The Maslow’s Hierarchy of Meeting Technology

Dec 29, 2015 by Elise Keith in meeting technology (3 minute read)

Earlier this month, we hosted a series of webinars covering different parts of the Lucid Meetings platform.

At the beginning of each webinar, we showed this pyramid that arranges the platform features into a sort of Maslow’s hierarchy of meeting essentials.

A heirarchy of meeting technology, from scheduling at the base level on up to tech for high-performing teams

If you’re not familiar with Maslow’s theory, it can be summarized like this: before anyone can worry about advancing science, mastering the piano, or discovering their special purpose, they must take care of their basic safety and physical needs. They have to keep warm, to eat, and to sleep in a safe place.

You can think of the technology required to organize and run effective meetings in the same way. Every meeting has some basic features you need to support, like finding a time and setting up a call. Then, as the group starts to perform at a higher level, they need support for collaborating on the agenda and managing the meeting process. Finally, groups with a fully mature approach to running effective meetings need a way to collect feedback, monitor, and optimize their meeting processes.

Lucid Meeting’s goal is to make it easy for everyone in an organization to run consistently worthwhile meetings, whether those be simple ad-hoc meetings or more involved sessions, and the platform includes technology to support those meetings at every level of the pyramid. To keep each session reasonably short, we focused each one on a few key features, starting with the basics and moving our way up.


Topics: meeting technology

The Missing Guide to Troubleshooting Audio & Video Conferencing Problems

Nov 18, 2015 by Elise Keith in meeting technology (15 minute read)

Just want the highlights?
Get the key tips minus all the commentary in the PDF version of this guide.


A Little Background

ReadyTalk says that "The number 1 enemy of online conferences is poor audio quality", and I agree with that.

When we first released Lucid Meetings, we didn't include support for audio or video conferencing. We figured everyone already had something they used - WebEx most often, or maybe a number - so we didn't need to worry about that part and could just focus on helping people organize their agendas and capture minutes.

But time after time, we'd get support complaints from people who had trouble running a meeting because the audio failed, begging us to please add audio to Lucid so they could cancel their existing service. Without easier audio, they couldn't run successful online meetings.

So, we began integrating audio conferencing into Lucid. We started with a simple web-only audio feature, but soon found it too limiting. Next, we integrated a full-on conferencing service: toll dialing, toll-free numbers, call recording, international, the works.

Pretty soon we were running meetings that really needed video. We added integrations with Skype, Google Hangouts, and Then, our big clients with expensive contracts through Adigo, Verizon and InterCall demanded we support their private conferencing in our meetings, and we added ways to set up custom audio profiles.

Every time we set up a new way to run audio or video conferencing, we'd test it and run into problems. Every time.


Topics: meeting technology

Lucid Integrated Audio: Turbobridge Perfected

Nov 10, 2015 by John Keith in meeting technology, release announcement (13 minute read)

Lucid Meetings is a sophisticated technology platform for running excellent meetings with your (remote) team and clients. The platform addresses three significant pain points for the modern meeting organizer:

  1. How do I create a shared meeting experience when people are not in the same room?
  2. How do I run meetings that consistently get results and favorable reviews?
  3. How do I manage all the audio, video, and screensharing technology needed for online meetings?

We write regularly about "meeting best practices"  that address the first two points, focusing quite a bit on soft skills and organizational methodology. In this post we're taking a different tack by looking deeply at one of the technology issues in point three: managing the conference calling requirements for online meetings.


Topics: meeting technology, release announcement

35 Tools for Online Brainstorming and Decision Making in Meetings (2020 update)

Sep 25, 2015 by Elise Keith in meeting technology (50 minute read)

Including step-by-step instructions, screenshots, short reviews, and our top recommendations

Last updated April 14, 2020
For this update, we added several new tools and removed a few that are no longer in business. You'll find helpful replies and information from the companies listed here embedded in the full list at the end of the post.

This list was originally published in 2015. Every tool listed below is active as of April 2020, but the descriptions below may be out of date.

  • Technology companies: contact us if you have updates you'd like to see here.
  • Technology customers: be sure to visit each tool's website to see the most current information.

You may also want to check out our all-encompassing post on making decisions in meetings -- it's a great companion piece to this article.

How exactly do you do this online?


The Strategic Planning Meeting Essentials Pack designed by Anna O'Byrne includes a series of online brainstorming and decision-making exercises. If you run these meetings face-to-face, you'll use sticky notes, markers and a whiteboard for those steps in the process.

But, how do you do the sticky-note thing online? You can find dozens of online sticky note and brainstorming applications, but not all of them work well as part of an online meeting.

We decided to test out all the online sticky-note, brainstorming, and decision-making tools we could find to figure out just which ones work best for quick collaborative sessions during a meeting.


