How to Use Google Plus Hangouts for Meetings & Conferences
Google Plus has a variety of awesome features, one of them being Google Plus Hangouts. This platform makes it easy for you to connect with people via video conference and text. It’s essentially a fast, easy way to virtually connect with anyone from anywhere. You have the ability to make Hangouts private or public so either a small group or entire company can take part in your conversation.
How It Works
If you do not have a Google Plus account you will first have to sign up for one. Then simply go to https://plus.google.com/hangouts/. From the home page, you can check if your video and microphone are working properly on your computer. You can then invite your coworkers, boss, friends, or other collaborators to your Hangout. You can invite up to 9 other people to your hangout, and everyone must have a Google account in order to participate. To clarify, up to 10 devices can be in a Hangout, so for example if you have an event venue full of people connected to one device, then you can have much more than 10 people per Hangout. Create a live broadcast of your Hangout by clicking the “Hangouts on Air” feature.
The program is able to detect who is speaking and puts that person up on the main screen, with everyone else on smaller windows across the bottom of the screen.
If you are the host of the Hangout, you can add a variety of applications to help make your business meeting a success. For example, users can import and collaborate on Google Document files, pull in presentations with the SlideShare app, watch YouTube videos together, and share what is on their individual computer screens.
Symphonical is another program you can integrate into Google Plus Hangouts. It provides real-time walls that lets you get things done together. It’s simple, free to use, and allows everyone in the Hangout to see what everyone else is doing simultaneously. You can develop, share, and organize all from Symphonical. It also allows you to create calendars and to-do lists so everyone stays on track and on the same page.
Hangout on Mobile
Have a Google Plus Hangout even when you’re not at your computer! Simply download the app on your Android or iOS device, login with your Google username and password, and you’re ready to have your next virtual meeting.
Other Ways to use Google Hangouts
Now that you know all of the capabilities of this powerful platform, here are some more ideas on how you can use Google Hangouts to your advantage:
Connect with your community. Do you have a large following on Twitter or your blog? Invite your community to have an informal conversation with you on Google Hangouts. This can be a great way for your community to connect your face with your brand or business.
Create video interviews as content for your website. Are you always trying to think of new features to put on your website? Interview a top thought leader in your industry on Google Hangouts and post it on your website for your viewers to enjoy.
Provide online lectures and how-to videos. If you have a particular talent or expertise, consider creating a video that explains how to do it. You could also provide an educational lecture on a topic you know a lot about. If you own or manage an event venue, why not create a virtual tour of your space and interview past guests on their experience at the venue? Anything that is going to be useful for your viewers should be recorded and shared.
Provide customer support. Google Plus Hangouts is an excellent way to connect with your customers and provide top-notch customer support. If you have a website, you can add a section on your contact page that lists the hours you will be available on Google Hangouts. This is a great way to quickly resolve issues and also a good way to hear any positive feedback your customers may have.
Launch an online game. Google Hangouts doesn’t have to be used for all business purposes. You could invite a group of friends to play an online game together using Google Hangouts. There are also doodle apps you can use for group doodling to add a little creativity to your day.