Conference calls have become one of the most preferred means of communication for businesses, especially to keep in touch with clients, investors, colleagues and other stake holders who might be spread across different parts of the world.
Conferencing services are not just for businesses but also for ordinary individuals who may want to connect with a group of friends or family members. There are so many different reasons why a group of people might want to be able to talk. The impulse to communicate is universal across mankind, so the uses of teleconferencing are practically infinite!
In this article we will discuss some basic facts that will serve as a primer for teleconferencing.
How does a conference call work?
Conference call service providers host something called a conference bridge which is a server that can connect multiple telephone lines at the same time. It is the bridge that callers dial into to get connected to the teleconference. All you need is an ordinary telephone line to start telephone conferencing with any number of people located anywhere in the world.
How many participants can join a voice conference?
Most teleconferencing service providers have the technology to allow up to 99 participants on a single call. If you need a larger event, that is also possible with assistance from the service provider.
Other than phone conferencing, are there any conferencing solutions available?
Yes. Video and web conferencing are also popular options. In a normal audio conference, participants can only hear and speak to each other. Video conference allows participants to see as well as hear. Through web conferencing, files can be transferred and shared among participants in real time.
What are the advantages of call conferencing?
The main advantage is that you cut down on the travel expense and time to a considerable extent. A voice conference can also be recorded and played back at a later date. There are also facilities such as participant polling and surveys through the call. Conference calling helps save time, money as well as reduce the greenhouse gas emissions due to air and auto travel. Modern technology also allows high level of data security for the calls.
What if the call gets disconnected?
If the call gets disconnected, you dial right back into the bridge number and key in the pass code to get connected again.
How can you improve the quality of a teleconference?
Join the conference from a quiet room. While on the call, do not be distracted by other tasks at hand. Join the call on time and follow the lead of the moderator. Come prepared with all pertinent information.
Is it expensive?
Conference calling is quite affordable. There are many budget friendly plans available with service providers. You can choose to pay as you go or take a flat rate plan.