Frequently Asked Questions

How it works

How long does it take to get setup with Business Hangouts?

You can setup and use Business Hangouts immediately after signing up for your Free Trial.  YouTube currently has a 24 hour delay on live streaming after you setup your account on YouTube.  Please email support@businesshangouts.com if you have any questions.

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.


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.  Participants and 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 allows you to reach hundreds 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 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 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.



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 relies 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 allows you to keep the event private and allowing for recording on YouTube. 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 WebRTC technology and Youtube’s recording technology. Unlike older technologies like Webex, GotoMeeting, Microsoft Lync or Adobe Connect, Google Hangouts is :
  • 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 Animated 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.
Updating Recurring Events
Adding new occurrences copies all the parameters of the last event of the existing series.   “Save all” modifies future events only and has no effect on past events.
How does the paywall feature work?

When you want to setup a paid event and charge event attendees a fee – you need to simply enable this feature inside Business Hangouts.  As you are setting up your event, and as you reach Step 4, click on the “Charge for your event” option.  Once there, enter the amount you want to charge for your event, currency type and your PayPal email address.  This is the email address you use for your PayPal account.  Keep in mind that Business Hangouts does not charge any fees for this and all payment processing will happen through PayPal.  (PayPal will pay you directly).     Your event attendees will be able to pay you via this PayPal account.   When a potential attendee registers for your event, and once Business Hangouts gets confirmation that a valid payment to your account has been made, we will release the registration information to the attendee by email.

Rest Assured – Only users who pay will be able to see your Live Stream and Replays

YouTube – The video can be set to Private on YouTube so it cannot be accessed by anyone who does not pay

I can't see the "Start Broadcast" Button

The start broadcast button can be hidden if your screen resolution is set too small and/or you are zoomed in on the Google Hangouts interface.  To fix this issue on a PC, please click on the Hangouts Interface then select “CTRL & -” this will zoom out so you can see the “Start Broadcast Button”.  On a Mac, please use the “Command & -” to zoom out.

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:


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.

Monetization is not allowed in my country.  Do I need to have an active AdSense account to Live Stream on YouTube?  
YouTube Live Streaming requires everyone to sign up for Monetization….but you do not need to be approved.  You need to follow the process and you will be able to LiveStream.   This process takes 24 hours before approval.
Check YouTube.com/Features to find out.  If Live streaming & Embed are enabled (or can be enabled) you are fine.  When you enable these two, you can Live Stream.

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 hour Business Hangouts 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 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.  


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 Business Hangout. 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
  • 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.
  • Laptop or Desktop, Mac, Windows, Linux with Chrome, Firefox or Safari.
  • 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 Business Hangouts, 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)
Any known issues?

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. Drag & Drop files into the chat: This feature is not supported on Chromebooks and ChromeBoxes yet.
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 is unaffected as we use our own, proprietary application instead of the Hangouts API.

What Camera do you Recommend?

Although any camera will work, our power users recommend the Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920, 1080p Widescreen Video Calling and Recording.  The rumor is this legacy C920 is the best one for doing webinars on Business Hangouts.  They do not recommend the newer version of this product.

Does Business Hangouts work with Google's New "Service" Accounts? We like to save money.

Business Hangouts uses several Google APIs including Google Calendar and Google Drive.  Since “Service” Accounts do not have Calendar or Drive, they will not work with Business Hangouts.

NOTE: Business Hangouts does work with free Gmail accounts if you really are looking to save money 😉

How do I use multiple cameras?

Some of our customers have success with this  mixing board.  Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have specific needs that can be handled by our managed services.

What if I have over 200 Attendees?

Business Hangouts Light Player should be used when you have over 200 Attendees.  You will need to contact us within 2 Business Days of your first large event so we can set you up with the Light Player.  Here is what will happen:

  • Light Player Event will be Configured
  • Training on Light Player

To handle large audiences, the Light Player operates differently than the basic player.  For example, chats with the host are one way.  Please email support@businesshangouts.com before scheduling an event with over 200 Attendees.

Google changed it's monetization policy. Can I still stream on YouTube?

Yes you can stream, but you might not get paid.  Google will no longer pay folks with less than a certain number of subscribers/viewers to stream on YouTube.  In order to use BHO, you will need to apply for monetization which is part of the process of streaming.  You do not need to be approved for monetization to use BHO.