How it works


How do I invite people to a Business Hangout?

There are several ways to Invite people in a BHO Event

BHO REGISTRATION LINK – Step 5 of Event Setup

After creating your event, share your registration link via email or Social Media.  Users will go to a registration page where they can sign up for the event.  Once registered, they will receive invitation, reminder, and post event emails.

BHO PRE-REGISTER – Step 3 of Event Setup

You can pre-register your invitees and they will receive an automated email indicating they are registered for the event.  In step 3 of event setup, you select “Additional Options” then “Automatic attendee pre-registration”.

Follow the instructions as the file must be tab delimited.

NOTE: In this method you are pre-registering viewers in the system. Never pre-register a participant as you will not be able to promote them.  Also, if you are charging for the event, pre-registered users will skip the payment page.

WHAT ABOUT THE HANGOUTS URL?

So you are in a Business Hangout and you want to let someone in.  You might be inclined to share the Hangout URL.  Please avoid doing this.  Anyone trying to access the Hangouts URL will need to launch the Business Hangouts App which they may or may not have.  A viewer won’t be able to see anything.  If you are in a Business Hangout, we have added feature so you can easily share the Business Hangouts URL.

Do I need a Google Account to Use Business Hangouts?

If you want to setup and host your own Business Hangouts, we require a gmail and Google+ account for every host.

Since Business Hangouts takes advantage of Google Hangouts, Participants must also have a Gmail account to share their Video and Audio.

Viewers are not required to have a Google Account and can login with their Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter or Email Address.  Viewers can watch the Video Stream and use the Universal Chat.

All users can access the Unified Chat which works across the entire platform.

What time zone are Business Hangouts stored in?

The host schedules the BHO event with their own time zone and it automatically adjusts for attendee time zone.  The time zone shown in your attendee’s profile is the one used by the system to generate their confirmation e-mail.

How many simultaneous video participants can be in a Business Hangout?

Business Hangouts extends the capacity of Hangouts to thousands of attendees, while keeping the event private and allowing the recording on YouTube. A host can have an unlimited number of video participants by promoting and demoting viewers at anytime.  The system allows for up to 10 simultaneous video streams.

By limiting the maximum number of streams to ten at a time, Business Hangouts can ensure a quality event for your viewers .

 

How do the mute and volume settings work?

The host can mute or un-mute anyone globally.  The same applies for the volume amplification. Participants actions apply only to themselves.

How does the Host know what the Viewer and Participants are seeing?

The host is the conductor of a Business Hangout.  Prior to a Business Hangout starting, the host can setup a pre-roll video or animated images to pump up the audience.

Once the event is started, the Host decides what viewers see.  The options for streaming are video stream, screen share (native Hangouts Screen Share), and our two Business Hangouts options PDF Slideshare and content sharing.  PDF Slideshare allows for a side by side presentation with content.  Content Sharing allows you to collaborate on any document in your Google Drive.

The Hosts and Moderators have several options for Video Streaming.  They can use presenter or collaborator mode.  In Presenter Mode, only the person selected is viewed by the audience.  In Collaboration Mode, the person speaking is shared with the audience.

Only the main content is recorded.

The host is acting as a cameraman as they select the content or video stream to go on the main frame which is recorded.

Of course, if you are new user and just getting familiar with the system, the full proof way to know what a participant or viewer is seeing is to be a participant or viewer yourself or to invite a friend.  Make sure you use a different gmail account and computer when you do this.

How do I run a Business Hangouts on a Company Page?

Some users want to run their Business Hangouts from their company page so the videos are branded and stored under the company instead of their own.

Before starting the setup, the Business Page Administrator needs to give the host rights to manage the page.  At the top of your YouTube account, select the profile page.  If you can see the Business Page, you are ready to go.

To stream and save the Business Hangout to the company channel, simply change to the Business Channel before starting your event from the YouTube page:

How do I start my scheduled Business Hangout?

Login to the Console and Select “Go Live”.

After you “Go Live”, follow these steps:

  1. Name Your Event, Set Privacy Settings – You will be redirected to YouTube where you will name your recording and Start Your Event.
  2. Launch BHO Event – Once the Hangout is loaded, you select the BHO Icon.
  3. Start You Broadcast – After the BHO Loads, you can select Start Broadcast so your viewers can see the stream.

We created a short video to walk you through the process.

 

Are Business Hangouts secure? How do I maintain privacy?

