An advantage of having business conferencing are that it can cut costs, as well as making it easier to hold regular meetings and share information. A live video conference can be more effective than a phone call in many different situations. For example, if you need to visually demonstrate a new product with your international sales team or troubleshoot an issue with a client which requires data sharing. Business conferencing can’t replace every face-to-face meeting but it can come in handy. Here are the different types of conferences:

Conference calling – A conference call is the simplest way to hold a meeting between people in different locations. To join a meeting, people dial a specific phone number and enter a code. The conference calling system ensures everyone can hear each other.

Video conferencing – You can set up a video conference using a webcam, computer, appropriate software and an internet connection. Skype is included with Office 365 and it allows you to hold free voice, video and group chats across the internet. It also allows you to send instant messages and make low cost national and international telephone calls making it ideal for informal or unscheduled team meetings. Make sure you check the quality of any video, as it can vary depending on the quality of your webcam and the speed of your internet connection.

Web conferencing – This involves a combination of technologies. Rather than dialling in by telephone, meeting participants connect to an online meeting place using their computers. This allows everyone to talk to each other using headsets connected to their computers. Some web conferencing software lets you share your desktop, show presentation slides, store documents and resources that participants can download and allow participants to communicate by typing messages.

You should look carefully at all the different options before you jump in because some could have only up to 5, 10 or 20 people at a time. Make sure your business is up to date with the latest technology to save costs in your business, no matter what size it is. There are many benefits of business conferencing, it can take your business places without you even having to move.

Inter-office communication.

Business conferencing is an effective way to hold regular meetings between people in different offices. For example, if you have a large office space it can be useful, as it doesn’t have to stop them doing their day to day work schedule, you can have quick and easy meetings.

It can help improve communication and collaboration, especially where you have people working on a joint project from different locations in the office.

Work/Life Balance

Trying to balance the perfect work/lifestyle can be tough. People’s expectations are now higher and ever you have to be available 24/7, speed up the daily commute, the weekly meeting at HQ and frequent customer meetings, it can seem that you live on the road. People who work from different locations use conferencing systems easily in their day to day routine. It comes in handy when they are away travelling for business or if they work from home. Conferencing is a good way to hold a catch-up meeting – or a check in meeting to make sure the person/persons are all on task.

Business Continuity

Natural disasters do happen whether it’s the weather, fire, natural disasters, epidemics—the list of factors that can affect business, are totally out of our control. For example, the 2010 ash cloud over Europe grounded more than 100,000 flights and left over 10 million people stranded. It’s said that 80% of businesses affected by a major incident either never re-open or close within 18 months. This is where business conferencing can keep you connected and help ensure that your business stays up and running—from a different location—even if disaster strikes.

Accelerate the speed of business

We use technology to be more productive and changes in the office are about speeding up business. Over the last 50 years, technology has helped businesses to transform from a local shop to a global entity. The Internet, fax machines and mobile phones have all helped speed up that transformation, but there has always been a cost—the human connection.

However, there are some downsides to business conferencing. A phone or web conference is no match for a face-to-face meeting. It is more difficult to judge someone’s body language if you are using a webcam. Without these visual clues, it can be harder to hold constructive discussions, especially between people who haven’t had the chance to build a rapport in person.

Effective training and guidelines can help address these issues. Sometimes a conference call or video conference isn’t the best forum for discussions – and be willing to make alternative arrangements.