving them the recognition they deserve. A little acknowledgment can go a long way in boosting morale and fostering a sense of belonging.

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Cisco Webex, another popular video conferencing platform, has features that allow companies to integrate rewards and recognition into virtual meetings.

For instance, companies can use the platform to set up virtual badges or certificates for employees who consistently attend and actively participate in virtual meetings. This provides a visible and tangible acknowledgment of their contributions, fostering a sense of accomplishment and encouraging continued engagement.

2. Digital badges and certificates

In the virtual realm, digital badges and certificates can act as powerful motivators. Design eye-catching badges or certificates that attendees can proudly display in their virtual workspace. This not only acknowledges their commitment but also adds a touch of gamification to the attendance process.

3. Exclusive access

Create a sense of exclusivity by offering special perks to regular attendees. This could include early access to important information, exclusive resources, or the opportunity to lead certain discussions. The allure of being part of an inner circle can be a significant motivator.

4. Spotlight on personal development

Encourage attendance by tying it to personal and professional growth. Offer opportunities for skill-building workshops, webinars, or guest speaker sessions during meetings. Attendees not only get valuable insights but also a chance to enhance their skill set.

5. In-meeting challenges

Turn attendance into an interactive experience by introducing challenges during meetings. It could be a quick quiz, a collaborative brainstorming session, or a fun team-building activity. Participants who actively engage could earn bonus rewards.

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Microsoft Teams, a popular collaboration platform, has been known to incorporate gamification elements to encourage participation in virtual meetings.

Companies using Microsoft Teams can set up challenges, quizzes, or other interactive activities during meetings, and participants earn rewards or recognition based on their engagement. This approach aims to make virtual meetings more engaging and encourages employees to actively participate.

6. Peer-to-peer recognition

Foster a culture of appreciation by allowing team members to recognize each other. Incorporate a segment in your meetings where attendees can give shout-outs or virtual high-fives to their colleagues. This not only boosts morale but also strengthens team bonds.

7. Random acts of appreciation

Surprise and delight your attendees with unexpected rewards. Randomly select participants during meetings to receive special tokens of appreciation, such as gift cards, vouchers, or company merchandise. The element of surprise adds an exciting twist to attendance.

8. Flexible attendance options

Recognize that everyone's schedule is unique. Consider offering flexible attendance options, such as allowing team members to choose between attending live or accessing a recording. This flexibility accommodates different working styles and ensures maximum participation.

9. Attendance streaks

Gamify attendance by tracking and celebrating attendance streaks. Whether it's a weekly, monthly, or quarterly streak, reaching milestones could unlock escalating rewards, encouraging consistent participation.

10. Team-generated rewards

Involve your team in the reward creation process. Conduct polls or brainstorming sessions to gather ideas for rewards. When team members have a say in the incentives, it adds a layer of personalization that can resonate more strongly.

Remember to communicate the rewards program clearly, and ensure that the rewards are meaningful and relevant to the participants. Additionally, regularly evaluate the effectiveness of the program and make adjustments as needed.

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Reward your attendees with personalized digital gifts and watch your engagement soar! Try our automated rewards engine for instant gratification and elevate your virtual programs today.

Adsyndicate, an independent advertising agency used Zapier & Xoxoday integration to automate and reward the participants attending their virtual events

Adsyndicate, an independent advertising agency, faced the challenge of organizing a virtual press launch for Sandisk's wireless digital charger due to the pandemic.

They sought an engaging solution and turned to Xoxoday, a digital reward platform, to create a unique virtual experience. They set up a virtual cafe and used Zapier to automate reward distribution.

Participants who interacted with the cafe received exclusive brand vouchers, with a reward value of INR 500 - 1000, redeemable from a vast selection of options. This approach resulted in over 100 unique rewards and ensured the success of the virtual press meet.

Sandisk praised Xoxoday's rewards for building meaningful relationships with attending reporters, and the technical integration with Zapier and Xoxoday enhanced interactivity.

Adsyndicate believes in the potential of virtual events to create memorable experiences and plans to work with Xoxoday for future events. They also emphasize the value of digital offerings in improving event metrics like registrations, engagement rates, and lead generation.

Overall, the collaboration with Xoxoday provided an impressive brand experience for digital events, leaving a positive impression on Adsyndicate's team.

How to choose a virtual meeting platform?

With so many options in the market, it is not easy to pinpoint one particular platform and go for it. However, there are some factors that are non-negotiable, and you must consider them before opting for any virtual meeting platform.

