Web Conferencing - Does It Make Sense for You?
These days, more and more companies are finding that web conferencing is an effective, cost-effective way to handle business. Web conferencing is a form of technology that uses an internet connection to hold group meetings or trainings in real-time via the internet.
What Are the Benefits of Web Conferencing?
In the past, conference calls (or meetings held via speakerphone) were the preferred method of communicating with clients or employees in other offices. Lately, however, web conferencing has become an increasingly popular option over conference calls, and for a number of reasons. Some of the benefits of web conferencing include:
- Save money. Web conferencing brings clients and employees together for face-to-face meetings via the internet, so you save money on the costs of gas or airfare when traveling to other locations.
- Build rapport. Business people who utilize web conferencing can build rapport without leaving their office. Clients and potential customers are more apt to develop a relationship of trust with someone when they can see their body language and faces.
- Brainstorm. Web conferencing allows employees to brainstorm with customers or associates in real time, saving a great deal of time.
Does It Make Sense For You?
Before deciding to implement a web conferencing system in your company, first consider whether it will meet you specific needs. Primarily, web conferencing is used for the following purposes:
- General business communications: Some companies rely on web conferencing to conduct general business communications, such as meetings, brainstorming sessions, support, trainings, or company-wide seminars.
- Collaboration. When a great deal of collaboration is required to complete a specific task or project, many companies will use web conferencing to do this, even if the company they are collaborating with is local. Web conferencing still saves time and money, as it eliminates commute time.
- Training. Web conferencing is a popular option for training as it is very interactive and allows those being trained to freely ask questions. In addition, it allows the trainer to demonstrate in real-time the product or service.
- Promotion. Some companies will use web conferencing to promote products. For example, they can invite potential customers to their website to take part in a web conference in which a new product is demonstrated.
There are many scenarios for which web conferencing can be useful, and many different products available to meet your specific needs. Generally speaking, companies who do business with a number of out-of-state or country clients and customers, would probably get their money's worth out of a web conferencing system.
There are many companies that provide web conferencing services, and there are a number of different types of software available, based on your particular needs and what type of features you would like.
What you can expect to pay will vary based on what you want or need, but there is virtually something for every budget. Basic services, such as VoIP (voice over internet protocol) conference calling on the web, are free. Other services can cost up to hundreds of dollars a month, but those services offer more features. For example, one $200 a month service provides VoIP calls, videoconferencing, dynamic Power Point, and a number of other features.
Web conferencing is the conference call of the future, and most companies who deal with outside customers could benefit from some form of web conferencing service.