Several levels of privacy are put in place for Business users’ convenience:

  • Business Hangouts use a secure URL  which makes them unique to the meeting and to the attendee.The ‘S’ at the end of HTTPS stands for ‘Secure’. It means all communications between your browser and the website are encrypted. HTTPS is often used to protect highly confidential online transactions like online banking and online shopping order forms.Web browsers such as Internet Explorer, Firefox and Chrome also display a padlock icon in the address bar to visually indicate that a HTTPS connection is in effect.
  • Invitation URLs are only valid for the duration of the meeting.
  • Unlisted Business Hangouts – For users that don’t want folks to see their live Broadcast, we recommend using the Unlisted Option.  After the event, you can make the video private or delete it so nobody can see the recording.  NOTE: Unlisted Videos cannot be found via Search on YouTube.
  • For Google Apps clients, using BHO on their domain, the host can restrict the event to the domain. In this case, a Google sign-in with an account from inside the domain is required to be able to watch. This protects the host and the content even if someone discloses the link to a BHOA to undesired people.
How can I see who is going to attend my event?

 

Select Scheduled Events from the Planner Menu.  You will see a list of all your events.  Under the registered users columns, you can select the highlighted number of registrants.  Clicking this link will redirect you to a list of all your registered users.  

How does chat moderation work?

A host can select the moderation option (small lock) a the top of the Universal Chat to approve comments before they are posted.  Once on, only the host will see comments and can approve or decline them.

How can I brand my Business Hangouts?

There are several ways you can brand your Business Hangouts:

  • Change the banners in the registration link and login link
  • Design a picture 850 x 210 pixels, as a JPEG, PNG or GIF file then upload the image  to customize the event page.
  • Design a full custom registration page with video embed.
  • Customize your email templates.
  • Create your own “Lower Third” in the Account Profile menu.
  • Customize the background image of your comment broadcasts.
  • Set a custom video or animated gif files during the pre-event.
Why do I need to setup Monetization, Live Streaming and Embedding on YouTube?

BHO and HOA rely on YouTube Live for recording and streaming your event. Once your event is on YouTube, you can set it to public, private or unlisted.  You can also download and edit it on YouTube.

General Questions


Why Using Business Hangouts vs Google Hangouts?

1. Positioning

Business Hangouts, Hangouts, and Hangouts on Air, address different needs based on the level of Privacy and the Size of the Virtual Gathering.

2. Additional Feature List

Here is a short list of additional features & benefits of Business Hangouts:

  1. Branded Event Registration Pages – Have your attendees register themselves for events with a defined start and end time.
  2. E-mail Management for invitation emails, reminders and follow up emails.
  3. Allow non Google users to attend webinars
  4. Extend Reach to Thousands of Viewers vs a Handful in Google Hangouts
  5. Private Meetings: Unlisted HOAs, See who is watching live, who effectively attended, how much time they watched,…
  6. Unified chat: moderated chat, drag & drop, highlight, broadcast for Q&A.
  7. Invite a viewer to the panel on-the-fly and make them participant, then return them to their seat.
  8. Share Interactive Content: Poll, Quiz, Call-to-Action,…
  9. Share a video during your live event (Shared Content feature).
  10. Analytics: Generate reports and export list of attendees, registrants, absents,…

BUSINESS HANGOUTS does all the above and more!

How many simultaneous video participants/speakers is possible with Business Hangouts?

Business Hangouts extends the capacity of Hangouts Video Calls (which is limited to 15), to thousands of attendees, while keeping the event private and allowing the recording. The number of simultaneous video feeds is limited to 10 to keep the event manageable.

Have more than 10 speakers?

No problem.  With Business Hangouts you can elevate any “viewer” to become a “participant” (= speaker) at any time, and return a participant to their “seat” to become viewer, at any time. Also BHO’s unified chat is very efficient and allows viewers to ask questions and interact with the panelists easily.

Why switch to Business Hangouts?
Business Hangouts (BHO) is based on Google’s conferencing technology and Youtube’s recording technology. Unlike older technologies like Webex, GotoMeeting, Microsoft Lync or Adobe Connect, Google Hangouts is :
  • Infinitely scalable: Millions of simultaneous users attend Google Hangouts as viewers with no bandwidth issue.
  • Fully Customizable with your Brand on Event Pages and Emails
  • Much less expensive for larger events
  • Higher quality of audio and video
  • Integrated with other G Suite and Google Drive

BHO adds even more enterprise-friendly features to Hangouts making it an ideal platform for small business and associations as well as corporations:

  • Full Event planning features: Reservation management, invitations, automatic reminders,
  • Video or Animate Pre-Roll For Your Attendees
  • Universal Chat
  • Detailed Statistics Post Event
  • Moderation and Control
Why not just use Google Hangouts?

