Less Expensive Alternative to GoToMeeting - StartMeeting | A David Creation

Updated June 2016

I first came across StartMeeting in late 2012/early 2013. I was told by my contact there that they would be adding video conferencing in the late summer of 2013. That did not happen until now! Starting this month, video is included at no extra charge. This now makes StartMeeting less expensive and a great alternative than GoToMeeting and other online meeting software. 

…For web conferencing (screen sharing) and now video conferencing, StartMeeting is easy and inexpensive. Read on about my original post if you’d like or give it a trial

Original Post from March 2013:

For the last 4 years, I’ve basically used one online program for meetings and webinars, GoToMeeting. It really is a pretty simple product to use. The only real complaints I have regarding GoToMeeting are, 1) A little expensive for what I use it for and 2) My customers and I seem to always have to install updates. I tend to be coaching my clients on how to use GoToMeeting more often than not. A little frustrating, but on the other hand, there was nothing on the market that was better. Webex was a good program but cost more than GoToMeeting. I tried every other one I could find and chose to stick with GoToMeeting. Until…

Meet StartMeeting

Recently another online meeting tool surfaced in my inbox. I used a conference line company at times when I need it called Free Conference Call. That company is a sister company to the latest and greatest online meeting program called StartMeeting (affiliate link). I really had no reason to switch from GoToMeeting to StartMeeting but thought I’d contact the company and drill them about why their program was the same or better than GoToMeeting.

I scheduled a call with Greg Plum, VP of Channel Development. He walked me through all the features and benefits of StartMeeting and how it compared to GoToMeeting. I really had no problems using GoToMeeting, so I would not even consider switching unless it was easy to use for my clients, had screen sharing, was cheaper and featured mouse sharing. Greg did a great job convincing me about StartMeeting and the vision of his company too!

Selling Points That Are Making Me Switch

After close to an hour walking through the program, I was very impressed. StartMeeting was created to go to battle against GoToMeeting. That is their main competitor. That is why it intrigued me! I wanted the same product for less. I’m not being cheap. I just have a lot of small monthly cost programs, and I want to simplify my expenses! StartMeeting offered some key selling points for me:

  • The price point for 50 users was half of what GoToMeeting offers: $19.95.
  • It allows for the user to have a company branded “wall” which is where people can schedule a meeting or start a meeting. The background and logo are fully customizable.
  • One Meeting ID and Phone Number. I didn’t like having to schedule a meeting with GoToMeeting…as sometimes I’d be on the wrong call waiting for my clients who received a different Meeting ID. So it keeps it simple
  • Screen and Mouse Sharing: Most of my calls are to run marketing meetings. Yet I do get involved “fixing” or setting up certain programs and features on my client’s machines sometimes. Therefore it is nice to have the mouse sharing feature. If it did not have this feature, I would not even consider switching.
  • Video Conference: This feature is a little weak, currently, but the presenter can show himself using his camera. This is good for a webinar. The weak part is it does not allow a two way video sharing like GoToMeeting’s HD Faces. This is a feature, StartMeeting said they will be working on. Again, for the price savings, I’m switching…as I don’t use HD faces all that much. If I want to do that, I just use Google Hangout which is free and simple to use as an alternative.
  • Downloading and Upgrades: I’ve not used StartMeeting much just yet, but they assured me that my clients and I won’t have to be continually updating my computer with v1.3, v1.4, v1.5 etc. This sounds great!

So I’m making the transition from GoToMeeting to StartMeeting to keep the pricing and features simple. If you are interested in giving it a shot for your business, the first 30 days are free. Let me know what you think. My referral link is here: StartMeeting. (same cost as going directly through them.)

About David Chism

David Chism started his business out of a passion for helping small contracting businesses grow, be more profitable and become better known to their target clients. One lifelong hobby of David is using techie gadgets. So this blog is a place where he writes about technology, marketing ideas, just for fun (humor), personal thoughts on small business and more.

7 Comments

  • Great review David! Would I be able to record my iClass videos like I did with Gotomeeting like this ?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qf9SBzZuxnI&sns=em

  • David says:

    Hey Steve. Yes. You can record and send to social networks or via email. The free account I think does that; paid account you can store the lectures in the cloud free.

  • David, this is a really good review and I appreciate your work here. I had also used GoToMeeting along the way but it got a bit expensive. Have looked at StartMeeting. And Anymeeting.com is advertising a pretty good package for $180/year, 25 attendees. What I’m trying to find is an affordable platform which will play videos through screen-sharing mode, but I got this answer back from an anymeeting.com tech today:

    “The best/only way to play a video in AnyMeeting is using the YouTube video player. You enter the URL of the YouTube video and it will play the video inside the meeting. The frame rate on screen sharing is fast but not as fast as a video. And the audio will not come through the app when screen sharing for the video.”

    Not what I was looking for, because there are plenty of video platforms and clips which can’t be uploaded to YouTube first…any suggestions? Can StartMeeting handle videos through simple screensharing?

    Thanks,
    Joseph Montelepre

  • David Chism says:

    At this time, Joseph, StartMeeting does not offer that capability. They told me they are working on HD video…and my guess is sometimes this Summer or early Fall we might see something.

    Until then, I still use my GoToMeeting account. As soon as StartMeeting has the Video…I’ll ditch GoToMeeting I believe completely. Or who knows, Google+ is getting close too!

  • Hi David,

    Just wondering if when you were looking for alternatives whether you considered Mikogo? If you did, what aspects did you like/dislike or not understand? If not, well in a nutshell Mikogo is an online meeting solution with VoIP, meeting scheduler, profile manager (customize the software feature set to suit your use case), branding (logo integration), and many other features.
    If you would like to know more, please just drop me a line.

    Thanks!
    Andrew Donnelly
    The Mikogo Team

  • Helmut Fahr says:

    For all people who looking for an alternative please have a look to RHUB Turbomeeting App. Available for all devices:iOS,Mac OS, Android, Linux, Windows. Many features equal other tools, and a lot more features (+40) than other solutions. Search for RHUB Turbomeeting Appliance. Purchased once, used by everyone, unlimited users, On-premise: security, branding, integration & speed. No more limits on employee access. No more monthly subscription fees. No more third-party surveillance risks. No more limits on how your company, your employees and your customers can communicate. Why keep paying subscription fees forever? You can own your R-HUB server with just 3-10 months of subscription fees. http://www.rhubcom.com

  • David Chism says:

    Helmut, I appreciate you chiming in on this blog post to refer people to R-HUB. I am sure it serves its purpose in this big webinar marketplace. However, I do not think the R-HUB really is a threat or should be compared to GoToMeeting or StartMeeting. R-HUB is not an inexpensive alternative either. Yes you do not have MONTHLY cost. Instead, you have annual cost! Most companies and small business owners are pretty use to the small monthly cost of programs like StartMeeting. $20 a month is a lot better than forking over $1,500 a year. It was hard to grasp the annual cost of R-HUB off the website, which makes me think it is expensive. Any software company that does not post their prices today on their website is probably charging a pretty steep price. R-HUB is not meant for the small business folks that I write here on this blog. It is not cloud based.

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