Overview Of Web Conferencing ToolsOverview Of Web Conferencing Tools

Business budgets are tight regardless of company size. Putting an employee on a plane to travel for a meeting carries high costs - often, higher than a business can absorb without cutting back elsewhere. More organizations than ever are considering the cost savings associated with web conferencing. By using this platform, key members of a project can attend a meeting without leaving the office. However, it's important to realize that taking full advantage of this technology requires a number of tools.

Today's article will focus on the web conferencing software applications you should consider investing in. Some are necessary while others can significantly expand your staff's ability to communicate and collaborate.

Getting Started

Some types of internet conference systems require that each participant install specific software on their computer. Larger organizations that use a central server can push the needed application to participants' desktops. Otherwise, you'll need to make sure that each person who is planning to attend has installed it themselves. It's worth noting that special installations are not necessary for all conference systems.

Collaborating With Others

There are a number of collaboration tools that can close the gap between attendees despite the miles that separate them. For example, most web conferencing services now offer a screen-sharing feature that allows the moderator to "push" his or her screen to the screens of other participants. There are also tools which allow the presenter to give control of the presentation to other members. This can be valuable if a conference includes people who are experts in a particular area.

Another useful feature is a whiteboard. Web conferencing services routinely include this feature as part of their package. In the same way the moderator of an in-person meeting might use a physical whiteboard to manage notes, this tool allows the conference's participants to contribute and manage thoughts and ideas.

How Will You Communicate?

Communication is just as critical as collaboration during an internet conference. Most packages come with an instant-messaging application which allows attendees to communicate during the presentation.

If your online meetings require voice capability between participants, many web conferencing services will provide a teleconferencing feature. Also, organizations that are holding smaller online conferences with a limited group of attendees can even integrate videoconferencing.

Tools For Posterity

Rarely are in-person meetings recorded. As a result, the people who attend them may have different recollections regarding what was discussed and action items that were promised. A web conferencing solution will often come with a recording feature. The moderator can record both the audio as well as a video of what happened on his or her screen during the entire presentation.

Most of the features described above are not necessary to organize an online conference. However, these tools can support the ability of your employees to collaborate and communicate with each other more easily throughout the meeting.

In today's competitive world of business, it is important to stay abreast of technological advances so that your business practices are current and your company will impress potential clients.
by William Pritchard
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