The web conferencing of today has come a long way from the group discussions held through online message boards. Numerous businesses and companies have tapped into the ease and convenience of holding group meetings and live presentations across the Internet. Online conferencing provides an assortment of advantages for both large and small companies attempting to find a broader spectrum of communication in the competitive world of business.
During a web conference, all involved parties sit at their own computer after logging into a service, which provides a bridge to other applicable participants – via a webconferencing connection. Participants will be able to listen to, view, as well as communicate with presenters who are attached to the conferencing line of communication.
Web conference features range from basic screen sharing with presenters to conversation relay, where VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) phones offer a chance for participants to articulate their opinions and answer questions. Some also utilize text chat instead of voice options.
This online form of information transfer offers an assortment of advantages for companies and other realms of communication. For instance, a webconference also includes seminars that are given over the Internet, which are also known as webinars. This kind of online conferencing is often used throughout online study, as professors use this interactive mode of contact to reach their students and facilitate discussions as a group, instead of sending a lecture through a webcast.
For big business, web conferences save money, especially when it comes to sealing a rather sizeable deal. Companies spend thousands of dollars sending their employees off in the field to meet potential buyers, clients, or business partners, taking the time to fly thousands of miles to pitch sales or present new ideas. Although it is the warm body that is sometimes more convincing than a few charts and graphs, web conferencing is slowly making strides with old-fashioned clients.
Now, most companies are setting up online conferences to smooth over the details, questions, and concerns in a real-time setting, with a real person speaking and answering inquires, accompanied by charts and graphs that tie projects together. The time, money, and energy saved from eliminating phone tag, emails, attachments, and business travel is quire rewarding.
For some, the cost to facilitate and hold a conference call might be too steep for some companies to indulge in as much as they would like. Other than that, the disadvantages of using web conferencing services are rather slight. In the event of a blackout or loss of power, they will abruptly end, causing confusion, which can easily be explained later. In order for online meetings to benefit all parties involved, they must arrive on time to avoid any costly delays in communication.
Other complaints or concerns regarding web conferences is the fact that sometimes low resolution and low quality hinders the progress of a meeting or presentation. When participants lack a high-quality Internet connection, they too will also suffer decreased value regarding online communication. Also, some business partners and clients enjoy the sense of community and understanding that comes from face-to-face contact.
When selecting a web conferencing service, there are many different features offered through a wide-range of providers. Slide presentations (often PowerPoint driven) allow participants to better illustrate key points. Application sharing lets others add to the spreadsheet of the main presenter. Items of importance can be highlighted or marked through a display feature called annotation. Text messaging, file sharing, as well as helpful polls and surveys also further the appeal and usefulness of online conferencing.
The cost is determined by the kind of services you desire. For example, some providers charge more if you wish to have your meeting or presentation recorded for later use. How many web conferences you plan on having throughout the year will also determine your monthly or yearly costs. You may or may not choose a service that charges on a cost-per-user-per-minute basis or for a fixed fee, which is based upon the amount of people attending your meeting or live presentation.
There are many web conferencing service providers waiting to assist you in making this advantageous and forward-thinking business move. The possibilities of how far you can take this technological wonder are only limited by your capability to communicate and express yourself to the masses.