Video Conferencing Apps: A comparative analysis

The Covid-19 Pandemic has very suddenly and rapidly changed the nature of how we do meetings.  Previously, face to face meetings were the normal in most industries, and video conferencing was viewed as a backup or stop-gap measure for when attendees could not attend live due to any unique circumstances. In the present Covid-19 reality however, Video Conferencing has quickly emerged as one of the most important business tools for optimal business continuity.

As with any product or service, there is a plethora of choices when it comes deciding which video conferencing software to use.  For this analysis, we have compared 4 of the most popular ones currently in business use: Google Meet vs GoToMeeting vs Microsoft Teams vs Zoom

 Google MeetGoToMeetingMicrosoft TeamsZoom
Pricing$6 – $25$16.25 – $21.67Free – $20$14.99 – $19.99
Mobile AppYesYesYesYes
Maximum Participants (Video Call)25026250500
Free TrialYesYesYesYes
Time Limit (Free account)60 minutes40 minutesNone40 minutes
Chat FeatureYesYesYesYes
Session RecordingNoYesYesYes
Breakout RoomsNoNoNoYes
Screen SharingYesYesYesYes
Unique FeaturesGoogle Apps IntegrationSalesforce IntegrationMicrosoft Office/Software IntegrationPolls & Whiteboard Collaboration

Google Meet: Google meet, which was previously called and has built on Google Hangouts, is Google’s offering into Video Conferencing.  The unique advantages of Meet are that it is a pure video conferencing solution, and this the focus is on a smooth, seamless video/audio experience.  Another great feature is its integration within various Google apps, and a very smooth user experience if you are working in a Google Android environment (Android phone, Chromebook etc.)

GoToMeeting: GoToMeeting is based on a very solid framework laid out by its parent company, LogMeIn Inc., which has been in the online meetings and remote management business for a very long time and has been a pioneer in virtual meeting and management technologies.  Its primary focus on smaller teams and primary team collaboration sets its apart.

Microsoft Teams: Among many unique features, one of the most important feature Teams offers is its integration with Microsoft Office and other Microsoft apps.  Teams can work seamlessly on various Microsoft projects and it allows for a very smooth user experience in a complete Microsoft environment.  Another unique feature is that teams of upto 10,000 (no video) colleagues can be added and collaborated with.

Zoom:  Zoom is currently the most popular platform among businesses and the general public for video conferencing.  Some unique features include the ability to do live polls and host a whiteboard collaboration session among other unique collaboration tools.  Another added advantage is familiarity, with attendees most likely to have used Zoom in the past, and thus be comfortable with the user interface.

In conclusion, all these Video Conferencing apps are well designed, easy to use and can help you make the most in these unique times until we get back to live meetings.  As all of these offer free trials, you can test and play around to decide which one is best suited for your own business or personal requirements.

Business during the COVID19 Pandemic. How D. E. Systems is supporting organizations through this transformative event.

As an Event Technology Provider, D. E. Systems has seen its business model turned on its end.  While it remains a very diverse organization, events were at the core of D. E. Systems. 

Surprisingly, business activity has continued even though events have not.  One of the primary advantages to our technology rental department is being able to provide short term access to technology equipment and we have been happy to support a few organizations who have ramped up activity during this pandemic including:

  • Pharmaceutical and Sanitization Companies who have ramped up staff.  D. E. Systems has been supporting laptop rentals to a number of organizations in the GTA.
  • Call Centres-Some health care and technology call centres have ramped up activity during this pandemic.  D. E. Systems has long supported call centres with technology
  • Media.  One of our key business activities in the Ottawa Market has been supporting official media channels providing important information to Canadians during this pandemic.

We of course continue to support our regular clients as they transition to virtual and opt for newsletter campaigns in the absence of the ability to hold live events.  Our IT and Network support division continues to operate serving Ontario Essential Businesses with their networking and office technology infrastructure. 

Most importantly though, we are happy to give back.  Recently we supported sending lunch to Front Line workers at the Montfort Hospital.  A wonderful initiative that was started by the Sandwich Stop and Manny Mellios, D. E. Systems was happy to sponsor this endeavour in support of our front-line healthcare workers. 

A big thank you to those that have supported us; we are committed to supporting you through this transformative period.

The Efficient Home Workspace and Maximizing Productivity at Home

During this current health pandemic, most of us are learning to work from home.  Whether you are self-employed, or your company has asked you to work from home, we must quickly adjust to the current “normal” for business continuity and remaining productive.

