Virtual meeting: The secret to remote work done right

Go for a virtual meeting platform that combines video calls with phone, team messaging, and a variety of collaboration tools and discover a better, more fun way of working remotely.
A woman smiling while on an ongoing virtual meeting via the RingCentral app
The rise of remote work gave birth to the sudden demand for a foolproof virtual meeting solution in the business world. With teams more distributed than ever and organizations choosing to become more digital, this need continues to increase. 
What RingCentral has done in response is offer a virtual meeting app that serves as a space for video conferencing, messaging, and collaboration. RingCentral Video is everything a business needs to keep remote team members connected, aligned, and engaged despite the distance.

What is a virtual meeting?

An international phone call exchange via the RingCentral app

Definition and history

A virtual meeting, simply put, is the gathering of two or more people online. It allows people from different locations and time zones to meet in a virtual room using their internet-connected devices.
The very first “virtual meeting” dates back to the late 1920s when AT&T, John Logie Baird, and Bell Labs experimented with a rudimentary video phone. They managed to connect three parties—200 miles apart—to have a live conversation.
The modern video call revolution really boomed in the early 2000s. Cheap color cameras and software made the virtual meeting tool free and easy to access for the general public. Since then, meeting technology has evolved, ultimately transforming how people communicate—both personally and professionally.

How it works

Virtual meeting applications use something called Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP). VoIP takes audio signals and transforms them into digital data to allow people to communicate online without the need for a phone connection. Video calling takes it further by not only converting and transmitting audio signals, but doing it with multimedia like video as well.
An ongoing conference call with a new person being added to the call

What are the different types of virtual meetings?

Teams can take advantage of online video conferencing in a variety of ways. Here are four big ones:
1. One-on-one video chats
Video chats get you valuable “face time” without any party actually having to be in the same physical location. Whether you are looking to schedule a business meeting with vendors or to simply follow up on a request with a colleague, video chatting is an excellent opportunity to get in touch and spend meaningful time together.
2. Live training and webinars
Investing in a virtual meeting software can be a game changer, especially for businesses and enterprises. Having one means being able to host large-scale virtual events, such as training sessions, town halls, or webinars. For example, RingCentral Video lets you invite up to 10,000 participants to a virtual event that simulates interaction through customizable polls, hand-raising, and Q&A.
3. Prospect and customer calls
Video conferences allow sales teams to have some form of “face-to-face” meetings in a virtual space. This means a more effective sales pitch and an overall better experience for both the sales team and customers. Moreover, the opportunity to conduct online demos and real-time proposals and agreements reviews can greatly reduce lead costs.
4. Team meetings
Meeting with your colleagues, project teams, clients, or partners online can be difficult. However, with a superior virtual meeting app like RingCentral, the experience can be made better. RingCentral Video, for instance, has built-in screen-sharing and file-sharing features, allowing everybody to collaborate on important documents, websites, or presentations in real-time. It also allows hosts to split meeting attendees into groups and send them to breakout rooms for an even more dynamic experience.
eBook: a remote agent on a call

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What are the advantages of virtual meetings?

Less demand for in-person meetings means less travel. This cuts down on travel costs and commute times, which definitely makes people happy. You know that when employee satisfaction is up, productivity is likely up, too! In fact, many employees preferred working remotely during the pandemic as it is more convenient and allows them to focus on work rather than on getting ready, driving/commuting to work, going back home, and repeating the cycle daily.

All you need to host or attend a virtual meeting is a computer or mobile device and an internet connection. This added flexibility allows employees to join meetings wherever they are, which translates to people being able to participate even when the weather’s bad or when they are away from the office. Online meetings also allow global teams to collaborate on projects requiring real-time discussions, brainstorming, and decision-making.

Reach new markets in different countries, qualify leads, and foster collaboration with sales teams—all without leaving your HQ. When meeting virtually (rather than with a phone call), sales can connect with prospects on a more personal level. Video lets you “put a face to a name” and adds context with visual cues. Plus, screen-sharing capabilities let sales transition to live demos on the spot rather than having to coordinate an in-person session.

An incoming call and a chat box of the RingCentral app

What are the key features of RingCentral’s virtual meeting solution?

