October 28, 2020
With events being canceled and delayed worldwide, many meetup groups and event organizers are keeping things going by switching to an online format. Next to that, remote work has become the new default, so many teams are looking for the best ways to work together online. Interested in setting up your own digital meetups or online events? Here are a few of our favorite tools to get you and your team started:
Google Hangouts is the simplest free option for small meetups. Google Hangouts Meet, the premium version of Hangouts included in all G Suite packages has also been upgraded by Google for free during this period. All G Suite packages (Basic and higher) will now be able to host up to 250 participants per call.
Zoom Meetings is another popular option with a free tier that can host up to 100 participants at the same time. Paid versions can support up to 1,000 participants at the same time, and up to 49 videos on a single screen.
GoToMeeting does not offer a free plan, but it is capable of hosting as many as 3,000 participants. This is of course, more suitable for very large companies and events with many participants.
BlueJeans is another great option. It doesn’t offer an unlimited free plan, but you can try it out for 30 days. This video conferencing platform is well-suited for large-scale events, as it can host as many as 25,000 viewers simultaneously. Next to its huge capacity, it also features several interesting interactive tools that you can use to engage your audience.
For those who already have a G Suite package, Google Hangouts Meet will be the best “free” option for larger meetups. For those who don’t, the other best choice is Zoom Meetings, which is a fantastic and completely free alternative that can host up to 100 people. These are the most popular options currently being used for many small/medium-sized events and meetups.
Eventbrite is one of the most prominent ticketing platforms online, and it remains a solid option for selling tickets, making private events, and registering guests (even for free events). Private events can be created in different ways, such as locking events behind a password.
Meetup.com is a rapidly-growing platform for casual and professional meetups specific to different cities. Besides allowing you to promote your event locally on their boards, you can also use it to register your guests and form groups that meet consistently. Using Meetup to set weekly/monthly meetups for professional networking events is very common in many of the largest cities around the world.
Now that things are going digital, more and more experts are gathering online to check up on how the current situation is impacting their work and their industry. Using Meetup.com for your online event is a good way to keep track of your community and organize consistent meetups. For smaller or less consistent events, Eventbrite is a better option for registrations.
Slack is a (mostly) free communication tool popular among startup teams and communities of all sorts. It is very versatile because it allows you to add several tools and connections that can help your team work faster, without having to call! The list of things that are possible with Slack is too long to get into examples, so make sure to check out guides such as this one for examples of things you can do with integrations.
Airtable is an incredibly versatile tool that helps you organize teams, projects and contacts in one place. Similar to Slack, the ways you can use Airtable are limitless. It works as a database, but you can organize information in ways that are best suited to you and your team. You have the option to choose between hundreds of pre-made and community-shared templates.
Trello is the simplest tool you can use to organize projects and tasks with your team. If you don’t want to overcomplicate things (and especially if this is your first time using tools like these), then go for Trello. Its card system (usually used as a Kanban board) is simple enough to help you coordinate with others and keep track of deadlines. For a more advanced alternative with more interesting features (such as a task timeline), check out Asana.
Monday is another option for a team collaboration tool, however, it is a little pricier than the rest with no free plan and €39 for the most basic package. Nevertheless, it is a widely-used tool and filled with powerful productivity features such as time tracking, automated notifications, and timeline views.
Either of these options will be useful for teams shifting to a remote work format, it only depends on what fits your work style! A really nice feature all of these tools have in common is that they can connect to each other, so you can link information and data from different platforms together. Another tool you can use (and a personal favorite) is Zapier. Zapier allows you to connect applications in thousands of different ways, allowing teams to share information across platforms fast, and automate many tasks.
The list of useful tools and applications for teams going remote is endless, but these are our recommendations if you’re going fully-digital for the first time!
Are you in Rotterdam and thinking of organizing an online meetup related to a tech/digital theme? We can help you get your digital event up and running! Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.