Here are a few tips and tools that can help you and make your temporary home office experience more productive and focused.  

16 Tips for Working from Home

  • Get Started Early.  Many of us are at our most productive early in the day and letting the morning slide by before diving in can impact your performance
  • Assume you are going to the office.  Get dressed, make the bed, create a distinction between downtime and worktime. 
  • Structure your day.  Schedules are addictive and they yield results.  Working from home really tests the ability to adhere to schedules but you can build one that is flexible to your specific needs.
  • Ensure you have a dedicated workspace.  Creating that environment where you work your magic with your keyboard is key.  A plant, a window, a clean surface.  These little things do matter and foster a welcoming environment.
  • Body Breaks.  It can get downright exhausting working from home.  Zoom calls will zap your energy like nothing else can.  Schedule a walk after a Zoom call-it will give you the right conditions to process the content of the call and give your body that needed break
  • Beware of Social Media.  Social is a vacuum.  Some of us need it, others succumb to it.  It can consume hours like no other online activity and you need to be careful about your time on social media.  Schedule the time, set limits and if you don’t need social media for work, log out of the accounts and remove shortcuts so you are not as tempted to go down the social media rabbit hole. 
  • Set Daily Goals.  Its critical that you have a task list and you are able to tick those boxes.  The brain rewards itself when you do and we are driven more when we see those milestones visually. 
  • Know your productivity cycle.  We all have different attention spans.  For us to get the most out of our day, we need to be aware of what we can manage realistically.  For some of us, it will be 20-30 minute work tasks.  For others, it may be a 4 hour marathon.  It depends both on the work you are doing and your ability to focus.  Just know yourself and schedule accordingly.
  • Defer calls to later times when possible.  The best time to get through work is when you are starting.  Zoom calls can disrupt your focus and bring on a variety of other tasks to the table.  If you are working to complete your tasks, best time is before the conference call
  • Take advantage of Technology Tools.  There are a myriad of tools out there that can improve your productivity.  Project Management tools like can bring order to chaotic projects.  Communications tools are not limited to Zoom.  Microsoft Teams provides an incredible framework from which to share content and communicate. 
  • Music.  Music inspires us.  Whenever possible have it softly playing in the background.  It will help with the environment and your productivity.
  • Multitask.  This is one of the best advantages of working from home.  You can get dishes done, laundry, a bit of cleaning done during your breaks from work.  Newtons Law tells us an object in motion stays in motion and this works very well on our brains.  The busier we are the more we get done.
  • Communicate with your Family.  Whether you have a family, spouse or just a roommate.  Communicate your schedules and expectations so they can be respected.
  • Interact with other Humans.  In this time especially, we need human interaction.  As a break, or at the end of your day.  Keep in touch with loved ones and ensure to keep those human connections in place.  They are a fundamental need for all of us.
  • Prepare your meal plans.  Organize your meal plans-you will find that you will reduce waste and become more structured and organized in the process.
  • Happy Hour.  Everyone loves happy hour.  But more specifically, keep that schedule and try to adhere to a time to turn off the work computer each day. 

Working from home can be a challenge.  Creating that boundary between work and home is more complex; but working from home can bring benefits.  Use all the tips and tools you can to keep productive and focused and remember that these organizational and structural behaviours are habit forming which can yield benefits in all areas of your home life. 

D. E. Systems provides technology for your home and office.  We can assist with getting you the tools to work more efficiently and comfortably. 

High specs and well configured computers:

On many occasions, the laptops/Macs/PC’s that we regularly use at home can be dated and bogged down with a lot of bloatware, unused programs and unnecessary files, all of which can contribute heavily to a slow, testing experience.  D.E. Systems can provide laptops, PC’s and Mac computers that have high-end and latest specifications and are properly configured to boost and enhance your user experience.

Printers, Copiers and Shredders:

Many of us have either no printer or small inkjet printers at home that are not designed for professional printing requirements.  Should your work require high end printing (invoices, marketing material etc.), D.E. Systems carries a wide variety of printing products, from tabletop black & white and colour printers and MFP’s to floor standing printers and copiers.  D.E. Systems also has shredders available should you need to discard sensitive documents.

Networking Equipment:

D.E. Systems has all sorts of networking tools available to setup and boost your home networking requirements.  From routers and switches, to long Cat6 cables and WiFi solutions, we can help properly configure and enhance your home network.

