Types of Online Meetings - Pros & Cons

5 min read
September 23, 2022

In recent decades, our workplaces have been permanently altered by advances in technology. Being at the office five days a week is no longer the norm.

Everything we did in-person - client meetings, performance appraisals, team meetings and workshops can now be done online. The rise of virtual meetings has changed our working habits forever.

Table of contents

  1. Teleconference (audio only)
  2. Video conference (audio and video)
  3. Web conference (audio, video and content sharing)
  4. Digital Samba: embedding video conferencing in your business solutions
  5. Wrap-up

Even before the pandemic, virtual meetings gradually crept into our workplaces via teleconferencing and videoconferencing. The pandemic accelerated the transition to web conferencing quicker than anyone could have imagined, what with the rise of work-from-home, virtual offices, and virtual mail solutions that swept across the globe.

Digital Samba Embedded In-room video api

For most organisations, web conferencing solutions are now the go-to means of hosting virtual meetings. Virtual meeting platforms have become advanced, feature-rich collaboration suites in a few short years.

Video conferencing is incredibly popular. Overhead costs are reduced by removing the need for physical office space and improving employee productivity. Online meetings allow remote international teams to communicate as if they were together in a real office.

To understand how virtual meetings have changed how we work, we need to understand the three main types and their pros and cons.

Teleconference (audio only)

Teleconferencing pioneered the virtual meeting world. It was one of the first technologies that facilitated remote work. Nowadays it has mostly been replaced by video and web meetings.

Typically, we conducted these meetings over a wired office telephone or mobile phone.



  • Simple - most employees are more than familiar with the telephone and its use. Teleconferencing is as simple as pressing a button when you wish to talk. Because this format is audio only, you never need to worry about your camera or lighting.
  • No ongoing costs - teleconferencing systems were often purchased up-front, with no ongoing costs. Because of this, they can be a cheap alternative to expensive video conferencing packages.


  • Audio only - Without a visual element, communication can be tricky. Body language is an essential part of day-to-day communication. You would be surprised how many meetings participants rely on visual signals to guide their actions.
  • Equipment - In the past, every office employee was equipped with a wired phone or work mobile. In 2023, remote teams can function without either. The result is that most modern remote teams lack the necessary equipment for audio-only teleconferences.

Truth be told, most organisations now consider them ineffective due to video and web platforms often including audio-only as a feature.

Video conference (audio and video)

The first internet-based video conferencing apps like Skype and Cisco were considered huge technological advances. Integrating a live video element into remote meetings solves many of the audio-only meetings' problems.

Early online meeting applications involved downloading client software and some kind of set-up process.



  • Seeing is believing - participants seeing each other during online video meetings was a huge innovation. Participants could now see each other instead of just hearing. Seeing our colleagues makes meetings more personal, allows body language, and makes for a more engaging overall experience. 
  • Affordability - video conferencing saves money. It doesn’t take a genius to realise that hosting a remote meeting is cheaper than flying half of your team to a different country for a board meeting. Reducing travel time also leaves more time in the day for work activities, increasing employee productivity.


  • Software download - most early virtual communication software required a software download. These could be complicated and time-consuming, usually requiring the input of IT colleagues to complete the setup. Many platforms also require individuals to use software-compatible hardware such as webcams and microphones.
  • Security matter - early video conferencing solutions were less secure than those available in 2023. It was commonplace for important meetings to be hacked or subject to technical difficulties.

Web conference (audio, video and content sharing)

Video meeting software eventually evolved into fully-fledged web conferencing platforms. These platforms are completely browser-based and most have a huge range of collaboration-boosting features.


Web-based video conferencing platforms like Digital Samba have their own mobile app, as well as interactive features such as content sharing, cloud storage, Q&A and polling, custom branding, live streaming, breakout rooms and other must-haves business virtual meeting tools.


  • Interactive features - when hosting virtual meetings or events, we want participants to stay engaged. Interactive features like polling, hand-raising, Q&A, and shared notes are important tools we can use to keep participants attention.
  • Browser-based - This is a huge benefit when hosting large events or meetings with individuals outside your organisation. It means you can invite people simply by sending a one-click invite link. In the past, attendees had to download your platform, configure it, connect and join. 


Office network issues - office networks often have a backup network. Unfortunately, most home network connections don’t have a backup. Home network trouble is the biggest downside of web conferencing and is yet to be completely resolved. Participants have very little control over their home connection.


Digital Samba: embedding video conferencing in your business solutions

When it comes to leading the way in the seamless integration of video conferencing into software products or websites, Digital Samba stands apart. As a GDPR-compliant, EU-hosted provider with end-to-end encryption, we offer technology that meets stringent privacy and security requirements.

Our WebRTC video API allows businesses to embed video calls on websites with ease, and our web conference API facilitates comprehensive integration into various platforms. This empowers organisations to create customised video conferencing experiences tailored to their unique needs.

With our advanced feature sets, including the ability to host web conferences with full audio, video, and content-sharing capabilities, we're at the forefront of the virtual meeting world. Our solutions are more than just communication tools; they are catalysts that bring remote teams together, creating collaborative environments that transcend geographical boundaries.

Discover how Digital Samba can elevate your business's virtual communication. Contact us today to learn more about our innovative solutions.


Virtual meetings can be split into three types. As much as they exist independently, in reality, each made its predecessor obsolete and redundant.

Each type has its pros and cons, but most organisations prefer web conferencing platforms for hosting virtual events and meetings in 2023.

Contact our team to discuss which type of virtual meeting you should use for your business meetings.

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