A colleague recently indicated that she wanted to make a marketing presentation to a group of bank executives who were all equipped with iPads supplied by their employer. The concept was to use a traditional PowerPoint presentation, but instead of having a large screen displaying the presentation, broadcasting the presentation to each individual executive’s iPad as they sat around a large conference room table. The question was how to do it.
My suggestion was to use the GoToMeeting (GTM) conference service. GTM offers a free iPad application available at the Apple App Store. The actual GTM service costs about $40.00 per month, but you can try it free for 30 days to see how well it works for you. The basic service plan allows for 16 users to access the program with both audio and video. For audio, GTM provides for a call in number, as well as a VOIP capability. For video, GTM allows the presenter to selectively broadcast whatever is being displayed on their computer screen (PC or Mac– not iPad), e.g., a PowerPoint presentation.
I find that the GTM iPad App works well for basic PowerPoint and screen shots. However, the video clip and host webcam features that work well for PC attendees, do not display on the iPad. I suppose that this may have to do with the iPad’s lack of flash capability. It should also be noted that the GTM iPad app does not have all the functionality that is available to PC attendees of a GTM presentation. For example, control of the presentation can be transferred from the host to a PC user to make a second presentation and then transferred back to the host, but this control transfer function is not yet available for the iPad. Also, while an iPad user can view a GMT presentation, they cannot host one. Hopefully, GTM will continue to refine the iPad application to allow it to function more like a PC using the service.
I am a big fan of video-teleconferencing. The cost savings available from using a service like GTM can be considerable, even if you can replace just one meeting per month that would involve travel for even one person. The monthly fee gives you unlimited meetings, which can be either scheduled in advance or set up on the spur of the moment.
In summary, for presentations to groups of 16 or fewer iPad users, GoToMeeting is a good method for sharing real time what is on your PC or Mac screen, in particular PowerPoint or Keynote presentations.