The conference call is a type of call that allows the participation of several people at the same time. This means that a certain number of people hold a meeting, albeit a virtual one. Nowadays organizing a conference call is not at all difficult. Furthermore with the advent of technology and its further development, the meaning of conference call also includes conferences made through the use of PC. This offered the possibility of carrying out free conference calls using certain programs as we will see later.
A classic call, as we all know, involves two people being able to talk to each other. With the telephone conference call system instead, several people can connect to the same call to talk to each other as if they were physically present in a meeting room. All this is possible thanks to a connection infrastructure called Ponte Audio, which users can access by calling a national number of the country in which they are located. If you are interested in the way people interact online, Digital Coach offers you the Social Media Manager certification .
The advantages of the conference call
The conference call service certainly has some significant advantages for those who use it . If a number of people need to meet to discuss a topic or work matter, they won’t have to physically show up in the same place. This certainly means a saving in terms of time, since people will not have to travel to go to the place in person, and since the telephone conferencecan be organized in a few minutes.
Furthermore, we also have the economic saving of the journey that would otherwise have had to be made with the public transport to reach the place of the meeting. Those who, perhaps finding themselves in another state, will not need to spend money on the plane will breathe a sigh of relief. Saving money and time is no small thing! It will be useful both for the employees themselves and for the companies which, in this situation, will have to understand well how to manage a remote working group .
Telephone conference call
How does the conference call technically work ? In practice, there is one person who manages the organization of the telephone conference call. This person is called the moderator, while the other people who need to be invited are the participants. Participants will receive the telephone number to call (PoP, or Bridge Number), with the access code in addition.
If you are outside the Italian borders, it is right to call the PoP of the country where you reside at that moment. If two participants are one in Canada and one in Spain they will not call the same number, but the respective National Bridge Number. So to connect, just call the telephone number and then enter the code.
Also this type of audio conferencinghas its own virtual meeting room, which is called Audio Room, and is assigned to the moderator who manages the function. For example it can:
- Open and close the meeting room
- Decide when to start or end the conference
- Decide who has to speak by being able to mute or activate the microphones
Conference calls app
For some time now, to carry out virtual meetings, there have been apps that also allow video conferencing. Each platform has different types of subscriptions that can be consulted on the relative sites. Let’s take a look at some of them:
- GoToMeeting – Tool made for businesses and mostly used by them. Fundamental for a company to organize a remote business meeting. It does not have a free use version, only paid packages. Another important business software that allows you to run webinars is GoToWebinar . With a simple click you can participate in the meeting and see the presentation slides in the foreground. It is easy to use and it is paid.
- Hangouts : it is an integrated platform at the service of Google and is particularly appreciated by users. It allows you to carry out free video conference calls for up to 25 people.
- Google Meet : Originally part of the Google Suite package, it’s now a free-to-use platform. It allows videoconferences lasting one hour (24 hours until 09/30/2020) between a maximum of 100 people. The various paid versions allow remote meetings of up to 150 people for up to 300 continuous hours.
- Zoom : definitely the most popular video conferencing platform right now. In the free version it allows a conference call of up to 100 people for a maximum of 40 minutes (after which you can launch another without waiting). In the paid versions it reaches up to 500 participants for unlimited durations.
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Skype conference calls
Skype is a great tool for making conference calls . It has a clear interface that allows you to move around the software easily thanks to intuitive icons. It’s easy to manage your profile, add new contacts and make calls and video conferences. The advantage of Skype is that you can conduct video conferencing for free and this is probably why people use it so often. To demonstrate the simplicity of this tool, just think of the process of creating a video conference:
You will initially need to click in the left column, which is the contact list, on the person you want to call.
After that, just select the video camera icon to start a video call.
Finally, click on the “+” button which will allow you to add other participants to the video call , effectively making it a video conference
Conference calls on iPhone
All iOS and MacOs systems have an application called Facetime , totally free, which allows up to 32 people to participate in videoconferences of unlimited duration. The limitation of this solution is that all participants must have an Apple device.
Conference calls on Whatsapp
It is perhaps not well known, but Whatsapp allows free
video conferences for up to eight participants. The limitation here, for now, is that the desktop/laptop versions do not have this feature.If you are interested in transforming relationships via the web into a profession, Digital Coach offers you the Digital PR Specialist Certification.
Video conferencing for webinars
In the previous paragraphs we have seen that there are some platforms, such as the aforementioned GoToWebinar , which are very suitable for creating webinars or video conferences . But what exactly is a webinar? It is a lesson held by a teacher that can be followed online in live streaming and which can also be interacted with in a chat. So it is an online training method where physical presence in the classroom is not necessary. The possibility of intervening during the lesson makes it practically identical to a frontal lesson. There are also several advantages:
- Saving time and money: you don’t have to physically reach the place where the lesson takes place. All you need to do is connect online at the course timetable. It doesn’t matter where you are, whether at home, work or on vacation, all you need is the connection.
- Recordable lessons: if someone for some reason can’t attend the lesson, they won’t miss anything anyway. In fact, the webinars are recorded and can be used later at any time.
- Possibility of listening to audio, seeing power point presentations, carrying out tests, watching videos, thus almost completely bridging the distances .
The utility of video conferences in digital marketing
Even for those who work in digital marketing,
video conferences and conference calls are an excellent tool to keep track of the customer. Many marketers often organize webinars, free or paid, for those interested in discovering the digital news they have to reveal. Similarly, if a person who works in digital marketing has a company located far from him as a client, the conference call with the employees of that company is an excellent solution to update them on the results achieved and those still to be achieved. Consequently, especially for freelance workers who can potentially have many customers who are not exactly geographically close, this type of communication becomes very important if not essential to their work.
ConclusionsIn a period of strong intensification
of remote work and teaching, conference calls, audio but above all video, will have more and more space. The various
conference call platforms can meet most of the needs, both in the free version and in the low-cost premium version. The possibility of holding office meetings while remaining at home saves
time, money, and is also environmentally sustainable . Soon even international academic congresses held in popular tourist locations are likely to be a thing of the past.
The platforms we have analyzed are all very user friendly, and are also used without excessive problems by elderly people who want to keep in touch with their loved ones at a distance; you don’t need to take a course to learn how to use them, they are simple solutions for everyone but able to satisfy even the most demanding needs.
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