Schedule Recurring Meetings with AnyMeeting

AnyMeeting Recurring Meeting Screen Shot
AnyMeeting Recurring Meeting Feature

Are you thinking of hosting a series of webinars or classes on a particular subject?  Now, AnyMeeting lets you schedule recurring meetings, so people can register for all of the webinars in your series at one time.  You can schedule the webinars to occur daily, weekly or monthly, and attendees can register for one or all of the webinars in your series.

If you are using AnyMeeting’s webinar ticketing system to sell tickets, your customers can register and pay for the whole series, or the individual webinars they would like to attend.  Setting up a series of recurring meetings is simple and easy.  Simply select the recurring meeting option when scheduling your meeting and our system will walk you through the process.  For more information, please visit our Knowledge Base.

AnyMeeting Launches New Screen Sharing Preview Widget

Screen Sharing Widget

Always working to improve our service, AnyMeeting now offers an enhanced Screen Sharing Preview Widget that allows you to see a small preview of what is being screen shared. The widget also allows you to view and send text chat messages while screen sharing.  The widget will only be viewable to you, the presenter and you can freely move the widget around the screen where you like.

When you start screen sharing, an audio announcement will state that screen sharing has started and you will see a prompt on the screen.  To find out more about the new screen sharing preview widget, visit our Knowledge Base.

Happy Holidays from AnyMeeting

Happy Holidays
Click image to enlarge

On behalf of everyone here at AnyMeeting, I would like to thank all of our avid AnyMeeting users for a great 2011!

If it wasn’t for all of you, we would not have been able to keep growing AnyMeeting, with exciting additions such as VoIP and 6-way video conferencing, a brand new meeting experience, PayPal integration to sell tickets to your webinars, ad-free options, Google Apps integration, and so much more!

We hope that you’ve had a very prosperous and productive year, and we look forward to being your choice for web conferencing and webinars in 2012.  Happy Holidays and a very Happy New Year!

Costin Tuculescu, CEO & Founder

Business on the Go: A Guide for Managing Your Business on the Road

By James, Skyscanner.net

THIS IS A SPECIAL GUEST POST BY ONE OF OUR ANYMEETING USERS. WANT TO WRITE FOR THE ANYMEETING BLOG? GET THE DETAILS.

Business never sleeps, no matter how many red eye flights you catch. Stay one step ahead even when you’re hopping from country to country by choosing the best apps and software to help you manage your business on the go.

Find your nearest WiFi spot:

The number one essential for any business traveller, keep yourself connected with the help of apps that will pinpoint the nearest WiFi locations for you.

JiWire is an excellent locator for iPhones and WiFoiFoFum is a suitable scanner for Windows phones, and if you prefer to find somewhere to sit and enjoy a connection and a coffee, the Free WiFi Cafe Spots app for most smartphones is ideal.

Stay powered up:

There’s nothing worse than flat-lining your phone or netbook battery right when you’re in the middle of complicated negotiations, and when you’re running from meeting to meeting it can sometimes seem impossible to find a powerpoint.

Luckily on-the-go recharger packs have hit the highstreet, meaning it’s easy to stash a spare one in your bag. Try the iGo Anywhere line, or the new pocket charger range from Duracell.

Keep on schedule:

Got an evening call with an investor, flights to New York to catch in the morning and three emails to reply to before end of play? Make sure you don’t miss a trick by getting used to keeping your appointments and lists online.

For a to-do list that’s always in-sync and up to date, download Toodelo, which will make sure all of your tasks are collated and up to date. Find the best free online calendar for all your appointments – there are plenty to choose from – and know you’re always on schedule.

Speak the language:

If you have to travel for business a lot you’ll know how awkward it can be to negotiate necessities when you don’t speak a word of the language. While many countries speak English, you’re sure to find yourself in a situation where knowing a few basics proves beneficial.

Download an app like World Nomads or Linguo to help you make sure you at least know the basics, whether you are trying to order a coffee to keep you going or find directions to your next meeting.

Hold your meetings anywhere:

Need to be in two places at once? Make use of free tools like AnyMeeting and hold your business meetings remotely, no matter where you are.

Host webinars and collaborative meetings for up to 200 hundred people on the go, share your screen, choose video conferencing and record your meeting for future reference all online – meaning that as long as you have your laptop and a reliable web connection, you could be working from anywhere.

