Google Hangouts are a free tool to allow your company to hold video conferences, offer webinars, or even hold press conferences. They are hosted online using webcams on computers, tablets, and smartphones so that your attendees can see and hear the other people.
Hangouts can be conducted live like a regular business conference call or webinar. You invite participants to attend at a certain time and date, and everyone logs in to communicate. The free tool allows only 10 people to be setup to interact at one time, but an unlimited amount of people can view it during the session. People viewing have the option to add comments or questions via a page dedicated to your Hangout during or after the event.
Hangouts can also be recorded to be shown in the future. It integrates seamlessly with your YouTube channel for people to view after it is over. A recorded hangout video can easily be shared on your Google Plus or YouTube page, or even embedded onto your company’s website.
How to Create a Google Hangout
- Decide whether you would like to conduct the Hangout immediately or schedule for the future.
- Select your audience. Do you want it open to the public, or invite just a few people to attend?
- If it’s a future event, you can upload a welcome video or image that your attendees will see prior to the event starting.
- For future events, you can collect questions from your attendees. This can help shape the content you will cover in your hangout.
Examples of Google Hangouts
Interested by the idea, but don’t know what you would present during a Google Hangout? Here’s some ideas from other groups that leverage this tool to get their message across.
BakeSpace is a national network for swapping recipes and chatting about food topics. Recent topics included Year Round Food Preserving and Holiday Cooking Disaster Stories.
Local ophthalmologists Triangle Eye Physicians are using Google Hangouts to educate patients about Lasik surgery and helpful topics such as dry eye disease.
The Raleigh SEO Meetup streams their talks online during their presentations using Hangouts. They are recorded afterwards for people who wish to view later on YouTube.
See our second blog in this series on how to market and advertise your Google Hangout.