A highly mobile society demands alternatives to the usual office routines. Meetings no longer need to be held in formal conference rooms with everyone sitting quietly, taking notes and nodding their heads in approval. Today’s culture is filled with technology that offers flexibility in how businesses operate. The methods of a decade ago restricted creativity and self-management. Using the new technology allows employees to communicate from anywhere on the globe, with such options as video calls, instant messaging and web conferencing.
Web Conferencing Basics
When computer-based technology began infiltrating the business world a few decades back, attempts to meet by using phone or other equally-limited systems were quickly replaced with satellite links and fiber optic networks. However, as technology grew and developed, business managers began to seek new ways to communicate with their staff. The internet introduced new and more effective meeting options. These were no longer limited to office-to-office systems. They allowed people to communicate around the world, but they were still quite limited. Today, with mobile phones having full internet-based communication abilities, conducting meetings now no longer requires that people be in their offices or some formal location. They can meet online from a client’s office, while traveling on the road, or even from the comfort of their own home.
Web conference services allow for your staff to join in a meeting any time and any place. They can see other participants, speak directly with them, and send data files and chat-room style messages from wherever they are. Such technology is becoming the norm, and the software that has become available allows managers to have access to their people at any time. Even for those who don’t require video capabilities in their conferencing, there are many excellent programs available that allow everyone participating to have full access to the session. Using online conferencing and meetings with Uberconference, for example, allows participants to know who is online, if someone new joins in, or if someone leaves the conference, all without having to interrupt the meeting to find out who is online and who isn’t. Participants can choose to have private conference calls with others while still keeping track of the main session. The entire session can even be recorded for later reference. With that kind of technology at a manger’s fingertips, who wouldn’t want to take advantage of web conferencing?
Organizing a Web Conference
In past decades, organizing a conference often involved making travel arrangements for visiting staff members, including flights, hotels, and dining options. Conference rooms needed to be set up, reports and conference agendas needed to be printed, collated, and assembled for each participant. If something came up and one of the key individuals couldn’t make the meeting, managers were sent scrambling for solutions.
With web conferencing, most of that activity has been replaced by this technology. Managing and organizing a web conference is rather simplistic.
•Plan ahead. You’d be doing this even if it was a traditional conference, only now most of the major headaches have been eliminated. Make sure you’ve reviewed your agenda, contacted every participant and verified their attendance.
•Test software. Before delving into a meeting for the first time, make sure that you know how to use the software. Nothing can sabotage a meeting faster than a failure to understand your conference software.
•Manage documents. Be sure to send email copies of all necessary documents for the meeting. If the recipients want to print and collate a copy, that’s their concern.
•Prepare video or audio recordings. If your meeting involves releasing video or audio files, be sure to have them prepared ahead of time and test them with your conference software.
Benefits of Web Conferencing
The benefits of web conferencing are many, but there are a few that stand out above all else. First of all, you no longer need to spend a large part of your budget on travel and lodging accommodations. The cost savings of using web conferencing is substantial. You are also able to bring in people from anywhere in the world to participate in the conference. People are much more productive as well, since they aren’t wasting days with travel time. As soon as the conference is over, they can get back to their work doing whatever they need to accomplish.
Web conferencing is certainly a true benefit of technology. Whether you’re a large or small business, the technology and software are readily available. Anyone can make use of it, and because most products are extremely user-friendly, you don’t need a large IT staff to set things up. Taking advantage of this technology can free up your time so that you can accomplish even more than you were able to before.