  • Features and functionality: Different platforms offer various features, such as video conferencing, screen sharing, chat, recording, breakout rooms, and more. Assess your needs, and prioritize the features that are essential for your virtual meetings.
  • User-friendliness: Look for a platform that is easy to use and has an intuitive interface. A complicated platform can lead to confusion and frustration among participants.
  • Compatibility: Ensure the platform works well on different devices and operating systems, such as Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS. Compatibility is crucial to accommodate all participants.
  • Participant limit: Check the participant limit of the platform to ensure it can handle the number of attendees you expect for your meetings. Some platforms have limitations on the number of participants in a single session.
  • Security and privacy: Security is critical for virtual meetings, especially if you discuss sensitive or confidential information. Look for platforms that offer encryption and other security measures to protect your data.
  • Integration and connectivity: Consider whether the platform integrates with other tools you use, such as calendars, project management software, or messaging apps. Integration can streamline your workflow and enhance productivity.
  • Cost: Evaluate the pricing structure of the platform and consider whether it fits your budget. Some platforms offer free plans with limited features, while others require a subscription.
  • Customer support: Look for platforms that provide reliable customer support. In case you encounter issues during your meetings, having access to prompt and helpful support can be invaluable.
  • Video and audio quality: The quality of video and audio can significantly impact the overall meeting experience. Test the platform's audio and video capabilities to ensure they meet your standards.
  • Recording and storage: If you need to record your meetings for future reference, check if the platform allows you to do so and consider the storage options for those recordings.
  • Accessibility and inclusivity: Consider the accessibility features of the platform, such as closed captioning and screen reader compatibility, to ensure all participants can fully engage in the meetings.
  • Trial period: Many virtual meeting platforms offer trial periods or free versions. Take advantage of these to test the platform's suitability for your needs before committing to a long-term subscription.

Top 10 virtual meeting platforms

Now that you are aware of the things you need to consider in virtual meeting platforms, it is time for you to explore the 10 best virtual meeting platforms.

1. Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams is one of the most popular and biggest virtual meeting platforms in the market. The tool comes with a clean interface and is easy to use, even for laypersons. It also has file storage, chat, and voice call options.

The best part about Microsoft Teams is its integration with various other Microsoft tools, like PowerPoint, Word, Excel, etc. The tool comes with free and paid plans. The free plan is sufficient for virtual meetings among small teams without any hassle.

Notable features:

  • Guest access
  • Screen sharing
  • Virtual meetings with up to 300 members
  • Web, Android, and iOS versions

Pricing

Microsoft Teams has different plans available for personal and business uses. The plans are as follows:

For Home:

  • Free
  • Microsoft 365 Personal β€” β‚Ή 489.00 /month or β‚Ή 4899.00 /year
  • Microsoft 365 Family β€” β‚Ή 619.00 /month or β‚Ή 6199.00 /year

For Businesses:

  • Microsoft Teams Essentials β€” β‚Ή 110.00 user/month + GST
  • For the plans, Microsoft 365 Business Basic and Microsoft 365 Business Standard, there is a one-month free trial available for each of the plans. Pricing will be decided once you add the plan to the cart.

2. Zoom

Zoom

Zoom is another amazing virtual meeting platform to host meetings and classes online. It is used by many organizations and educational institutions for multiple purposes. Zoom generates a unique link for every meeting hosted on their platform, and the users will be notified about it.

Notable features:

  • Whiteboard
  • Screen sharing
  • Video and voice calls
  • Unlimited number of meetings
  • Chat and messaging
  • Meeting record
  • Instant or scheduled meetings

Pricing

Zoom offers various pricing plans for personal, business, and industry uses.

For Personal & Businesses:

  • Basic β€” Free
  • Pro β€” β‚Ή1,300/month/user
  • Business β€” β‚Ή1,800./month/user

There is another plan called β€œBusiness Plus.” You need to contact their sales team to know more details about pricing.

For Industry:
Various plans are available for the education, healthcare, and developer platform industries. Customers have the flexibility to choose from various products they offer, which are either billed monthly or annually.

3. Google Meet

google meet

Google Meet is part of the G-Suite productivity software. This tool can be integrated with multiple Google tools without any limitations. With a great user interface, simple setup, and amazing features, Google Meet has become a go-to option for virtual meetings in many organizations.

Anyone with a Google account could host a meeting for one hour. Post that one hour, they will have to create another meeting. The tool includes a paid feature that allows live-streaming to 100,000 viewers within the domain.

Notable features:

  • Easy to join meetings
  • Screen sharing
  • People can join from any device
  • Virtual whiteboard

Pricing

Google Meet offers both free and paid versions. The free version is limited to a maximum of 100 participants, and the maximum session duration is 1 hour.

Whereas, Google Meet in Google Workspace offers way more features than the free version. Google Workspace offers 4 different plans, to meet your business requirements.

  • Business Starter
  • Business Standard
  • Business Plus
  • Enterprise

4. GoToMeeting

GoToMeeting has dominated the video conferencing space for a long time. Although it isn't widespread now, some features make it a popular option. It comes with a user-friendly interface along with polling, and hand-raising features. It allows unlimited video meetings and secures them with end-to-end encryption.

Notable features:

  • HD video
  • 24Γ—7 customer care
  • Screen sharing
  • Unlimited meetings
  • Messaging
  • Web voice calls
  • Security

Pricing

GoToMeeting has three different plans to choose from.

  • Professional – $14.00/organizer /month, billed annually with 150 participants
  • Business – $16.00/organizer /month, billed annually with 250 participants
  • Enterprise β€” With up to 250 participants, custom packages are tailored that fit all your company's needs. Please contact the sales team to know more information.

