Google Meet: Easily plan and Start Hangouts Video Meeting
- You can use Google Meet to hold online meetings with up to 100 participants.
- Use the Google Calendar to schedule meetings and to add a Google Meet link directly.
- During the meeting, you can decide whether to activate your camera image and/or your microphone.
- When you record your meeting, you can then share it with others.
With Google Meet, you can quickly plan and start Hangouts Video meetings with many participants. Here’s how to do it and how you can even record conferences.
Hardly anything saves more time (and therefore money) and is easier than holding a meeting online. Video and audio conferences are particularly suitable for companies with multiple locations or discussions with customers. With Meet (formerly Hangouts), Google offers its solution, which is completely web-based and also includes the in-house Google calendar. We’ll show you how you can use Google Meet to hold online conferences with up to 100 participants and how the solution compares with Microsoft Teams.
Particularly interesting: Google Meet Video Conferencing App Free of charge by everyone – including private individuals. Previously, Google Meet was exclusively reserved for G Suite users, i.e. premium customers, as well as educational institutions and authorities.
How to schedule or start Hangouts Video Meeting with Google Meet
If you want to have your next meeting with Google Meet, you can simply use your Google Calendar to schedule a meeting. A prerequisite for this, however, is a company license (a so-called “G-Suite account”). If you don’t have them, you can only attend Google Meet meetings, but you cannot organize them yourself. So first make sure that you are logged into the browser you are currently using with your G-Suite-enabled Google account.
How to plan your Google Meet conference using the Google Calendar
You can use your Google Calendar to schedule a Google Meet conference. How to do it:
- Go to your Google Calendar.
- Click on a free area to create a new appointment there.
- Click on “More Options”.
- Enter a meaningful name for your meeting above. Example: “Discussion of the quarterly figures”.
- Enter the usual details for the appointment like time, duration, and so on, and add guests using their email addresses.
- Now decide under “Add video conference” whether you want to use “Hangouts Meet” (Google Meet).
- If you have decided on the Hangouts Meet conference, you will be given your conference code after a short waiting period. This is displayed under the corresponding drop-down menu.
- As soon as you save the conference date, all added participants will receive an invitation and, together with this, the corresponding link to your conference.
- At the scheduled time, click the conference link on your calendar to start the Hangouts video meeting and greet the participants.
You can also hold a meeting on the fly
To spontaneously start a Google Meet meeting, do the following:
- Go to the Google Meet page at https://meet.google.com.
- Click on “Start New Meeting”.
- Your conference will first be put into a kind of standby mode.
- You will find a meeting link under the heading “Meeting ready”, which you can now send to the desired participants. Alternatively, they can also dial into the conference via a telephone number by first entering the number and then the displayed PIN on their telephone keypad. Depending on the G Suite variant booked and depending on whether Google “knows” your location, a phone number is displayed here.
- Now start the meeting by clicking on “Start Meeting”.
- You will gradually be notified when other participants dial into the conference.
- The credentials for the conference can be found at any time in the lower-left corner of the conference window under “Meeting Details”.
Alternatively, enter a code for the conference under “Enter meeting code” on the Google Meet homepage to join an existing conference held by another organizer.
How to use Google Meet on smartphones and tablets
You can also use an Android or iOS-based smartphone or tablet for Google Meet. Simply download the relevant Hangouts Meet app from the Google Play Store (for Android) or the App Store (for iOS). There is also the option of creating a conference within the app and sending the corresponding link via “Share participation info”.
You can also use messengers such as WhatsApp or Teamwire for your invitations. The invited attendees may receive a link to install the Google Hangouts Meet app.
These options are available during the meeting
Depending on the G Suite license used in your company, you have the option of holding or participating in conferences with up to 100 users. However, these restrictions are likely to be largely lifted soon. There are several options available to you during your Google Meet conference:
- With the help of the camera symbol at the bottom of the screen, you can determine whether your Google profile picture or your camera picture is displayed.
- Click on the microphone symbol to switch it on and speak to the participants, or switch it off if, for example, you would like to briefly consult or you should not be heard temporarily or permanently for other reasons.
- Click on “Share screen” to share the content of your screen with the rest of the participants. Then navigate to some content that you want to show. In this way, you can give a PowerPoint presentation, for example.
- Use the three-point icon at the bottom right to call up further options. This includes automatically generated subtitles, full-screen mode, or setting options for the microphone and camera.