Topics: meeting technology

Awesome: Rescue Your Meeting When the Audio Goes Bad

Aug 14, 2015 by Elise Keith in meeting technology, release announcement (5 minute read)

Ever start up an online meeting and spend the first 5 minutes trying to get everyone on the call?

Ouch! Trying soo hard to hear...

Ever get part way through a meeting with terrible sound and realize your forehead may be permanently creased from all the squinting and frowning going on as you desperately try to make out what people say?

Ever set up a meeting with a new client, only to have them demand you use their favorite web conferencing service to run it instead of the one you’re used to?

Yes, of course you have.


Topics: meeting technology, release announcement

The Top 5 Best Alternatives to

Jun 30, 2015 by Tricia Harris in meeting technology (4 minute read)

Last updated January 5, 2017
We first wrote this article in 2015 because we get a lot of people who sign up for Lucid Meetings seeking a cheaper alternative to We appreciate the attention, but Lucid isn't a video conferencing tool; Lucid is a meeting automation and productivity platform, and that's a different beast.

If you're looking to get better results from your meetings - tangible results like more efficient meetings and clear next steps captured in writing - then give Lucid a look!

If you're simply looking for better, cheaper, or free-er video conferencing and screen sharing, check out our updated recommendations below.

Web Meeting Services of Yesteryear

Ever since download-heavy web conferencing services like WebEx and GoToMeeting came on the scene, people have been searching for the best online meeting software to supersede them. was created for simple screen sharing - the most used feature in WebEx and GoToMeeting - and it solves the problem of getting people into meetings easily with no downloads. Recently, they added  fun video conferencing too, while still keeping ease-of-use front and center.

However, easy by itself isn't always a solution. When people decided to switch from the more established tools, they lost a lot of useful functionality.


Topics: meeting technology

Introducing video conferencing

Apr 17, 2015 by Elise Keith in meeting technology, release announcement (4 minute read)

Sometimes you find something simple, delightful, and easy, and you just run with it. Today, that means a new lightweight integration that makes it possible for you to launch simple video conferencing from for your next Lucid meeting.

I was reading the Founder’s Cabin newsletter from Josh Pigford at Baremetrics, where he mentioned how much his team enjoyed using for their team meetings. We’re always looking for great online communication technology to integrate, and we’ve been watching the evolution of WebRTC support with high hopes.

When I saw that was:

  1. Free,
  2. Had a documented way to integrate with them, and
  3. Didn’t require any special login or an email address from a giant internet company (ahem),

We contacted the team and asked about using with Lucid Meetings.

They said go for it, so we did.


Topics: meeting technology, release announcement

Free Tools for Scheduling Your Next Meeting

Feb 3, 2015 by Elise Keith in meeting technology, tips & techniques (5 minute read)

You're in charge of arranging a meeting that includes people from different companies in different time zones. Thanks to the ready availability of online meeting services, you no longer need to worry about travel times or budgets - you simply have to find a time to meet and send out invitations.

That's the good news: meeting online makes it easier than ever to meet with people spread across the globe.

Still, that's easier said than done. When you meet with the people in your company, you simply check their shared calendar to find an open slot and send out the invitation. That won't work this time because you have no idea what the other attendees already have on their schedule.

The challenge: meeting with people outside of your corporate network and local timezone increases the complexity of scheduling.

Related: Free tools for organizing meeting agendas and taking notes

So it begins - the long exchange of email as you try to find a mutually agreeable meeting time. You need a time that everyone has free with a little bit of padding just in case the conversation goes long that isn't during anyone's lunch, not too early, not too late, not on a holiday (accounting for the different holidays for each country and religion involved in the call). The more people involved, the longer this takes.


Topics: meeting technology, tips & techniques

How to select the right online meeting platform for any meeting

Dec 11, 2014 by Elise Keith in meeting technology (20 minute read)

Download this article as a PDF

Today we're taking an in-depth look at how to match software features to the type of meeting you're running, which is the first item in our Top 10 Things to Consider When Purchasing Meeting Software checklist.

Have you ever walked into a meeting where there weren’t enough chairs? Those people shuffling in the back of the room distract everyone and make the group rush through the conversation.

Ever tried to map out your big idea on the whiteboard, only to find that none of the pens work? No matter how vigorously you wave your hands around, you just can’t get your idea across without the picture.

Remember the time you worked so hard to prepare that important presentation, only to fumble about and eventually discover that you had no way to connect to the projector? I still get a sick feeling in my gut about that one.


Topics: meeting technology

Top 10 Things to Consider When Purchasing Meeting Software

Nov 26, 2014 by Tricia Harris in meeting technology (2 minute read)

We get asked all the time, “What is the best way to choose a meeting software vendor?” Not all services are created equally, so comparing apples to apples can be challenging.

To make the process a little easier, we’ve developed the Top Ten Things to Consider When Purchasing Meeting Software checklist and worksheet.

This downloadable guide is packed with all of the questions you should be asking yourself before choosing a new meeting software vendor.


Topics: meeting technology