Whether or not you think remote work is here to stay, the reality is that if you’re running a team today, you’re likely to need a reliable virtual conference platform.
Gone are the days when every member of your team needed to be present in the same room to reach goals, work on projects, and move the business forward. Now, with the slew of interactive online tools and video platforms at your disposal, it’s possible to rally a team together or stay in touch with your customers no matter where they are.
The problem is, you might not know which virtual conference platform will help you get the job done best. Thankfully, that’s where I come in. In this guide, I walk you through the top video conference platforms and who they’re best for by reviewing features like price, ease of use, and strong points. Let’s dive in.
The Top 5 Best Virtual Conference Platforms
- Hopin – Best all-in-one event platform
- BigMarker – Best for hosting summits
- GoToMeeting – Best for remote work video conferencing
- RingCentral Video – Best for video conferencing and calling solutions
- Zoom – Best free virtual conference platform
Next, we look at the features, pricing, and engagement tools for each virtual conference platform worth considering.
#1 – Hopin — Best All-In-One Event Platform
- Set your event up in minutes
- Integrates w/ conferencing tools
- Automated data capture
- Starts at $99/month
Hopin might be newer to the scene. But this doesn’t mean they aren’t bringing a much-needed fresh perspective to the video conferencing world. With its hybrid angle, you can create virtual events with a variety of conferencing tools and customize them to your needs.
Within a matter of minutes, Hopin enables you to set up your entire event from setting up a virtual venue to inviting your attendees. With its advanced tools, you can measure and record data that informs your entire conferencing process for better outcomes.
Hopin is a robust solution for:
- Conferences and summits
- Expos and tradeshows
- Recruiting and career fairs
- Training and workshops
- Social gatherings
- Hybrid events
There are four pricing levels for Hopin, with each one allowing for longer events, more registrations, and more organizers:
- Starter – $99/month
- Growth – $799/month
- Business – Contact the sales team
- Enterprise – Contact the sales team
If you’re ready to build just about any type of online video conference with confidence, try Hopin here.
#2 – BigMarker — Best For Hosting Summits
- Connect with leads before, during, & after your event
- Includes landing pages
- Stream to Facebook & YouTube
- Starts at $79/month
Does your business need to create and execute successful summits? Consider BigMarker as the tool to get the job done from start to finish. BigMarker helps you start beyond the summit itself by equipping you to attract and nurture leads.
With BigMarker, you can create webinars, interactive videos, web series, and live streams in a way that builds relationships with your audience and moves the conversation forward. Not only that, it comes with a slew of audience engagement tools to boot.
While hosting your summits, you’ll have access to Q and A tools, polls, special offer pop-ups, and embedded surveys. BigMarker’s end-to-end summit solution also allows you to stream on Facebook and YouTube live.
Not only that, but they also provide the landing pages, automation, and email messaging your audience will get pre-summit. In short, if summits are your area of expertise, BigMarker can be a worthy investment worth making.
BigMarker has four packages that scale up for allowing more attendees, from up to 100 at the lowest level all the way up to 10,000.
- Starter – $79/month
- Elite – $159/month
- Premier – $299/month
- White Label – Contact for pricing
Ready to get started? Try out BigMarker here.
#3 – GoToMeeting — Best For Remote Work Video Conferencing
- Unify your team on one dashboard
- Collect meeting notes automatically
- Commuter mode for easy remote work
- Starts at $12/month
Two words can pretty much describe what using GoToMeeting for video conferencing is like: fast and easy. If your team is already juggling a lot and it’s looking for a reliable solution to be able to come together as it works apart, GoToMeeting proves to be a great solution for remote work.
Its intuitive interface quickly connects you to your team on an easy-to-navigate dashboard. Once your meeting is up and running, its Smart Meeting Assistant helps you collect meeting highlights, notes, and action items for higher productivity post-meeting.
GoToMeeting makes it easy to share your screen or join a video conference through your phone. Need to point out something on your shared screen? You can use its built-in drawing tool to make your point clear.
Its new Commuter Mode tool helps your team members seamlessly attend virtual meetings while they’re on the go. Not only that, you can ensure to get rid of any distractions by adding custom backgrounds to your screen.
Moreover, if you’re concerned about how you’ll look on your webcam setup, you can use its Webcam Preview feature to preview what your screen is sharing. Maybe one of the best reasons to use GoToMeeting is how affordable its plans are.
One of the best things to do before going all-in on a video conferencing solution is to try it out for 14 days before committing to a paid plan. That way you’ll ensure you’re investing in the right tool you can use long term.
Once you’re ready, there are three plan options:
- Professional – $12 per organizer/month billed annually
- Business – $16 per organizer/month billed annually
- Enterprise – Get a quote
GoToMeeting’s Professional plan starts at just $12 a month per participant and has a limit of up to 150 attendants per meeting. However, it does allow you to meet for an unlimited amount of time— which free conferencing tools like Zoom don’t quite offer.
You’ll also get access to messaging, HD video, and screen sharing tools. The deciding factor in terms of plans for GoToMeeting comes down to the number of participants in your virtual meetings. Its second-highest tier, at $16 a user a month, comes with a 250 participant limit.
