We asked Jennifer Lear of Genesis Plastics Welding to write a guest post about her experiences as she searched for an alternative to higher priced video conferencing tools like GoToMeeting and WebEx. Hopefully her process and findings help you when you are searching for similar tools.  

Given the fact our clients are located across the globe; our team at Genesis Plastics Welding recently began the hunt for a great online conference service.

As a growing business, having the versatility to collaborate online via video, voice and screen share is a must. Chatting via phone with customers and prospects is good, but seeing one another to ensure we’re on the same page (literally) is even better. We needed one that included the latest tools for successful online conferencing but yet didn’t cost a ton annually.

With so many services to choose from, it could have become overwhelming fast.

The big question for us; Where do we start on our search for the perfect online conferencing tool?


Naturally, we turned to our friends and colleagues. We often find that our industry associates are amazing go-to resources for advice on business tools and services. Asking others about tools they’ve tried before you is such a time saver. It also can provide a leg up and enable you to quickly narrow down your options.

In charge of our search for an online conferencing tool, I turned to my marketing buddy Chris Theisen of FlexPAC. I’ve known Chris for quite a few years. We were introduced via our individual company’s CEOs who attend a local Vistage group monthly. I knew with Chris being the digital marketing guru and lover of new cutting edge technologies that he is, that he would have insights and suggestions that would help me in my search for the right tool for our company’s needs.

He didn’t disappoint. What’s new? What’s low cost? What’s free? Chris was totally in the know! Yes, everybody knows of GoToMeeting and WebEx, but I wanted to find out what else is out there.

Google Hangouts

Google has such a great toolbox of offerings from Google Drive, Google+ and YouTube to this wonderful little free video tool called Google Hangouts! It does it all and best of all it’s free.

But what if the folks you’re conferencing with don’t have a Google account? Some of our clients just aren’t on the Google bandwagon yet. We want collaborating with us to be an easy process, not something where even joining the meeting is a hoop for the client to jump through.


“What is out there that is easy, doesn’t require a Google+ account, allows for screen share and free?” His reply to me was MeetingBurner.

Over the last month, our team has tried the free version of MeetingBurner several times with clients both domestic and international. It’s allowed us to connect, collaborate and share on the fly. There are not a lot of bells and whistles, but all its basic functions are sufficient. Navigation is simple for the scheduler and the attendees, plus the organizer can allow others within the meeting to take control and share their screens. I’m a huge fan of the level of branding it allows even with the free version!

The one drawback of MeetingBurner is that video is not available for all conference attendees. If the organizer chooses, they can turn on their webcam to become visible to the participants throughout the conference, but it is not reciprocated. You cannot see any of the other participants. For our immediate needs, this wasn’t a deal breaker, but it is a bit of a shortcoming. For now, MeetingBurner is satisfying our needs.

The best part is that we were able to quickly discover a solution for our current online conferencing needs through a little crowd-sourcing with industry friends. There’s just nothing like an honest review from a source you trust.
Jennifer Lear headshotJennifer Lear is the Marketing and Customer Service manager for Genesis Plastics Welding, a Fortville, Indiana contract manufacturer specializing in radio frequency welding for clients in the medical, military and consumer industries. When she’s not serving as the liaison for Genesis customers located across the globe, Jenny is a digital marketing enthusiast and entrepreneur. In 2012, she created “Fortville Mama,” a blogger persona that highlights family-friendly events and activities while helping to promote Fortville and greater Hancock County. Her savvy professional and personal marketing efforts earned her recognition as the Fortville/McCordsville Area Chamber of Commerce Outstanding Business Person of the Year in 2013.

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