Onsite Service:

If you require a professional setup of any technology equipment, whether acquired from D.E. Systems, your own or elsewhere, our certified and professional technicians can provide onsite service to setup and configure your home office setup in the most effective way possible.  We also offer contactless delivery for any health considerations. 

Aside these offerings, we offer many other niche products (webcams, iPads, tech accessories etc.) to compliment your home office requirements.  D.E. Systems staff is always available for consultation on any technology related inquires and questions you may have.  Should you need to discuss with a professional on what sort of home internet is ideal for you, to the pros and cons of various online meeting applications, we are always available to provide professional advice.

Activation using Gamification in your event app

Recently, myConferenceSuite supported a large industry tradeshow, CSAE’s annual Tete-a-Tete held in Ottawa, Canada.  The show attracts approximately 1300 exhibitors and delegates from the meetings and association market.  This year a full conference app was used with some key engagement features. 

Replacing standard lead retrieval on the show floor with universal delegate scanning in the app allowed everyone to exchange contacts-Exhibitor to Delegate or vice Versa, even delegate to delegate and exhibitor to exhibitor.  Extending this functionality to all stakeholders in the show and including it in the event app makes sense as business relationships often cross traditional channels. 

To enhance activations for exhibitors, a monopoly type game was created for all event sponsors to participate in.  Each exhibiting sponsor received a free property card that delegates could scan when they visited their booth.  All scans of each delegate were tracked in the event app and a leaderboard was provided to see who had the most scans.  Data can also be supplied back to the exhibiting sponsor on who scanned their property cards. 

Key Outcomes of the Monopoly Gamification:

  • Increased visits for Exhibiting sponsors
  • Increased Sponsor benefit
  • Gamification for Delegates kept them engaged on the show floor longer
  • Unique game format provided differentiation for the tradeshow from other similar events.

In addition, to lead generation and gamification, Event apps in a tradeshow setting also serve to provide maps, provide an in-depth speaker and event information, detailed exhibitor information, surveys, social feed, messaging and scheduling.  One of the key objectives with any event technology is to streamline the process and enhance communication and engagement, not replace it.

Conference Planning during a Health Pandemic-Pivoting your content to Virtual

There is no doubt the events of 2020 have turned the conference and events industry upside down and inside out.  The road to recovery will be a slow one and Conference organizers are faced with a huge degree of uncertainty revolving around their event. 

With all the uncertainty, contingencies need to be planned.   Pivoting to a virtual experience can be a daunting task.  How can you replace those face to face conversations, those networking opportunities, and the education; the key elements that make a conference so enticing to its delegates and stakeholders.  Understanding your primary objectives is step one.  And as such, ensure your event management and content management platform can provide a cloud-based experience for accessing your educational content:

  • Create a Virtual Schedule with access to educational content
  • Eposters-ensure your eposters are accessible through your conference web portal
  • Webinar sessions
  • Digital Live Stream
  • Zoom and Gotomeeting interactive sessions
  • Live polling

myConferenceSuite’s digital platform accommodates a complete rollout of your conference content-abstracts, sessions, eposters can all be dynamically displayed through a secure conference portal.  Our registration platform can authenticate and provide access to webinar content.  myConferenceSuite also works with Audio Visual providers to authenticate and provide access to Live Streams. 

Access to session rooms can also be managed through myConferenceSuite’s registration portal.    A virtual event probably can never fully replace the synergy of a live setting but in these times of drastic change, giving your delegates and stakeholders a medium to provide education and interaction can ensure important research and educational content continues to be shared.  And certainly, moving forward, offering users access to digital content as an alternative to attending in person will probably become a mainstream option for conferences and events.  So a pivot to virtual will be a mainstay in the conference industry for some time to come and will provide delegates with a choice in how to access the content.  Contact myConferenceSuite to discuss how we can assist you in pivoting to virtual.

