Lots of people are interested in setting up face to face meetings with a dial-in option. And we really aren’t surprised. Here at WHYPAY?, we know how wonderful team work is. There are plenty of worn-out clichés to back us up. ‘Two heads are better than one’, you know. And ‘the more the merrier’. Plus, ‘a problem shared is a problem halved’. Forget the one about the broth – ours is always top notch. That’s why we believe finding ways to bring brilliant minds together should be a top priority. When it comes to creating your dream team, you shouldn’t have to compromise.
Still, the difficulty with collaboration can sometimes simply be the logistics of getting together. The best people for the job don’t always live down the road. And we all know how important it is to reduce the air pollution we contribute, and cut down greenhouse gas emissions from transport. Plus, traffic is notoriously terrible in many UK cities. It’s even encouraging the government to think outside the box and find ways that technology can reduce traffic. Well, we’ve been saying for a while that even the very simplest of technologies can reduce traffic – teleconferences. By incorporating teleconferencing technology into your routine, you can easily set up meetings with a dial-in option.
Meetings with a dial-in option fit in with a flexible approach to work
Flexibility is definitely a bit of a buzz word both in the business world and beyond it. So too is balance. And as many of us know from our varyingly successful forays into yoga, Pilates and the like, the two often go hand-in-hand. That’s certainly the case when it comes to offering meetings with a dial-in option. It’s another way to inject more flexibility into professional life, therefore allowing people to strike a better work-life balance. After all, by not making your Geordie employees travel to a meeting in Bristol, you allow them to keep their evenings for themselves and their families.
There are loads of situations in which people might not be easily able to travel to meetings. Health, family commitments, conflicting professional schedules, terrible weather as we’ve seen in recent weeks with Dennis and Ciara… Finding ways to overcome these issues, rather than rescheduling, shows that you’re a flexible thinker. And the evident benefits it will have to your business make it clear just how valuable flexibility is.
How can you set up a meeting with a dial-in option?
Now that we’ve thought a little about why you would want a meeting with a dial-in option, we can get down to business. The ‘why’ can vary – there are all kinds of reasons why people who aren’t geographically side-by-side might want to be part of a group discussion. But how all these people can set up a meeting with a dial-in option is the same for all. And luckily, it’s marvelously simple.
In very basic terms: set up a conference call. Of course, we’re being a little simplistic. There are lots of things to consider when you’re planning a virtual meeting. Who should be your teleconference provider? Are you going to think beyond the status quo and consider some alternatives to the obvious choices? Then there’s the question of cost; a lot of people are wondering how they can set up a free conference call. Plus, there are so many different conference call features to choose from. But we’re here to help you simplify all of this, and easily organise meetings with a dial-in option.
1. Make your WHYPAY? account
This is a very easy step which could change your life in a matter of seconds. To get started, you can just click on the button below.Create a FREE Teleconference
You can also head to the WHYPAY? homepage and click ‘Create a FREE Conference’. Making your account is a breeze. Just fill in your basic contact details and you’re all set. Once we know what to call you and how to get in touch, we’ll be able to generate your personal conference call room, and give you the access information. You’ll get a dial-in number, a room number, and a secure PIN. These are the things you need to access the audio meeting. From your dashboard, you can then schedule a conference call whenever you want to hold your meeting with a dial-in option.
2. Think about which features are especially suited to meetings with a dial-in option
There are features out there for any and all teleconferencing needs. But a face-to-face meeting with a dial-in option is a specific scenario, so you might want to tailor your usual features especially. There are also special tools which help overcome some of the drawbacks which people find in conference calling. Here are a few which we think make meetings with a dial-in option utterly seamless.
a) PARTICIPANT ANNOUNCEMENTS
One issue which people can take with teleconferencing is not being entirely sure who’s actually shown up. If you have an audio meeting with tonnes of people attending, it can be difficult to keep track. That’s especially the case if people are coming and going throughout the call, whether because they’re only supposed to attend certain segments, or because of conflicting commitments.
It can be equally difficult even if only one or two people are dialling in. If they’re there more to listen than contribute, even if that’s only during certain parts, then they should be making good use of the mute button. But even though that’s a vital part of decent teleconferencing etiquette, it can mean you’re not quite sure who’s actually listening. The fact that you can’t physically see people means it’s not always obvious who’s there when.
By switching on participant announcements, you can easily address this. It’s as simple as it sounds: when anybody joins the call, their entrance will be announced to all attendees. As clear as if they’d stepped into the room.
b) CALL RECORDING
It’s not impossible to record a face-to-face meeting. But how often do you set up a microphone as a meeting opens? Yet most conference call bridges, including WHPAY?, offer the mightily useful call recording function. People dialling in will not only be able to participate, they’ll get a recording of the whole thing. Of course, you can share the recording with everyone physically there too! That way, nobody has to rely on memory. Likewise, it allows people to focus on the meeting rather than scribbling notes.
What’s especially fitting about call recording for face-to-face meetings with dial-in options is how well it fits our theme of flexibility. If people are dialling in because their schedules conflict, they can attend even if they can’t give their full attention. For example, maybe they’re on a train to a different meeting. They can still join, even on mute. That way, they’ll have the most up-to-date information as they step into their next meeting. But trains can be loud and distracting, with patchy signal. The fact they can re-listen to a recording guarantees they won’t miss a word. Or maybe they can get to the meeting early and tuck into a quiet corner to take part into the first part of your conference call. Even if they duck out early, they can listen back to the rest.
