Audio conferencing services for corporations and business are available in several different plans and formats. Quality audio phone conferencing, a staple in the business world, will remain the most popular and preferred method to collaborate well into the future because it's easy (no reservations are required) and fast (on-demand) and simple to set up. People may be using the latest smartphones to have a conference, but the underlying model remains the same as it did decades ago — two or more people talking on the phone. At the top of this webpage, you'll see several different audio conferencing options, ranging from pay-as-you-go conference services to discounted pre-paid flat rate and toll free phone conferencing. Also, professionally managed conference calls with operator assistance are also available, in addition to services that enables you and your participants to dial a local number, called Local Access Conferencing. Here is a quick rundown on the audio conferencing features and advantages of each: Traditional Audio Conferencing (toll-free and non-toll free): Tried and true, traditional audio conferencing is used extensively by most corporations, businesses and non-profits today on an outsourced basis. (Unless your conferencing costs more than $2000 per month, it's best to outsource conferencing, versus purchasing and maintaining your own hardware and lines.) Costs are calculated on a per minute, per person, basis. (i.e. 5 callers on the conference for 5 minutes = 25 minutes.) You never pay for more than what you use and the lines are always open 24/7. The hosts and guests call the conference bridge number and then put in their passcodes. There is no monthly minimum, so if you don't use it, there is no charge. You can choose from a toll free dial-in number, or a long distance number (slightly cheaper.) Toll-Free Audio Conferencing (pre-paid discounted): This service is modeled after wireless plans which provide a set number of minutes each month, so if you can anticipate ahead of time how many toll free conference minutes you'll be using, you can cut expenses considerably. Better yet, there is no long term contract and you can purchase the service on a month-to-month basis, adjusting your account to accomodate your next month's usage. Needless to say, this is a very popular option that provides all of the benefits and convenience of having a toll-free dial in number, and works exceptionally well if you know how many total of conferencing minutes you average every month. Take a look at your current invoice and compare rates. Local Meet Me Conferencing (calling a local dial-in number): We have over one hundred local numbers in the United States and Canada that you can use for your conference dial-in number. This is our Local Access or Local Meet Me service and it's the best thing to happen in the audio conferencing industry in a long time. Let's say you were organizing a conference call and you had callers in Philadelphia, Detroit, San Antonio, Denver and San Diego. With Local Meet Me you can give each of your conference guests a local number in their specific area to call. They don't have to dial long distance and you don't have to pay the extra expense of providing a toll free number. And regardless of where they are calling from, they all end up in the same conference! This is charged on a very low per-minute basis (2.9 cents per minute, per person) and is modeled after the pay-as-you-go plan. You are only charged for what you use and there are no monthly minimums. Operator Managed Audio Conference: This is top-of-the-line conferencng at its best. Professionally trained operators provide full service and can call out to each of your participants and place them into the conference. Your guests just have to answer the phone. The operators can also provide different levels of service as well, including coordinating Q&A sessions, and managing legal and investor relation calls. Another aspect is to having everyone call in themselves and have an operator greet them, gathering contact information from the callers. That information can then be given the host. The operator can then introduce each person to the conference as they enter. A very nice professoinal touch! This is an ideal set up for important high-profile calls or critical sales calls when you want to close the sale. Fixed Rate Conference Service (pre-paid unlimited use): Fixed Rate conferencing is ideal for heavy users because you get unlimited usage. You can conference anytime you want, for as long as you want. Everyone dials a long distance access number (we have a New York City 212 access number and others in the Mid-West) to get into the conference call. While advances in video conferencing have been impressive, the vast majority of people who conference prefer an audio conference for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is that they don't particular care to broadcast their image over the Internet. (No studies have been conducted that we are aware of, but anecdotally, most people tell us they self-consciously just don't like the way they look on camera.) Overall, as companies look to save costs and boost productivity, audio conferencing services are near the top of the list to trim the need for physical meetings which eat into valuable time. Give us a call today to find out how we can help.