BUSINESS CONFERENCING 101

Communication is an indispensable part of a business. Whether internal with employees or external with clients and investors getting your message across with clarity and efficiency is a top priority.

Distance, different time zones and the rise of telecommuting has led to the development of business communication applications and Software as a Service (SaaS) to serve the demands of this growing market. Cloud hosting, SaaS, video-conferencing, these are not complicated nor as expensive as you would think. Business conferencing offers tools and solutions to business communications requirements.

What Is Business Conferencing?

Business conferencing is a meeting with multiple participants involved and engaging in face to face interactions. Business conferencing applications have been in the market for close to two decades and have greatly improved in terms of ease of usability and cost. The term business conferencing is broad but can be broken down into three specific formats: voice conferencing, video conferencing, and web conferencing.

Voice Conferencing

Video Conferencing is the oldest form of the three. It is a good, old-fashioned phone call between two parties with options to add more people to the conversation. Some apps offer additional functionality like attaching and sending files. Although people can be added to the call, there are limits to how many people can participate in a call at a given time. The ideal is not more than 10. The limit in the number of participants stems from the unfamiliarity of those involved in the call unless you know the participants personally and can place their voice.

Video Conferencing

Video conferencing is an upgrade of voice conferencing with the addition of real-time visuals. The last decade has seen an increase in the popularity of video conferencing where groups of 4 to even 100 participants engage in a discussion. High-quality video and audio allow people to hold meetings from multiple locations across time zones. File sharing and screen sharing options are also integrated with video conferencing. There is also an option to switch to voice-only conferencing.                   

Web Conferencing

Web conferencing is similar to video conferencing. It allows a large number of participants to view content and engage with other conference attendees. Like a video conference, web conferencing allows people to join in a meeting from different locations using their own devices. It is ideal for conducting employee training, webcasting, and live streaming. High definition video makes sharing visual materials easier with a seamless switching function between sharing your screen and a view of the speaker or the audience.

How Much Does a Business Conference Set up Cost?

There are a lot of business conferencing apps that are free to use and readily available on the internet. You only need to sign up for an account, download the application, and you are good to go.  Some have web-based versions so there is no need to download additional software. These can be accessed by logging on your account and start using the service.

Free-to-use business conferencing tools and services have limitations though. There are restrictions on the number of users allowed in an account. Limits are also placed on the length of time you can use the service. With web conferencing, apps and services allow a maximum of 1-hour meetings or conferences then the connection will be cut. Free versions also restrict the use of some functions which can only be accessed with a premium or paid account.

The cost of premium versions of video conferencing services and apps ranges in price from $10 to $25 per month. The features included in the paid service are dedicated support, unlimited time use, options for adding more users, additional cloud storage, and other added functionalities. Aside from subscription services, some apps also sell call and text credits that allow you to use the app to call or text contacts.

Who Needs Business Conferencing?

The best answer to this is small and medium-sized business owners who need to reach potential customers and keep existing ones. The ability to scale is there even on a limited budget as the business grows.

Business conferencing is ideal for:

  • Real estate brokers
  • Financial services – asset management, insurance claims
  • Consulting and freelance service providers
  • Outsourced business process solutions and services
  • Educational institutions and training providers
  • Medical professionals

Why you need Business Conferencing for your small business?

Use of Business conferencing offers many benefits which have positive impacts on your business growth. It lowers costs in travel expenses. Investing in a business conferencing set up is cheaper compared to travel and accommodations expenses attending an out of town meeting would incur.

Time and location barriers are not an issue when meetings can be held anytime from anywhere. Collaborations, deals, and getting and giving information are done in real-time.

Work productivity is enhanced. Eliminating travel to and between locations means you can set up an interview for an applicant or do a business presentation with fewer logistics involved. More work is performed maximizing efficiency when questions are answered faster and problems are resolved with increased connectivity and communication.

Business conferencing allows flexibility when people can join from where they are using their phones and devices. This encourages a positive work-life balance and maximizes meeting attendance.

Videos communicate intent clearly by showing the facial expressions and body language of participants. Messages are not lost in translation and interpretation when video conference have recording options. This leads to clarity for the message that is delivered and the digestion of information.

Is Business Conferencing for you?

If you found yourself agreeing to some of the points raised in the article, then it’s time to consider setting up a business conference service. Whether you try out a free-to-use service or opt for a premium account, the value it will bring to your business. Let PhoneOne help you choose a plan that will best suit your business requirements with web, video, and voice conferencing options.

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