5. Starleaf

starleaf

Starleaf comes with its own API, allowing users to customize their conferences. It provides upgrades and integrations like Slack or Skype for businesses. The app is available on both iOS and Android. If you don't want to spend a hefty amount on other video conferencing services and yet want to enjoy a myriad of features, then Starleaf can be your go-to option.

Notable features:

  • Global voice calling
  • Unlimited guest invitations
  • Calendar integrations

Pricing

StarLeaf app offers 4 different plans.

  • Basic β€” Free
  • Pro β€” $10.99 Per host per month
  • Business β€” $14.99 Per host per month
  • Enterprise β€” $14.99 Per host per month

6. ezTalks Meeting

eztalks meeting

ezTalks Meeting provides continuous technological updates for its users. The developers always try to incorporate one or the other cutting-edge feature to make it stand out.

With a straightforward interface, even first-time users won't face any hassle. The tool is widely adopted in different industries, like healthcare, education, etc.

Notable features:

  • Instant or scheduled meetings
  • HD video and audio
  • Whiteboards
  • Screen sharing
  • Private and group chat
  • Unlimited number of meetings

Pricing

EzTalks is another app that allows you to pick from their three different pricing plans.

  • Starter Plan β€” Free
  • Professional Plan β€” $12.99 per host per month
  • Enterprise Plan β€” can be customized according to your business needs

7. Cisco Webex

Cisco Webex

Cisco Webex is a perfect video collaboration tool for online training, remote support, and webinars. The tool is best for businesses that are worried about security concerns. The tool can be integrated with Outlook seamlessly.

Notable features:

  • HD video
  • Screen sharing
  • Cloud recording
  • Unlimited meetings
  • Phone support

Pricing

It offers 4 pricing plans, each having an option to bill annually or monthly.

  • Webex Free β€” β‚Ή0/license/mo
  • Webex Starter β€” β‚Ή555/license/mo
  • Webex Business β€” β‚Ή955/license/mo
  • Webex Enterprise β€” contact sales team to know more pricing details of this plan.

8. ClickUp

ClickUp

ClickUp is a great meeting place that offers many features, like task tracking, team management, and performance review, in one place. The clean user interface makes it a great option for even first-timers.

Notable features:

  • Compile notes while the meeting is going on
  • Assign tasks right during the meeting
  • Has Android, iOS, and Windows versions
  • Great security

Pricing

  • free forever β€” 0$
  • Unlimited β€” $10 per member per month
  • Business β€” $19 per member per month
  • Enterprise β€” contact their sales to know more pricing details for this plan

9. Fellow

fellow

Fellow is a tool that aims at cultivating a healthy and productive video conference meeting culture within your team. You will have the power to streamline different types of meetings without any limitations. Fellow allows you to track different action items, assign tasks, and much more.

Notable features:

  • Automatic reminders
  • Share, collaborate, and sync notes across the team
  • Provides pre-designed templates for effective meeting

Pricing

  • Free β€” $0
  • Pro β€” $9/per user/per month billed monthly
  • Business β€” $8/per user/per month billed annually
  • Enterprise β€” For the pricing details of this plan, contact their sales team

10. Lattice

Lattice

Lattice is another great video conferencing option that you would find in the market. You will be able to streamline your 1-on-1 meetings with multiple people. The tool comes with a feedback feature as well.

Notable features:

  • Set, track, and manage goals across your teams
  • Gather insights into employee satisfaction
  • HD video and audio
  • Security

Pricing

  • Performance Management + OKRs & Goals β€” $11 person/month
  • Engagement β€” +$4 person/month
  • Grow β€” +$4 person/month
  • Compensation β€” +$6 person/month

11. RingCentral RingEXTM

Colleagues using RingEX as their communication software

Make your virtual meetings more engaging with RingCentral RingEXTM, a reliable, AI-powered unified communications software. Transform every interaction into a unified and effortless experience, allowing all members of the team to operate as one. With Ringcentral, you can streamline workflows with the power of artificial intelligence.

RingCentral RingEXTM helps businesses across every industry communicate smarter with RingSense AI. This personal AI assistant captures notes in real-time, unlocks conversation insights, and seamlessly writes and translates messages to elevate every interaction.

Notable Features

  • Smart Notes
  • Smart Search
  • Post-call highlights 
  • Sentiment analysis 

Pricing

RingEX has three different plans:

  • Core - Perfect for small organizations needing the essentials:
  • Advanced - Advanced features for organizations looking to elevate experiences 
  • Ultra - Full suite with added storage and analytics, perfect for organizations demanding extensive functionality and insights.

You need to contact their sales team to know more details about pricing tailored to your specific business needs/

Conclusion

Incorporating rewards and selecting the right virtual meeting platform can breathe new life into your remote collaboration efforts. By making attendance a rewarding experience, you'll not only boost participation but also foster a positive and connected remote work culture.

Experiment with different strategies, get creative, and watch your virtual meetings become the highlight of your team's day.

Guest Contributor

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