Getting your professional Edge at MPI’s world education congress

This week SnapupTickets as a division of D. E. Systems, had the unique opportunity to attend Meeting Professional International’s World Education Congress in San Francisco.  The theme for this year’s conference was “Find Your Professional Edge”.  MPI is a fantastic organization for event and meeting planners and suppliers of all types to gain education, network and connect with each other.  With chapters across the globe, the World Education Congress was no small affair.  Content centred on education topics ranging from the practical-registration, engagement, marketing, industry analysis to the more Inspirational-personal stories of challenge and success.  One of the most innovative topics brought to the forefront of this year’s conference was the sharing or collaborative economy.  Speakers such as Airbnb, Bookalokal and Jeremiah Owyang brough this transformative and in some ways disruptive business model to the limelight.  Panel discussions discussed the advantages these new economies bring like creating new demand.  But discussions also touched on the challenges-taxation, the lack of regulation-all minefields that the sharing economy will navigate in one way shape or form.

sharing economy

What became fairly clear was that this is a new economic model, centered on underutilized and shared assets that isn’t going away.  One that carries some distinct economic and structural advantages over traditional economies but also one that presents a sometimes distruptive model as it may relate to taxation, regulation and other issues.  The sharing economy empowers its users and changes the landscape of commerce in a profound way.  Examples such as AirBnb and Uber show just how powerful and how controversial the model is.

Excitement Building for 2015 Ottawa international animation festival

Every year in September, Ottawa becomes the centre of the Animation industry universe.  The Ottawa International Animation Festival, running from September 16-20 is one of the largest events of its kind, draws industry collegues from around the world and showcases the best in Animation film.  The Animation shown at the OIAF is so great, some of the competition winners have gone on to win Academy Award nominations.

OIAF will draw over 30,000 attendees during its 5 day run in September providing a big boost to the city’s Tourism sector.  The competition will feature 79 entries from 23 countries.  In addition to the film screenings, workshops and talks are held for industry collegues.

OIAF 2015

There will be 8 Canadian films screened in the festival and an additional 39 that are part of the event.

“This was without doubt one of the strongest years I can recall,” said Chris Robinson, the festival’s artistic director. “The quality of almost every category was high. We could have easily added another one or two competition screenings.”

The National Film Board has three short films in the best narrative short category, which are Focus by director Alex Boya, Autos Portraits by Claude Cloutier and Sweet Talk by Esteban Azuela.

“I’m really excited to see how audiences react to this year’s competitors,” Robinson said. “It was also a particularly good year for Canadian animators, demonstrating yet again just how diverse, unique and talented we are as an animation nation.”

Other highlights include Ernie Biscuit by Academy Award winner Ada

OIAF crowd-outside

m Elliot, World of Tomorrow by Academy Award nominee Don Hertzfeldt and Wave ’98, the winner of the 2015 Cannes Palme D’or, which was directed by Ely Dagher.

Tickets for individual events will go on sale in late August via Snap up Tickets at

Incentive Works 2015-Meeting & Incentive travel professionals congregate in Toronto

For over 20 years, Incentive Works has been Canada’s largest tradeshow for meeting and incentive travel professionals.  This year, over 3000 meeting professionals and 700 industry suppliers will meet at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre August 18-20. Sessions focused on education and networking events such as MPI Foundation Canada Rocks bring Canada’s meeting industry together for 3 days.


The tradeshow floor exhibitors range from travel destinations, meeting services suppliers, hotel properties and a host of other meetings and travel related businesses.

Other events revolving around the Incentive Works show include MPI Foundation’s Canada Rocks event in support of the MPI Foundation.  This year’s event will be held at the Carlu, a renovated 1930′s venue in the heart of Midtown.  Proceeds from the event will go to the MPI Foundation.  Says MPI Foundation Representative Trevor Lui “the mission of the MPI Foundation is to fund education and pan-industry research that drive the success of meeting professionals”.   This year marks the 10th installment of Canada Rocks.

#EventProfs-Verify tickets quickly and easily with snap up tickets iPhone app


Snapup Tickets has developed a quick and easy way to verify ticket sales on-site at your event with our new Snapup Tickets iOS mobile app.  The app provides functionality for event organizers to scan and verify tickets for any of their live events on the Snapup ticket platform.

Scan rates as quick as 2 seconds per scan combined with real-time database updates mean that multiple check-in staff can use the app simultaneously while ensuring no duplicate entries can be made from any ticket.

This ticket verification solution is geared for any public event including festivals, bars and lounge special events, sporting events and tradeshows though it will address verification for any type of event used on the Snapup Tickets platform.

About Snapup Tickets:

Snap Up Tickets is an online ticket selling and registration system designed to allow the user full access to create, manage and share their very own event. This website based application comes with useful administrative tools to help manage, track and query event activities and registrant data. With online registration forms that are immediately available and secure online payment services, your online event will be ready to go in a snap.  Snapup Tickets is a wholly owned product developed by D. E. Systems Ltd.