- Click the red phone handset in the lower center to leave the Google Meet conference. As soon as all participants have left the conference, it ends.
How to change or blur your camera background?
You can set a different background instead of the existing background (i.e. the view of the room in which you are). Alternatively, you can ensure that your background is blurred so that no details can be seen. And this is how you proceed:
- In the virtual waiting area: Click or tap the person symbol in the lower right corner of your camera preview image.
- During a conference: Call up the option “Change background” using the three-dot symbol at the bottom right.
- Now choose one of the options offered: Blur your background in two stages, upload your background image, or make your selection from the background images offered.
Read Also: 18 Video Meeting Apps Like Zoom in comparison
What to do if you can’t change your picture background in Google Meet
If you do not have the option to change the background, your computer may be too slow for this rather computationally intensive feature. But first, check that hardware acceleration is enabled in your Chrome browser. You can find this setting under “Three-point menu (top right) | Settings | Extended (expand) | System | Use hardware acceleration if available ”. After enabling this setting, you’ll need to restart Chrome. Then the option “Change background” should be shown to you.
You can also record a Google Meet conference
A particularly handy feature is to record a Google Meet conference. In this way, participants who missed the conference can also follow it up afterward with both text and images.
Recordings are currently only available to G Suite Enterprise users (also in the Enterprise Educational version). However, it does not matter whether you are the organizer or just a participant in a conference – as long as both are in the same G-Suite corporate structure. And this is how you proceed:
- As the organizer, start a Google Meet conference as described above or join it within the same organization.
- If possible, ask all participants whether they agree to the recording of the conference.
- Click on the three-dot icon and select “Record Meeting”.
- The participants will now be notified of the start and later the end of the recording.
- You can also stop the recording later in the same menu (“Stop recording”).
- The recording is located a few minutes after it has ended under “My storage | Meet Recordings ”in the meeting organizer’s Google Drive.
You can do this if the recording does not work or is not offered
- First, make sure that the Google Drive cloud storage solution is activated in your company.
- Make sure that recording of Google Meet conferences is allowed in your company and at your location.
- Make sure you have one of the G Suite versions, Enterprise or Enterprise for Education.
- Log in to the Google Admin Console with an administrator account and go to the “Apps |” area G Suite | Google Hangouts ”.
- Click on the “Settings for Google Meet” and, if necessary, select the relevant organizational unit within your company.
- Click on “Allow meetings to be recorded” to activate the function.
This is how Google Meet compares itself to other conference tools such as Teams, WebEx, and Co.
One of the main Google Meet competitors alongside WebEx and GoToMeeting is Microsoft Teams with Skype for Business. The application form Microsoft, which was previously offered under the name Lync, is an independent solution for online conferences. It has mainly the name and part of the look in common with the well-known Skype for end-users, but otherwise works with your Teams ID and thus as part of Microsoft 365.
While Google Meet mainly scores with a simple online setup, with Skype for Business you can hold conferences with up to 250 instead of 100 participants (with Google Meet) as part of a Microsoft 365 package solution. As part of a Skype live conference, you can even give presentations in front of up to 10,000 participants.
In contrast to Google Meet (as of April 2019), there is also an (optional) client for Mac and PC for Skype for Business. In addition, you can use Skype for Business seamlessly together with the mail, contact, and calendar software Outlook.
So if you already use Microsoft 365 in your company or are planning to set it up, with Skype for Business you get a solution that integrates (more) easily into the other Office components than Google Meet. If, on the other hand, you rely more on a browser-based approach for online meetings without client support for Mac or PC, Google Meet will also do a very good job.
The most important things about Google Meet at a glance
- You can schedule and hold meetings online with Google Meet.
- Start an impromptu Google Meet session or use Google Calendar to schedule a conference.
- Switch the microphone and camera on or off as you like during the session.
- If the function is available in your organization and all participants agree, you can also record conferences.
- The number of possible participants depends on the G-Suite license you are using and is currently a maximum of 100.
Not only video conferences but also telephony is now almost always handled over the Internet. You can find out what is behind the term Unified Communications, how smart business communication strengthens your competitive position, and what else is important in digital business operations in our free PDF whitepaper on UCC.
How do you like Google’s in-house meeting solution? Do you use them intensively or do you prefer to trust Microsoft Teams and Co.?