A new press release from web conferencing vendor AnyMeeting touts an interesting strategy the company is employing to enable "quick and dirty" use of its product for small group screen share and video collaboration.
AnyMeeting has created an automated email account - firstname.lastname@example.org. All you do is include that email address as an attendee in the online calendar invitation you send to your desired list of meeting participants (via Outlook, Google Calendar, etc). You as host, and each of your attendees receive an email with login information for an AnyMeeting web conference scheduled at the same time as your meeting.
The cool part is that you don't need to be a current customer or sign up for an account. When you include the AnyMeeting "virtual attendee" address, AnyMeeting checks to see if the email address associated with the calendar inviter matches an existing account in their system. If so, your meeting is set up under your account with access to whatever features and capacities are enabled under your plan.
If you are sending the invite from an email account AnyMeeting doesn't recognize, it creates a free bare-bones account for that email address. Capabilities are limited… You can only have up to 4 total people in a meeting. You can use full-screen desktop sharing, video conferencing, typed chat, and bridged computer/phone audio. But you can't record the meeting or do any file or content uploads/downloads. Obviously AnyMeeting hopes you will like the basic service and will want to upgrade to a less restrictive paid account model.
I admire the "no hurdles" approach to enabling small-group basic web conferencing. It's fast and easy, with zero proactive tasks needed from a potential user. The host just adds the AnyMeeting address in the invite and receives an email with a big green button to "Join Meeting Online." One click and they're in a web session. Nice implementation, AnyMeeting.
UPDATE 10/13/16: I just got clarification from AnyMeeting that the automatic web session scheduled through this method does not include the extra features of AnyMeeting Webinar Pro. So current customers with a Webinar Pro account shouldn't use this method for scheduling webinars... It is designed for web meetings of up to 30 people maximum. The 4-person capacity limit still applies to non-customers.