If you want to run a Hangouts casually with some of your friends, you don’t need BHO.But if you try to use Hangouts for:

  • a webinar,
  • a demo of your software,
  • a customer day event,
  • a training or a virtual classroom,
  • a sales kick-off,
  • an on-boarding session with new employees,
  • providing support to your customers….

then Business Hangouts is for you.  You will get the following with Business Hangouts that is not available on regular Hangouts:

  • Fully featured registration module to setup a registration page for your attendees
  • Sign-in from Facebook, LinkedIn and BHO
  • Custom invitation e-mails
  • Customized automatic reminders for your Hangouts
  • Follow up with attendees with custom automatic e-mails only to those who effectively attended and include survey or documentation or similar links,
  • Follow up with those registrants who didn’t show up with custom automatic e-mails and include new invitation or documentation or similar links,
  • Engage with your viewers and promote them to Full Participants
  • Designate one or more participants as moderators who can assist the host in controlling the streams and produce more professional events
  • Get a fixed URL of a permanent Hangouts that you can communicate to your clients or put up on a website
  • Private Recordings to YouTube
  • Output report lists of registrants, effective attendees, absents,…
What are the differences between hosts, moderators, participants, viewers and attendees ?

The person initiating the Webinar is a Host.  The Host has full moderation controls and decides who gets into the meeting.

A viewer is anyone who enters the event.  Viewers can watch the video stream and participate in Universal Chat.  Viewers can be promoted to Participants.  Participants can use video chat and become part of the stream.  Moderators are promoted Participants who have the ability to promote and demote other viewers/participants.

Attendees is a general term used in Business Hangouts covering both Participants AND viewers. The number of attendees is the sum of the number of participants plus the number of viewers.

Why is a Business Hangout Private?

 

All Business Hangouts are Private by default which means users need to register to watch.  When Launching a BHO, you will decide if you want the Live Stream to be public or unlisted.  We always recommend clients set their Stream to Unlisted.  If you select “Public” when you Live Stream, please note:

  • The Stream is publicly visible to your YouTube channel viewers when you are live (and subscribers get emailed after)
  • The Stream posts on your Google+ profile, so your page or profile followers will see the post and can watch.
  • The Stream posts under G+ Hangouts on Air list,

 

By selecting Unlisted, the above will not happen.

What is Unified Chat?

Business Hangouts provides a single chat, used by hosts, moderators, participants and viewers.  The universal chat features the following:

  1. Moderation Option – You Approve which comment are seen
  2. Promote to Stream – By clicking the eye in a chat bubble the stream will see the user’s comment and name.
  3. Flag for Later – Putting a “Star” on certain comments will allow you to quickly find them later
  4. Anonymous Messaging – Attendees can post messages without displaying their name or profile pictures.
  5. Document Sharing – Documents can be shared universally between users on the Unified Chat.
  6. Delete Comments – Moderators can trash any comments they want removed.
  7. Export – Hosts can extract the chats during or after the event.
  8. Pre & Post Event Notifications – Hosts can opt to receive emails with any posts before and after the presentation.

Sales Questions


What is the cancellation or refund policy? How does the Free Trial work?

Business Hangouts offers a free 14-day trial for all our products.  You can cancel at anytime during the trial for any reason and you will not be charged.  Simply email billing@businesshangouts.com that you want to cancel your trial before the last day and you will not be charged.

Need more time to try it?  No problem, just let us know why and we will probably extend you a couple more weeks 🙂

Once you are charged for the service there are no refunds.  You can cancel at anytime using billing@businesshangouts.com , however un-billed service is not refundable.

Do you offer discounts for non-profits or educational institutions?

We love educational institutions (we spent lots of time in them) and good causes.  Let us know your budget and we will try to work with you.  Email sales@businesshangouts.com

 

What kind of payment do you accept?

Business Hangouts accepts all Major Credit Cards & PayPal.  Additionally, we can invoice you if necessary.

To pay by check:

Business Hangouts
8033 Sunset Blvd, Suite 896
Los Angeles CA 90046

To pay by wire transfer:

Please email billing@businesshangouts.com with any specific requirements.

To pay with PayPal:

paypal@business-hangouts.com

Why do I need to enter a credit card for the Free Trial?

Business Hangouts invests significant time in every free trial to ensure our customers have a great experience. By requiring a credit card, we find it separates the serious testers from folks just kicking the tires.  We are confident once you try the service, you will stay with us.

Regardless, if your organization does not have a credit card to use for free trials, please email sales@businesshangouts.com and we will setup a trial account for you manually.    Please allow 2 business days to set this up.

Can I get a demonstration of the product?

Yes!  We love showing off our product.  Please schedule a demo.

Tech Support Questions


What is your Technical Support Policy Overview?

24/7 Technical support is provided through our Google Plus community to all subscribers. All subscribers can join us every Friday during Office Hours and ask their questions.

Office Hours: Free weekly session, inside a BHOA, accessible to all.  Come ask your technical questions. Register here.

Google+ Community: This is a private community where members get support from our experts, as well as from other users. Discussions go often beyond just tech support and covers best practices. Moreover, if you have a specific technical issue you can post it in this community. The tech support team is committed to provide answers to all posts very fast, within a few hours max, during business days.