8 More Tips for Effective and Engaging Webinars

Webinar

By Julie Bawden-Davis

It’s no easy feat to hold an effective webinar that keeps participants engaged and not distracted by what’s on their desks or watching the clock to see how long until it’s over. The key to a must-see and stay event is adapting your presentation to the webinar environment. These 8 tips will help you hook and keep an audience.

1. Introduce Yourself

Depending on how you set up the webinar, attendees may not see you right away or at all during the presentation. Start with a welcome slide that includes your head-shot and that of anyone assisting you. Label the photos with names and titles. Those listening will be more engaged if they can put a face to the voice.

2. Choose a Narrow Topic

It’s hard for webinar participants to get excited with an unfocused, broad topic, no matter how thoroughly you cover the subject. Attendees are much more likely to be pulled into your webinar and stay with you when the topic pinpoints a particular concern or walks them through how to accomplish a certain task.

3. Deliver Exceptional Content

Webinar organizers sometimes get so caught up in the logistics and mechanics of the webinar that they forget the importance of content. Superior graphics alone won’t keep participants engaged. Craft a presentation that persuades, inspires, educates or informs your attendees. The best way to do this is to consider that each of your viewers will ask himself or herself—what’s in it for me if I stick with this webinar? You want your attendees to obtain useful takeaways and feel satisfied that they stayed until the end.

4. Use Memorable Visuals

To keep participants engaged, introduce visually appealing graphics and photos that get your message across, including short videos. Use text-based,
bulleted materials sparingly. A static list on the page while you drone on will cause participants to lose interest.

5. Pay Attention to Pacing

Many online meetings make the mistake of either screeching through information so quickly that attendees have difficulty comprehending, or they repeat the same information so many times at tortoise speed that everyone but the speaker is asleep or gone by the end. Strike a balance and keep things exciting by providing just enough time in between points for attendees to take notes.

6. Involve Participants

Asking participants for their involvement during the webinar keeps their interest piqued. Starting at the beginning and throughout the online presentation, encourage interaction with attendees through on-line polls, quizzes and by opening up the floor for questions. Offer incentives for participation, such as raffle prizes.

7. Stand Up and Walk Around

If the audience sees you presenting during the webinar, rather than giving a static impression by staying seated, introduce a dynamic element by getting up and walking around like you would in a face-to-face presentation.

8. Rehearse

Practice might not make your webinar perfect, but it will make it engaging.

How do you keep your audiences interested and engaged throughout your webinars? Let us know in the comments.

AnyMeeting Offers an Easy Way to Connect and Spread Holiday Cheer With Video Conferencing

HUNTINGTON BEACH, CA–(Marketwire – Dec 13, 2011) – AnyMeeting, the completely free web conferencing and webinar service, today announced a festive use for its service with the holidays in mind. AnyMeeting’s 6-way video conferencing feature allows users to connect with friends and family members who are in different locations at the same time and spread holiday cheer.  See the complete press release on MarketWire.

10 Tips for Effective and Engaging Webinars

webinar

By Mark Di Vincenzo

Webinars, web-based seminars, have become a common way to present information. When you’re ready to host one to build your business, here are 10 tips to make sure it gives you the great results you’re expecting.

1. Define the purpose

Before you start marketing your online presentation, make sure you know why you’re doing it, what you’re trying to accomplish, and what you hope attendees will get out of it.

2. Determine who your audience will be and tailor the presentation to them

A lot of people multi-task during webinars, so do everything in your power to present information that grabs their attention and doesn’t let go. Schedule lively speakers, and make sure you have fascinating information to share.

3. Design an excellent presentation

In addition to creating a wonderful talk, spend as much as 20 hours building a simple and interesting slide deck to accompany it. Make sure they work well together.

4. Do a trial run

Well before the day of the online meeting, test the connection, computer, webcam, and headset. Every webinar platform is a little different, and this is the only way to know for sure that everything will work. While you’re at it, make sure the moderator knows his duties and can handle technical issues and problems.

5. Show up early

Give yourself plenty of time — get to the office, or wherever you’re running the webinar, at least an hour ahead of time — so you can identify problems and find someone who can take care of them.

6. Give clear instructions to the attendees

Let them know about the features like video conferencing you plan to use and how they can participate. Urge attendees who plan to ask questions to use a headset to avoid echos. (Ask the moderator to apologize, but to block audio access to anyone causing an echo.)

7. Engage participants every few minutes

With an in-person seminar, the presenter does something every 10 minutes or so to re-engage with the audience. With a webinar, since there’s no direct contact, presenters have to do it more often, to avoid losing the audience.

