University of Wisconsin–Madison
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Web conferencing tools simplified

There are several web conferencing tools available to UW–Madison faculty, staff, and students. This document can help you determine which conferencing tool is best for you.

Tool Maximum participants Noteworthy features Dedicated support?
Google Hangouts Meet 250 Integrates with G Suite (formerly Google Apps) Yes
Webex 1,000   Yes
Microsoft Teams 250 Integrates with MS Office apps, Planner, etc. Yes
Zoom 300 with audio and video for 49 at a time Collaboration features, e.g. whiteboards, breakout rooms Yes
Live events in Microsoft Teams (see live events settings) 10,000   Yes

Additional Webex resources: Webex: Tools and Features for Meetings, Training, Events and Support. For Webex training, browse to the Office of Human Resources training catalog, click the Search button, enter Webex then click Search.

Which tool do we suggest?

Depending on the type of event you’re hosting one tool may work better than another.
Review this additional information to help determine the best choice for your event.

Some things to consider

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Audience size and level of engagement

How would you like your audience to interact with the main speaker and with each other—or not? 

ExamplesIt’s a very large audience attending a presentation. It’s a small group of people having a discussion, everyone can talk with one another. There is a presenter people can communicate with via chat, etc.

The agenda

What will the meeting look like?

Examples: There is a single presentation. There are multiple presentations. Participants will engage in discussion. People will share their screens. There will be breakout groups, etc.

Settings and functionality

How much control do you want attendees and participants to have over their settings?

Examples: Camera, audio, screen sharing, muting others, taking over the screen sharing, etc.

Pre- and post-event capabilities

What pre- and post-event capabilities you would like to take advantage of?

Examples: Event registration tools, post-event surveys, email reminders, recordings, etc.

Accessibility

How will you ensure the meeting is accessible to all participants?

Examples: Live captioning, broadcasting on platforms like YouTube, etc.

If you are

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A student and need room for up to 250 participants

For a student organizing a study group or discussion for up to 250 participants, we suggest:

A student and need room for up to 1000 participants

For a student organizing a large gathering for up to 1,000 participants, we suggest:

Staff and need room for up to 250 participants

For UW–Madison staff organizing a meeting for up to 250 participants, we suggest Microsoft Teams or Webex.

Staff and need room for up to 1000 participants

For UW–Madison staff organizing a meeting for up to 1,000 participants, we suggest Webex.

Faculty and need Canvas integration

For faculty organizing classes or discussions and need Canvas integration, we suggest:

Didn’t find a suggestion to meet your needs?

Refer to the Help Desk KnowledgeBase document, Which tool should I use? for more complete information.

Please adhere to federal regulations

The UW-Madison Web Conferencing Technology Use Policy restricts the use of any conferencing tool that is NOT supported by campus when discussing sensitive, restricted or internal data. Please use the campus-supported web conferencing tools: Webex Meetings (See Webex Meetings: Getting Started) and Microsoft Teams (See Office 365 – Getting Started with Microsoft Teams).

If you belong to the UW–Madison Health Care Component, contact your HIPAA Privacy or Security Coordinator with questions about the tools approved for creating, storing, and sharing Protected Health Information. A list of currently approved tools for use with PHI is available at compliance.wisc.edu/hipaa.

Get the help you need when and how you need it

Need disability-related accommodations?

McBurney Disability Resource Center helps students with accommodations at UW-Madison. Contact us for assistance.

McBurney Disability Resource Center

Need help with a technology issue?

The DoIT Help Desk stands at the ready 7 days a week via phone, email or chat.

DoIT Help Desk