Adobe Connect Meetings

Videoconferencing with screen sharing and breakout rooms.

Screen shot of Adobe Connect Meetings

The default layout showing a collaborative whiteboard

Adobe Connect Meetings is one of three offerings from Adobe for remote conferencing (the others are Adobe Connect Learning and Adobe Connect Webinars, designed for delivering online courses and webinars, respectively). The Meetings offering is a full-featured web conference platform that includes screen sharing, polls and other interactive tools, a whiteboard, breakout rooms, and a backstage area. Each tool is in its own ‘pod’ and hosts can create and save custom layouts using pods in different sizes and locations on the screen.

Rooms can be set up to be persistent if desired. Paying users can record meetings. All hosts have access to a content library where frequently-used materials can be stored for easy access from any Adobe Connect room. When sharing screens, the presenter has some flexibility in selecting what to share. Users with two monitors may show either one without needing to mirror.

Scenario / Use Case

Adobe Connect screenshot with alternate layout

An alternate layout

The place where Adobe Connect Meetings really shines is when collaborative teams need to set up a workspace to share documents, build on ideas, and create together. A team can create a persistent room, upload documents they need regularly, create a custom pod layout, and have everything there whenever they need to get together. The host can take notes in a special pod, keeping a record of the work done during the meeting. The team can share a whiteboard to jot down ideas. At the end of the meeting, the room can be refreshed with updated documents so it’s ready for next time. Adobe Connect Meetings is best for situations where the team will need to use its features; if the team simply needs to use video conferencing to see one another, there are simpler options available.

Pros

  • The custom layouts make it very easy to switch between feature sets for different purposes.
  • Emoticons (applause, raise hands, and so on) give participants a way to interact with each other that’s fun and unobtrusive.
  • Once inside the room, the controls are easy to find and use.
  • The host can control how much participants can interact, including microphones, cameras, writing on whiteboards, and so on.

Cons

  • Adobe Connect requires Flash player.
  • It can be a little difficult for new users to get into a room for the first time.
  • The participant view is a bit different from the host view, which can make it hard to help people who are stuck.

Groups It’s Good For

  • Teams that need to collaborate on a project, especially if it requires a shared set of documents.
  • Large groups that can take advantage of the breakout rooms for more intimate conversations.
  • Independent coaches and consultants looking for a powerful, affordable videoconferencing solution for small-group client work.

Cost & Access Information

Three pricing tiers are available: a free version that allows 3 participants per host (free meetings can’t be recorded); a mid-range option allows 25 participants per host with a monthly or yearly subscription; and an enterprise-level option allows up to 100 participants per host.

See http://www.adobe.com/products/adobeconnect/buying-guide.html to compare options and find information about pricing.

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