8. Make sure to ask specific questions

Don’t say, “Does anyone have a question?” Instead, if the webinar is about the best time to do things in the workplace, ask, “Who knows why 10 a.m. is the best time to give a presentation?” Involve your audience.

9. Conduct polls

And share the results as soon as they’re in. Polls are a great way to involve everyone in the online meeting, and they can be used to transition into or out of a topic.

10. Give something to stay front of mind

Webinar attendees want something in return for their attention and participation. So after the webinar ends, email a thank-you note to attendees, and include some tips related to the topic. Information, in the form of succinct tips, is something they can refer to and share. If there were any hyperlinks from the presentation, include them as well.

Just because the webinar ended, doesn’t mean the conversation has to as well. Send attendees a survey a day or two later. And then a week later, follow up with an email asking how they used — or plan to use — the information they received during the webinar.

Growing Profits and Sales with a Smarter Sales Compensation Plan

Money
Increase the ROI for your salespeople

By Josh Turner, Gateway CFO Solutions

THIS IS A SPECIAL GUEST POST BY ONE OF OUR ANYMEETING USERS. WANT TO WRITE FOR THE ANYMEETING BLOG? GET THE DETAILS.

 

Compensating salespeople is a struggle for most businesses.

Are you paying them too much?

Are you paying them too little?

Is their compensation incentivizing them to work toward the company’s objectives?

Whether you have one or fifty salespeople, you have surely felt the pain at one point or another.

The best sales compensation plans align pay with the goals of the organization (usually higher sales and profits), and there are a number of ways to skin this cat.

Below is an introduction to a handful of the most common sales compensation plans, along with the pro’s and con’s of each. As you read them, consider which would be the best fit for your business and keep in mind that there is never a one-size-fits-all solution.

Sales Compensation Based on Gross Revenue

Commissions based on gross revenue are probably the most common way of paying salespersons. While they are also generally the easiest to implemenet and track, they’re also the least effective in helping reach your broader business objectives.

Here’s why:
1. Salespeople don’t care about profits if they’re paid on top-line revenue/sales.
2. They’re willing to sell a job at almost any price.
3. They usually become very price driven, relying on low price instead of selling value and premium benefits.

Depending on your industry, company size, and other factors, a good salesperson might demand somewhere between 3-5% of revenue.

Sales Compensation Based on Gross Profits

Gross profit is the money that’s left after subtracting direct costs from revenue. This is often considered the profit that a salesperson has some control over. If they know their costs and have some say in the selling price, then they can have a great impact on gross profit.

Compensating salespeople based on gross profit is often the best way for an owner to protect from paying out commissions on unprofitable work. This is exactly the reason why salespeople often don’t like commissions based on gross profit. They will argue that it’s really out of their control, they’re just responsible for selling, and that costs are for somebody else to worry about. If that is really the case, you should consider realigning their responsibilities so your salespeople are more engaged with the business.

Paying salespeople based on profitability is the best way to keep your entire team working together, all aligned toward the company’s goals. Again, how you structure the plan is highly dependent on your specific circumstances. If you are currently paying based on revenue, and you are considering switching to profits, expect that you will need to offer an upside that will allow for your salespeople to make even more money. Otherwise they’ll view it as a paycut.

Sales Compensation Based on Growth in Gross Profits

An innovative approach to compensating on profits, is to add incentives for GROWTH IN PROFITS. You establish a baseline of sorts at which they receive X compensation. Then, you give them a growth target for additional profits.

This challenges them to not only increase profitability on existing accounts, but to sign new work at higher profits. The more profits they can squeeze out of every sale, the greater their compensation will be.

Sales Compensation Based on Net Profits

Tying compensation to net profits can be somewhat complex for salespeople. For one, many business owners don’t want salespeople knowing what the overall profits of the company are. Second, it’s often complicated to accurately tie overhead/expenses/SG&A to specific sales or projects. Yet, when done properly, it can be an extremely effective compensation model.

Keep in mind that the goal of a good sales compensation plan is to align the salesperson’s interests with the goals of the business. I don’t know too many businesses that don’t have a goal of maximizing the bottom line.

Let’s take a closer look at the two common hurdles and how you can get past them.

“I don’t want my salespeople to know the company’s overall net income.”

Luckily, you don’t have to. Working with your numbers people, you should be able to come up with a multiplier for your different business lines, geographies, customers, etc. When taken in total, these multipliers would net out to your bottom line. But your salespeople won’t have all of this information. All they will have is the basic “expense multiplier” that will be used to determine the net profits on their individual sales.

