As people around the world are practicing social distancing and staying or working from home to help flatten the curve of the coronavirus, online video conferencing has become a popular option for staying in touch. Whether you’re connecting with family and friends, conducting business meetings, or using this time to attend an educational webinar, video conferencing software provides an opportunity to have a little face-to-face (screen) time and interact. But if you don’t use the software often or are unfamiliar with it entirely, it can be difficult to know exactly what to do to join and what the best practices are once you’ve connected. Our guide will walk you through the steps of how to join a GoToMeeting session as an attendee, so that you can go through the process with ease.
First things first. Make sure you have a good internet connection.
This may sound like common sense, but for video conferencing, it’s best practice to make sure that your internet connection is stable before you join. If possible, use a computer or laptop that is hardwired through a modem rather than using WiFi, which will ensure a better connection and experience overall. It’s no fun to experience lag on a video conference, especially if there’s a chance you could miss something important.
Assuming that you don’t need to screen share or access any online documents, most video conferencing software also allows for the option to let you dial in by phone if you can’t access your computer. But the same rules apply: make sure your connection is good and that you’re not in an area where you will lose service during the meeting.
GoToMeeting is available to download both on your phone and on your computer (Windows or Mac). You want to make sure that your system is compatible with GoToMeeting. For most meetings or webinars, the following will work:
- Operating System: Windows 7 - Windows 10, Mac OS X 10.9 (Mavericks) - macOS Catalina (10.15), Linux, Google Chrome OS, Android OS 5 (Lollipop) - Android 9 (Pie), iOS 10 - iOS 12, Windows Phone 8+, Windows 8RT+
- Compatible web browsers: Google Chrome (most recent 2 versions) or Mozilla Firefox (most recent 2 versions)
- Mobile Device: iPhone 4S or later, iPad 2 or later, with an internet connection capability of 3G or better. If using Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) from your phone for an audio connection, it is recommended that your phone is connected to your WiFi.
- Hardware: if downloading the GoToMeeting software directly onto your computer, you will need 2-4GB or more of RAM. Your microphone and speakers can be used directly from your computer, or you can plug in headphones with microphone capability to listen along and/or participate.
For more information or to test if your current system is compatible, click here.
Joining a GoToMeeting session
To join a GoToMeeting, you’ll first get an invite via email. The message will look something like this, where you will see three directives:
This link is what you would click to access the meeting (the numbers after “join” are the access code, and each organization’s access code is different. We are using these numbers as an example only.)
You can also dial in using your phone.
United States: +1 (555) 555-5555
The example number listed here is what you can dial if you a) don’t have immediate access to your computer, b) are having connectivity issues, or c) have joined the meeting on your computer for visual access, but want to listen to the meeting from the audio on your phone rather than your computer. When you dial in, you will be asked for the meeting ID (in this example, the meeting ID is the access code listed below). Enter those numbers to be connected.
Access Code: 123-456-789
When you click on the meeting link above, you will be directed to the GoToMeeting website, where you can download the software onto your computer (it will open every time you click on a GoToMeeting link) or you can simply use the web app on the GoToMeeting website (where it says “Join A Meeting”). With either option, you will be asked for your meeting ID, which is the access code.
You’ve joined! Now what?
Once the meeting ID has been accepted, the first screen you will see is to choose your audio option. If you’re using your computer or laptop, it’s best to put headphones in to listen. If it’s the first time you are using GoToMeeting, your browser will prompt you to allow access to your camera and your microphone so that you can see and hear others and they can see and hear you. Or, you can choose not to use your computer audio at all – you can use your computer for the visuals, and dial into the same meeting to listen and talk on your phone.
You’ll then be asked to enter your name and email address. Your name will show up under your image and when you are speaking. Each time you access GoToWebinar after this point, your name and email address will remain the same unless you change it from the control panel.
Familiarize yourself with the control panel
The control panel will be to the right of your screen. To expand the control panel and see the options that are available to you, click on the settings gear. From the control panel:
- You can choose your audio options here if you need to change them, mute yourself, or test your sound.
- This is also where you can select the option to screen share, if necessary. The ability to share your screen is decided by the meeting organizer, so don’t worry if you don’t have this option.
- You can turn your webcam on so people can see you, or you can turn it off (your name will appear instead of your video).
- You can also see who is in the meeting with you by clicking on the attendee button. See who has joined by phone, who is talking, and who is muted.
- GoToMeeting also has a chat feature. You can send a message to all participants, one participant, or the organizer only during the meeting.
Once the meeting is over
To leave the meeting, you can simply exit your browser if you have joined from the web app or hang up your phone if you have dialed in. If you have downloaded the GoToMeeting software, click “Leave Meeting” and press yes if a prompt appears. The software should close automatically.
Best practices for attending an online meeting
Remember that an online meeting is taking the place of a face-to-face interaction. Some best practices include:
- Being as prepared as you can.
- It’s okay to be a few minutes early; the meeting will not start until the presenter is ready.
- Muting yourself when you are not speaking to avoid sound disruption - just don’t forget to unmute when you want to contribute something.
- Not talking over the person who is speaking.
- Most attendees will use their computer and mute the audio, then dial into the conference from their phone for audio so that they can follow along and participate.
- Make sure you are free from distractions - your cell phone is on silent, and you’re not checking email or doing other tasks during the meeting. Remember that, if you have selected your webcam to be on, people can see you - and can see if you’re distracted or looking at your phone.
For more tips and tricks, visit GoToMeeting.
How can we help?
Hopefully, you found this GoToMeeting guide useful! Have questions on how to connect with us via GoToMeeting, or a financial question that needs to be addressed? Please reach out and let us know. Our team is always available to speak over the phone or through video conferencing.