Avoid finding yourself in a situation where you’re limited by the availability of features (or lack thereof) in the web conferencing software you choose. Go for RingCentral, and enjoy the following features:
High-quality video and audio
It’s always a bummer when you attend a virtual meeting, and everything is blurry, choppy, or both. With RingCentral, you can have the confidence in knowing your visuals and sounds are crystal clear all the time, with a 99.999% uptime SLA.
Advanced meeting insights
When you have data, you can easily prepare for your next meeting with little to no effort. Good thing RingCentral Video offers meeting recordings that include summaries and keywords from transcribed discussions.
Meeting room controls
From sending meeting invites to setting sharing permissions for guests, the host has complete control of the online conference room. This will help you create an effective virtual meeting by ensuring a smooth flow of events and minimizing possible distractions.
Closed captioning and live transcription
It pays to have closed captioning and live transcription during your virtual meetings. Not only do these functionalities boost engagement, but they also improve accessibility and inclusivity, especially for those hard of hearing.
Presentation options
Virtual meetings have come a long way from being just a plain video call with people. RingCentral, for instance, allows users to overlay their image over any part of the screen they are sharing. Of course, present backgrounds are available, too!
Reduced distractions
Equipped with AI-enhanced noise reduction technology, RingCentral can help you mute background noise during virtual meetings. Say goodbye to the sounds of cars speeding by or dogs barking, and focus on what matters most.
Play Video: A telephone a laptop,a  mobile, and a tablet using the RingCentral phone system

What are some tips for running successful virtual meetings?

Despite not being physically present, you still need to be mindful of your actions and behavior during an online gathering. Here are some dos and don’ts to keep in mind for your next virtual meeting:
A virtual meeting happening in the RingCentral app on a laptop

Virtual meeting dos for your remote team

Test the technology ahead of time to iron out any technical issues.
Set a meeting agenda to keep things flowing.
Be aware of attendees in different time zones and schedule your meeting accordingly.
Introduce everyone at the beginning of the meeting (or let them introduce themselves) and present the meeting agenda when you begin the meeting.
Turn off all notifications for the duration of the meeting.
Follow up after the meeting with any next steps and clear deliverables.
Start and end with pleasantries (just like you would in an in-person meeting).
Wear headphones for better sound quality and to minimize background noise.
Assign a moderator to help ensure the meeting flows.

Virtual meeting don'ts for your remote team

Avoid setting up in a location where you’ll have lots of distractions. Cafés, restaurants, or any public place are a big no-no.
Don’t get distracted. Focus, listen, and be present at all times.
Don’t monopolize the conversation. Pause often to leave ample opportunities for others to share their questions and comments.
Beware of leaving out introverts. Prompt everyone for answers to make the meeting inclusive.

What can I do to elevate my presence in a virtual meeting?

To make sure you come across as polished and professional during a virtual meeting, follow these best practices:
  • Make eye contact with meeting participants by looking at your webcam and not the screen.
  • If there is background noise where you are, make sure to mute your microphone when you’re not speaking.
  • For meetings with multiple people, use the hand-raising feature to avoid speaking over each other.
  • Be sure to have proper lighting so that people can see you clearly.
  • Avoid eating or drinking during the meeting.
  • Be mindful of your volume and body language.

What makes RingCentral Video the best virtual meeting platform?

Ready to explore a new virtual meeting technology? Take the next step in making every remote meeting more reliable than ever, and check out RingCentral Video. It is the most generous free video meeting app out there: it integrates not only a video conferencing solution, but also team messaging and phone calls into one easy-to-use communications platform. 
With RingCentral Video, you can enjoy smooth online huddles with HD audio and video, real-time communication, and innovative meeting tools, such as whiteboard, breakout rooms, live transcriptions, and AI-generated meeting summaries. It is available in competitive pricing options, too. You can choose a package that works within your budget and according to your specific business needs.
If you’re still unsure, here are more reasons to switch to RingCentral:

Reasons to choose RingCentral’s virtual meeting solution

Take your time with your virtual team
There’s no rush when you’re not bound by 40-minute time limitations. You can dedicate time for icebreakers, games, and even quiet times.
Meet virtually on any device
You can join using your desktop, laptop, or mobile. You can switch between devices with just one click—and without getting disconnected, too!
Achieve everything with a single app
Need to send a quick message, attend a conference call, or schedule meetings for your team? You can do it all from a single app.
Skip the downloads
Meeting participants can join virtual events directly from their web browsers. No need to download anything or install any plugins!
Customize your workflow
Incorporate the integrations you need for your business. You have the option to build your own workflows using our custom APIs as well.
Ready to host a virtual meeting with your team?