“It’s too complicated to come up with an accurate expense multiplier.”

Certainly there are hurdles and assumptions that have to be made. It’s not an exact science, and never can be simply because revenues are not 100% predictable. But even a 70% accurate model will deliver you the business results you need, distributing enough of the right expenses to the right sales.

Whatever you do, don’t overcomplicate it. Stick with a basic model that is easily maintained and updated.

Using Sliding Scales to Further Improve Sales Compensation

No matter which of the above compensation models you go with, you can use sliding scales to further incentivize the performance of your salespeople. If top line revenue growth is a major priority, consider making it a component of your plan along with gross profitability. A common model is to increase commissions at certain sales levels. For example, you might offer an additional half percent commission over $500,000 in sales and another half percent for all sales over $1 million.

This kind of compensation plan, combining the best of the above models along with higher percentages at higher volume levels, is often the most effective way to get the best of all worlds.

Regardless of the path you take, be sure to run the numbers carefully and consider the implications of each option. You want to be absolutely certain that the compensation plan you put in place will stand the test of time and help improve both revenues and profits.

Editor’s Note:  This article is brought to you by AnyMeeting, the completely free web conferencing and webinar service.  Use AnyMeeting for your next online meeting

Tips for Your Business Budget

"Starving" piggy bank
Your piggy bank is in for a squeeze this year

Sylvia Rosen, BuyerZone – Business Phone Systems

THIS IS A SPECIAL GUEST POST BY ONE OF OUR ANYMEETING USERS. WANT TO WRITE FOR THE ANYMEETING BLOG? GET THE DETAILS.

 

Santa’s not the only one making a list and checking it twice this time of the year. Buyers are looking to purchase or lease office equipment to upgrade outdated gear and stay competitive with the latest in business technology.

This year, their interest seems to be focused around a select group of items in particular. Whether you have a team of employees constantly on the go or just a single location with a small in-house staff, here’s what you need to effectively plan ahead for in 2012.

Phone Systems

With the increasing level of mobile employees and those who work from satellite locations around the world, a quality business phone system enables everyone to stay in touch efficiently and affordably.

Using IP-based communication, most modern phone systems leverage the advanced processing power of the standard PC with an interface that allows them to take advantage of all the familiar Windows’ features.

This integrated functionality has two primary benefits: one, employees are able to use a platform they’re already familiar with, significantly cutting down on retraining. And two, new extensions can be installed with the click of a mouse through software that can be loaded directly onto any PC.

This delivers a huge savings in both time and money when compared to a proprietary phone system that typically requires an IT tech trained in that particular phone system.

Laptops

Designed to further accommodate the mobile lifestyle, laptop computers have been the must-have tool for employees on the go for the better part of a decade. And according to recent reports, the level of business travel is expected to continuously increase as the economy rebounds.

But laptops aren’t just for the business traveler anymore. They’ve become a necessity for just about everyone, enabling people to effectively work from home or a remote location by having all the necessary files and network accessibility with them wherever they go.

Whether delivering a multimedia presentation to a group of potential clients or simply catching up on seasonal overflow while spending time at home with family, laptops provide the same functionality as any on-site office space. And in fact, they’ve been shown to actually increase the level of productivity as employees are more willing to work longer hours in a more leisurely setting.

Power Generator

With winter weather on the horizon, you need a way to ensure the power stays on at your building. Downtime can have a huge financial impact, especially for small to medium-sized businesses. But with a power generator, you can safely power refrigerators, phone systems, computers, peripheral backups and a wide range of necessities, all the way up to entire assembly lines, that will keep you from losing valuable time until the power is restored.

In addition to backup power, many business owners have also found generators to be highly useful for their ability to protect fragile equipment. By ensuring a consistent power supply to your business, you’re protected against voltage fluctuations in the power grid that can instantly damage sensitive computers and other capital equipment during unexpected failure.

Equipment purchases will vary depending on your line of business. But with the three primary tools mentioned above, you can be assured of providing a consistent level of quality service to customers on a variety of platforms.

 

Movember Moustache Contest Winners Announced

We had some fun this month and also raised awareness for a good cause – Men’s Health. Now for the prizes:

Grand Prize
Perfect Shave Kit from The Art of Shaving (or $100 Amazon.com Gift Card)

2nd Prize
$25 Amazon.com Gift Card

The first place winner with over 2000 votes is Mike:

The second place winner with over 500 votes is Sam:

Congratulations to Mike and Sam and thanks to everyone who participated.