Video and web conferencing: How to determine which features will benefit you most
Web and video conferencing technology is becoming more sophisticated every day. A few years ago, it was a novelty to simply talk to someone online and look at his or her image at the same time. Today, web conferencing brings entire companies together in a complex interaction that rivals live, face-to-face meetings. How you can take advantage of the latest developments in web conferencing depends on your specific needs. Here are a few points to keep in mind.
1. Do you need to make a Powerpoint or other presentation during your conference?
If you answered yes to this question, then you will be happy to know that current web and video conferencing services allow the conference host to present a slide show or Power Point demonstration that will be visible on the screens of all conference participants . Likewise, hosts can also open and show other document formats to their attendees. If you need this kind of capability, make sure your conference provider can provide it.
2. Do you need a conference call integrated with your web/video conference?
Many organizations have found that conference calls are an effective way to get work done. If you already connect with your members and staff via telephone conferencing, you can extend this by choosing a web conferencing system that integrates telephone conferencing along with online conferencing. The combined service will give you the ease of telephone conferencing along with the enhanced visual and presentation features of online conferencing.
Some services allow the host to pay the long distance bill of all participants (free conferencing), while others require each participant to cover their own long distance charges.
3. Are all conference participants using the same type of computer?
If your participants will be using a variety of computers (PC, Mac, Linux), then you will benefit most by choosing a web conferencing system that works on each platform. While earlier conferencing systems required downloading complex software that would only work on certain operating systems, newer conferencing formats are delivered online and are browser-based. They work on any operating system and if yours is in an eclectic audience then you will get the best results with this type of conferencing.
4. Will it be necessary for one of your technicians to “take over” and manage the computers of any of your participants?
If you want to use conferencing as a service tool and want to avoid having to send your service team to physical customer visits, you can save a lot of travel time and expense by choosing a web and video conferencing system that allows the conference host to go online and actually take control of the client’s or conference participant’s computer. If you look at web conferencing as an after sales service tool, then this particular feature will probably give you one of the most important benefits you could wish for.
5. Do you want to conduct an online survey or survey during the conference?
If you have a large organization and want to quickly and accurately conduct an opinion poll or vote on a specific issue, then the new polling capabilities of the most advanced web conferencing services will be an important feature for you.
Likewise, if you need to gather demographic information about your meeting attendees, gain valuable information, or quiz and test your attendees, then the new online survey capabilities of current web conferencing systems will be an important feature to look for. , when choosing the format of your conference. Data from these types of online “surveys” can usually be saved and used for future use.
6. Do you want to brainstorm online using a “whiteboard”?
Brainstorming is a great way to tap into a group’s ideas and come up with and choose new ideas. If that’s what you like to do when you have physical meetings, then you’ll probably want to be able to do the same in your virtual meetings. This is now possible in some of the more modern web conferencing systems by using a “group notebook” that allows meeting participants to use a shared workspace. The results of these brainstorming sessions can usually be saved in a storage area.
Which of these features will benefit you the most? It all depends on your specific needs. One thing’s for sure, though: once you experience the convenience of online dating, you won’t want to go back to the days when every date required you to pack your bags and get on a plane.
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