E-mail : The support by e-mail allows you to ask individual questions privately. It is provided on a case by case basis.

Phone: Enterprise subscribers and Managed Services clients have access to phone support during operating hours.

I just ran an 8 hours BHOA (or HOA) but I see only 4 hours on the YouTube video, why?

So you have been brave enough to run an 8 hours marathon Business Hangouts on Air, (or simply a regular HOA) and everything worked fine, with no interruption, and now after a couple of hours of impatience your video is visible on your YouTube channel, but it only recorded 4 hours? (total length shown is 4 hours).   Please see this post.  

DON’T WORRY!

The live recording, aka the DVR, is limited to 4 hours, which means that you have always 4 rolling hours of live video available during your live BHOA. Viewers can rewind and go back as long as 4 hours.

YouTube takes a while to process your stream into a video (as long as 1 minute of processing for every 1 minute of streaming).

What are the system requirements for Business Hangouts?
Full Tech Sheet Available
FOR VIEWERS:
  • Hardware: Mobile iOS (iPhone, iPad) or Android, with any HTML5 compatible browser. Laptop or Desktop, Mac, Windows, Linux with Chrome, Firefox or Safari
  • Bandwidth: Minimum Download 1 mbps , upload 0.1 mbps
  • No Audio/video peripheral required.
  • No need for any account. Viewers can sign in with just an email, or a social sign in like Facebook, Google+ or LinkedIn, depending on the host’s decided setup.
FOR PARTICIPANTS OTHER THAN THE HOST (i.e. Speakers, Guests, Panelists)
  • Full feature on Laptop or Desktop, Mac, Windows, Linux with Chrome, Firefox or Safari
  • Reduced features on Mobile iOS. Only the basic Hangouts features are available for them on Mobile. (iPhone, iPad) or Android, with any HTML5 compatible browser.
  • Bandwidth: Minimum Download 7 mbps , upload 4 mbps for HD video. Lower bandwidth will make video low resolution, but are still acceptable down to 2 mbps
  • Need Headset (preferred) or speakers + Noise cancelling microphone, and webcam/camera.
  • To enter the room on laptop or desktop, participants need to press the URL link in their invitation email from Business Hangouts. On Mobile, they need to be invited by the Host once the session has started (before or after going live).
  • Participants need preferably a Google+ account or at least a Google account. They need to approve the authorization requests by Business Hangouts as they go.
FOR THE HOST
  • Laptop or Desktop, Mac, Windows, Linux with Chrome, Firefox or Safari. Hosts can not start a BHOA from mobile.
  • Bandwidth: Minimum Download 7 mbps , upload 4 mbps for HD video. Lower bandwidth will make video low resolution, but are still acceptable down to 2 mbps
  • Need Headset (preferred) or speakers + Noise cancelling microphone, and webcam/camera.
  • To start the BHOA the host needs to press the URL link in their confirmation email from Business Hangouts received when scheduled, or the one in their Google Calendar.
  • The host needs a Google+ account and a Business Hangouts subscription (free or paying, depending on the needs)

* * * * *

More details for the underlying Hangouts App by Google and links to download the mobile apps:

Any known issues?

Google maintains a list of known issues on Hangouts.

Know issues for BHO are:

  1. Email templates: When customizing your e-mail templates (for confirmation, reminders, etc,), avoid long code lines (use frequent carriage returns). This will make sure your emails are read correctly by most email clients and web-mails.
  2. Filmstrip: To activate another participant’s video stream use the icon on the “participants” column, and avoid clicking on the filmstrip at the bottom of the screen. If you happen to click on another participants video stream on the filmstrip at the bottom, BHO will warn you that you are leaving the app. Click OK and repress on the Business Hangout app button on the left to return to the app.
  3. Error Message: “You are already in a Hangout”: Sometimes when you exit a Hangout and try to re-enter immediately in another hangout you receive this error message which means that the system has not finished closing your session. You may want to wait up to one minute before re-entering in a Hangout.
  4. Drag & Drop files into the chat: This feature is not supported on Chromebooks and ChromeBoxes yet.
I deleted the BHO Icon and Can't Find it Now. Help!

No problem. Here is a link for you to install it again.

What is the difference between YouTube Live Private, Public and Unlisted Events?
  • Private events can only be seen by those who you have invited – and who have a Google account.
  • Unlisted is a non-searchable event which anyone can see.
  • Public is a searchable event.
I read Google Hangouts stopped supporting Third Party Apps.

Business Hangouts leverages many of Google’s APIs for Calendar, Drive, YouTube, Google+, Authentication and Hangouts.  Google has decided to stop supporting the Hangouts API for consumer applications in late April 2017 while they work on a new product called “Meetings”.    Business Hangouts will be unaffected as Google is whitelisting Business Hangouts along with a few other applications (Ring Central, Slack, UberConference).