If your team has embraced remote working and abandoned the 9 to 5 template, recording meetings is pivotal. There might be times when not everyone is on the clock. They might not even be on the same continent. Essentially, there are times when even a dial-in option can’t guarantee everyone can make the meeting. But they don’t need to miss out if you opt for call recording.
c) RECURRING MEETINGS WITH A DIAL-IN OPTION
If you are part of a flexible team in some sense, your meeting with a dial-in option probably won’t be a one-time thing. Quite the opposite; it might be a weekly debrief or how you get your team pepped and prepped every morning. If that’s the case, you’ll want to opt for a teleconferencing provider that makes it easy to organise recurring audio meetings. Here again, WHYPAY? has you covered. When you schedule any teleconference, we give you the option to easily make it a recurring event. Simply pick the frequency, and it will be input into your invites and your handy calendar attachment. Nobody will miss a meeting – even if they’re dialling in from afar.Create a FREE Teleconference
3. Customise your meeting with a dial-in option
A priority for many meetings is making a good impression. Even if it is a casual, recurring meeting with your immediate team, creating a sense of professionalism and pride can set the whole tone. And if you’re holding a meeting with a dial-in option specifically to reach somebody who might not have much knowledge of your business – and especially if it’s somebody you want to impress, like an investor – then making a great and lasting impression is key. That’s why custom branded conference calls can be brilliant.
There are many ways to ensure even your meetings with a dial-in option are uniquely yours. You can even have your brand on the automatic invitations that WHYPAY? will send to your attendees. Nobody will have any doubt about who they’re meeting with!
And from the moment they dial in, you get to imprint your brand on the meeting. First, you get to choose the hold music. Even before the meeting has started, you’ll be setting the tone. Music can have a huge impact on mood, so think carefully about what song best fits your brand. Plus, this is an opportunity which you don’t get in a face-to-face meeting, where having music playing in the board-room isn’t as conventional. So make the most of it!
An even more direct way of sending a message to attendees is by personalising the greeting. You can write the whole script, so it’s a chance to really get across your brand. Every word counts. You can even think about things like the how different accents and intonations can make different impressions. Or for really strong personalisation, use your own voice! If consistency is key for you, you can also choose to have the same actor who records the other announcements for WHYPAY? teleconferences read your script.
4. Learn to moderate a meeting participants dialling in
You might be the most seasoned chairperson around. Maybe you’ve been heading up big meetings every month for the past twenty-five years. But add in a dial-in option, and the game can change. You suddenly have more balls to juggle. There are new things to factor in. Different challenges and issues can arise. But luckily, you also get a few bonus powers in your tool-belt.
This circles back to how important it is to consider what features you want as you plan a meeting with a dial-in option. Different providers and plans will offer different moderator controls. Think carefully about what your meeting will be like. Things like the amount of participants dialling in remotely, and the nature of their contributions will affect how you should moderate the call. If a lot of people will be joining more as passive spectators, special muting modes might be crucial. That way, you don’t need to rely on people knowing how and when to mute themselves. You’ll be able to decide who’s muted when. You can then use things like Q&A modes to allow them to participate in ways that are fitting to your meeting.
Of course, you can’t just rely on technology to do the work for you. You’ll want to do some research into how to moderate a conference call. Don’t worry, WHYPAY? doesn’t just have you covered with nifty moderator controls. We also have really handy guides on chairing teleconferences, and on all the conference call etiquette you need to know.
Think about the cost of joining your meeting with a dial-in option
This is a really key consideration as you plan your meeting. Are you comfortable asking people attending remotely to pay to do so? If not, you’ll want to look for a conference call bridge which offers free-to-call dial-in numbers. A conference call bridge, in other words, like WHYPAY?.
The thing you’re looking at here is the all-important dial-in number. Unsurprisingly, this is a key ingredient of any meeting with a dial-in option. It’s the telephone number remote attendees will call in order to join the meeting. All the dial-in numbers provided by WHYPAY? to access our teleconferences begin with 03. Thanks to Ofcom rulings, that means that they’re almost always free to call. Whether callers are dialling from a mobile or a landline, most phone contracts will include calls to 03 numbers in the inclusive minutes. As a result, the calls don’t cost a penny. Plus, because our teleconferences are accessed using a standard dial-in number, people can easily join from any landline or mobile. That means that your meeting not only has a dial-in option, but one which is easily accessible to almost anyone from almost anywhere. No fancy technology needed!
Don’t forget the people at the meeting!
That being said, it is worth thinking about what technology you might use at the location of the meeting itself. After all, it’s one thing for participants on the phone to be able to hear one another, but another for a roomful of people to be able to hear participants who are on the phone. In most cases, simply turning on your mobile’s speakerphone mode might not cut it. Sometimes that’s enough, but in a big board room which might fit more than a dozen people, sound really needs to travel.
If you think you’ll be hosting lots of meetings with a dial-in option, it might be worth investing in a specialist conference call phone. Don’t worry if you have no idea where to start. We’ve explained what they are, how they work, and reviewed some of our favourites here. This helps the people on the other end, too, as it can pick up the voices spread across the board room better than standard phones.
If you’re keen to keep using your smartphone for meetings with a dial-in option, you might look at buying an external smartphone microphone. It will give much better voice quality to anyone dialling in than the standard microphone on your smartphone can.
There are also simple techniques like positioning the phone centrally, so that everyone’s voices and ears are within reach. As with all meetings, little details can make a big difference, so above all plan ahead and think of your participants.
Try your first meeting with a dial-in option
As you can see, adding a dial-in option to your face-to-face meetings can be really easy for everybody involved. And given it can allow you to work with brilliant people all over the country, and it can make your employees lives better and more balanced, why wouldn’t you do it? Your meetings can still go forward as usual, with the added bonus of more people being able to join in the conversation. And we’ve said it before: two heads are better than one.
Start today with your free WHYPAY? account! You can have up to 50 participants joining from across the UK and talking to their heart’s content.Create a FREE Teleconference