If you've watched one of our webinars on virtual meetings, you've probably seen the following diagram. Achieving both accessibility and security for your virtual meetings takes creating separate public and internal conference "rooms":
PublicInput.com can flexibly support a number of virtual conferencing tools or independently manage a "telephone town hall" without requiring a conferencing tool.
The two primary solutions our partners use are Cisco Webex and Zoom. Although both are ill-suited to managing in-meeting participation, comment moderation, and recorded comments, they both are excellent for creating a secure 'back room' for your meeting.
If you're having trouble deciding which option to use, and your organization allows for either option, here are things to consider:
Ease of setup
Zoom takes the cake. Adjusting your Zoom account settings is straightforward, and can be done in a few clicks.
Webex account settings are designed for enterprise deployment and can take some extra effort navigating.
Ease of live streaming
Both are equally equipped to launch new live streams to Facebook Live and Youtube. Zoom does make setting that up a bit easier, but they're comparable.
Live stream stability
Zoom takes the cake here. Even if multiple people log on with the host's account credentials, or your connection is interrupted, the live stream stays on track. Webex requires a bit more intention. The live stream to Facebook and Youtube is dependent on the host staying in the meeting.
If you're the meeting host and you share your Webex username and password, as soon as someone logs into the meeting as 'you', they will become the new host and the live stream will end - requiring a restart of the video stream. Non-issue if you're not sharing your account password, but does make Zoom more appealing for simplicity.
Playing recorded video during your meeting
Webex has some additional settings to ensure you can play high-quality video into your meeting, but both are equally capable of broadcasting HD recorded video.
Both work equally well as long as you don't post your meeting url and phone pin publicly. Zoom came under pressure early in 2020 to beef up security, and have implemented a number of additional security measures. As a result, some IT departments have shied away from Zoom. Our "two room" approach to meetings eliminates the threat of "Zoom bombing", but some organizations are still more comfortable with Webex.
Zoom takes the cake from a usability perspective, and has a number of "Meeting Coach"-esque functionalities to alert you when your microphone is muted or connection is unstable.
At the end of the day - both are great solutions for integrating with PublicInput.com. The biggest thing is to choose one and stick with it so your team can get comfortable running public meetings. Practice makes perfect!