Audio conferencing services are as popular as ever because people and business are no longer operating in physical proximity to each other. Decision makers and collaborators are scattered over the nation, or even in the same building. So conference calls are an important tool in getting things done, especially in a all-digital environment when we rarely see each other.
Here are a few things you should know about the options available in audio conferencing:
1) Unlike web or video conferencing, audio conferencing only transmits sound. So you’ll be using your desk phone, your Internet connected phone, or your cell phone to talk and listen.
2) If you are a large company or organization, you may have your own internal conference equipment and bridge. However, owning a conference bridge is quickly becoming a thing of the past. It’s simply too expensive to operate and maintain compared to just retaining a conference service. Because rates have gone down dramatically over the past 10 years, conferencing services can be had for a fraction of what it used to cost. You can check out our various services at the top and side of this page.
3) There are several audio conferencing formats and plans. For example, you may be a heavy user of conferencing that would make flat-rate conferencing very attractive to you. You can have as many conferences as you want, and talk as long as you want, for one flat or fixed rate per month. The only disadvantage (if you can call it a disadvantage) is that the call-in number is not a toll free number. But that shouldn’t matter since there are no long distance charges on cell phones, and many of the regular phone plans are bundled with long distance.
4) The most basic service is still the most popular. That’s the toll-free pay-as-you-go plan that enables you to access a conference bridge on-demand, whenever you want. You can get multiple passcodes for multiple departments or individuals to use at anytime, and you’ll get reports that detail who is making the calls and when. Again, everyone gets a toll-free number that works in the U.S. and Canada. Everyone calls the conference phone number and then is promoted to key in their passcode. Hosts (moderators) get one code and the guests (participants, conferees) get another code. Hosts have the ability to monitor the call online and mute individuals or all guests when activating “lecture mode.” Hosts can also record the conference and download the recordings for free.
5) The top-of-the-line service is the operator managed conference call. Operators dial out to all the parties and place them into the conference call. Guests don’t have to do anything except answer the phone. This is also referred to as operator assisted, or operated staffed, conference call. This is a popular conferencing solution for lawyers who are planning conferences with judges, and it is also ideal for deposition conference calls. You can also have your guests dial a conference number and have an operator answer who then captures several datapoint such name, company, email, etc. That format is usually activated for corporate investor calls.
Overall, audio conferencing services are getting better and more affordable as technology marches on. With a variety of plans, businesses, non-profits and professional users can easily set up a service that matches their needs and budgets. Conferencing will continue to be a valued and needed staple in conducting business and quickly achieving your objectives.
Give us a call at 877-254-2424 and let us know how we can help.