The term Conference Calling is one we have probably all heard, whether you’re a business owner or part of a larger organisation. However, as with many things you have heard in passing, you may not know what conference calling is, or how it could impact what you do. Even if that is the case, you’d be definitely missing out if you didn’t take a minute to find out more.
What is conference calling?
A conference call is simply the term for a meeting which takes place over the telephone. You can communicate with two or more people as the result of having multiple lines open at the same time and can use either a mobile or landline.
Conference calling can also be conducted over a medium such as Skype which allows you to see the people you’re communicating with (whether that’s a good or a bad thing, we’ll leave to you to decide). However, there are some limitations on the number of people who can be involved in a Skype call (25 at present) and such limits don’t apply to regular conferencing.
People use conference calling for a variety of reasons. Primarily, they are used to connect people for business meetings. However, there are also many businesses which carry out their training, interviewing and instruction provision via group calls. There are also many who use conferences to connect with their remotely located staff. For example, in retail establishments where there is a head office then multiple shops in various locations, conferencing can assist with communication.
Whoever you intend to communicate with via conferencing; there are a number of benefits. The most immediate ones can be found in the fact that you don’t need to leave your office, or even your desk, in order to talk to either clients, customers or colleagues. There’s no travelling time, no need to consider geographical location (so no plane journeys to talk to your clients in another country) and no need to book meetings months in advance so as to allow for journey planning. Perhaps even better, there’s no need to worry about finding a parking space or having spare change to be able to feed the meter.
You can simply say one morning, “I’d like to have a conference call at 1.30pm” and assuming everyone is free, it can happen.
Being in, and staying in your office means increased productivity for you (and your staff). Consider the amount of time you waste travelling to meetings, or the amount of work you’ve scribbled together on the train or the desk provided by a Travelodge? With that time being used more effectively, you’re not only looking at fewer overtime hours but more time with your family and your social activities.
Networking is also commonly done as the result of conference calling. You might work with two different organisations but want to introduce them because it will benefit you but also could benefit them. Under “normal” circumstances, you’d have to persuade one or both of them to give up their time on your say-so, but with a conference call you have the benefit of a stress and pressure free meeting.