Conference calling is a
tool that has been used by large companies for many years.
The costs and the functionality requirements of conference
calling have till this point been somewhat demanding, but recent
improvements have opened up conference calling and many new
features to small companies that were unthinkable to even the
While most people are familiar
with 3 way or similar kinds of conference calling, true conference
calling is designed for multiple groups from different locations
to be able to connect and share resources or for one location to
be able to monitor and control the conversation.
Add the computer and high-speed
Internet connections to it, and conference calling becomes a way
to be able to do almost anything but shake hands.
Conference calling basics and some suggestions as to how to
use it to your best advantage will be discussed here.
What is conference calling?
Conference calling is now
more than just the ability to put everyone on speakerphone.
That can become particularly disruptive as the group
meeting becomes larger and cumulative background noises cloud the
connections. The more participants you have on an open line multi-party
call, the more opportunity you will have for doors that are
slamming, people whispering or interrupting, other phones ringing,
or just coughing, sneezing or other human noises.
Conference calling is
basically set up as a spoke wheel with the head office or the
person calling the meeting set up as the hub.
As such, the hub can have complete control over the
upon the technology being used, the conference calling hub can
select several individuals to respond while keeping a closed
microphone on everyone else, and therefore, avoid interruptions
and excessive background noise.
Who uses conference calling?
Conference calling is
making its way into companies of just about any size to
communicate in real time and to add capabilities as it becomes
necessary to add resources. While
conference calling is still a bit expensive, compared to the costs
of travel and the loss of time for those that are on the road, the
costs are negligible.
Conference calling becomes
particularly advantageous for things such as franchise meetings,
discussion of procedural changes, new employee training, monthly
updates, and important mandatory meetings that are called on short
notice. Home care and
healthcare companies are even starting to use conference calling
to communicate with remote family members or to hold company
meetings with staff who donít or cannot make it into the office.
Conference call add-ons
New technologies are making it
possible to add features to conference calling that were to this
point, only thought of as part of a Star Trek episode.
With each feature however, consider that the cost will go
up somewhat though you can generally add these only as you need
Most conference calling is set up
with a toll-free number that can be used anywhere in the USA or
Canada. This means that your users wonít hesitate to join the
conference because of cost and should hopefully be able to
concentrate on the meeting itself without worrying bout the cost
of the phone call during peak hours.
is provided to any such conference by using pass-codes.
Though the person who is holding the meeting is notified in
some way of people coming and going, you donít want just anyone
to join this meeting. You
as the host are given a pass-code that you may hand out to those
who you are expecting to join the meeting.
When they dial the toll-free number, they are asked to
enter the pass-code in which case they will be allowed access to