#4 – RingCentral Video — Best For Video Conferencing And Calling Solutions
- Video and VoIP together
- Audio-only mode available
- Virtual whiteboard collaboration
- Starts at $19.99/month
You might know RingCentral as one of the top VoIP providers out there. Luckily they also offer a reliable video conferencing solution worth looking into if you want to bundle it in with robust calling features as well.
RingCentral Video brings your video conferencing, calling, and messaging needs together in one app. This is great if you don’t want to be bothered with installing extra apps and figuring out the ins and outs of making it all work.
Its virtual whiteboard solution creates a space for teams to collaborate with file sharing. Professionals on the go can opt for the audio-only solution if they aren’t at a place where they can access its video feature.
The best part is it’s easy to set up and use. And you can make it work on any device you have on hand, whether that’s a tablet, a smartphone, a desktop, or a laptop.
There are four tiers of pricing for RingCentral Video:
- Essentials – $19.99/user per month
- Standard – $24.99/user per month
- Premium – $34.99/user per month
- Ultimate – $49.99/user per month
Access to its most popular Premium tier will run you $34.99 a user a month. This grants you access to some of its best tools including automatic call recording, 200 participant video meetings, custom analytics, and advanced call handling tools.
Now, if you’re eyeing its Essentials plan, it only allows you to video conference with up to 20 users at a time. In that case, you might be better off going with a video conferencing solution like Zoom.
Get started with RingCentral Video here.
#5 – Zoom — Best Free Virtual Conference Platform
- Record locally or on the cloud
- Audio-only mode available
- Password protection
- Up to 100 callers free
You might’ve already heard of Zoom. And for good reason. In the past year, it’s been one of the most used tools for virtual meetings by teams and businesses of all shapes and sizes. In short, it’s one of the best free video conferencing tools out there if you’re looking for a more affordable option.
On its free plan, you can host up to 100 attendees for up to 40 minutes at a time. If you’re going for a more personal meeting in a one-on-one setup you can meet for an unlimited amount of time.
With Zoom you can:
- Use it on any device you want
- Get access to plenty of integrations
- Calendar syncing
- Ensure the security of your virtual meetings
- Easily share files
- Record meetings locally or on the cloud
Integrated chat, virtual waiting rooms, video webinar solutions, and HD video and audio make it a dynamic and cost-effective solution for both business and personal use.
As mentioned before, its free plan can go a long way for personal use or SMBs. Once your needs start to grow, you can start looking at its yearly license fees for more options.
- Basic – Free
- Pro – $149.90 for a yearly license
- Business – $199.90 for a yearly license
- Zoom United Business – $300 for a yearly license
All things considered, a $199.90 fee for up to 300 participants, recording transcripts, company branding, and all the features in the Pro plan isn’t a bad deal at all.
Ready to get started? Sign up with Zoom here.
How to Find The Best Virtual Conference Platform For You
Admittedly, it can be overwhelming to find the right virtual conference platform because there can be a number of variables to take into account. Any good virtual conferencing platform will do one thing well: connect you to the right people via video whenever you need it.
However, there are different features and functions that can enhance your video conferencing experience, whether it be a team meeting, a sales webinar, or a live virtual event.
Different types of virtual engagement tools can enhance your virtual conference experience. For starters, you have to get familiar with what’s out there first. This is especially true if you’re new to video conferencing. Tools like:
- Call recording and transcription
- Moderation tools
- Survey and polling tools
- Chat features
- Integrations with other software
- Easy screen sharing capabilities
Can help make your video meetings easier if it’s something you’re going to be doing constantly. It’s a great idea to make a list of must-haves vs. wants.
Do you need analytics for your virtual meetings? In-depth video conferencing analytics bode well if you’re planning on hosting summits, webinars, or sizable virtual conferences online.
With the way the world has changed in such a short period of time. Hosting online conferences with hundreds or even thousands of people is the new normal. With that comes the need for in-depth analytics you can count on to make pivotal decisions on the performance of your online conferences.
Consider this feature as a strong selling point if you’ll be using your video conferencing software to constantly interact with an audience.
A video conferencing solution can be made to serve more than one type of virtual meeting. This should be taken into consideration when you’re choosing the best tool for your team. While some video conferencing software lends itself well to work meetings, they might not be the greatest fit for hosting hybrid events.
The more multifunctional you’ll need a tool to be, the more your monthly fee will be. At this point, you’ll also want to consider your budget constraints.
Finding the best virtual conference platform largely depends on what your video conferencing goals are. Not every tool is created equal or to cater to a general audience. Many of them make it a point to go niche in the tools it offers to enable you to serve your audience better.
Still not sure which tool will work for you? Here’s a quick recap of every tool I recommend and reviewed here:
For a seamless all-in-one tool that can do it all, from conferences to summits and even career fairs or workshops, go with a tool like Hopin. If you’re exclusively interested in working with a video conferencing tool that’s specifically designed to help you handle virtual summits, BigMarker can be your go-to solution.
A quick and easy video conferencing solution for teams on the go that want an easy and accessible tool for remote collaboration, GoToMeeting is more than capable of meeting your expectations. For a two-in-one calling solution that includes video conferencing and calling solutions look no further than RingCentral Video.
And to close, Zoom is the best free video conferencing option for businesses on a budget that want to host smaller virtual meetings. If you’re still on the fence about which platform you should go with, make sure to take advantage of the demos and free trials for each tool you’re interested in to ensure you’re making the best choice in virtual conference platforms.