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Published On: Sat, Oct 10th, 2020

What to Know About Virtual Conferencing Software | Here are the Best Money-Saving Solutions

Are you an old school classic salesman? Do you value a good handshake? Do you like to make deals over a steak dinner?

Well, we are sorry to hear that because, well, those days might be over. 

The classic wine-and-dine-‘em salesman is going the way of the dinosaur. It is time to adjust and adapt to more modern technology especially as we deal with the ramifications of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

So, if you are an entrepreneur or a business professional looking for ways to make sure that you grease the wheels of your business or if you just need a way to still attend all your scheduled business meetings (and at a lesser cost) then you’re in the right place.

The best money-saving alternative is to go 100%-virtual

This means adopting ways of holding meetings online that will guarantee that the business runs smoothly, while also seeing a reduction in costs. 

Now, what are virtual meetings and how are they conducted? 

photo/ Imanuel Pasaka

Virtual/Online Meetings

Every business needs to conduct regular meetings. Those meetings aren’t an option in the current social distancing climate. Since the onset of COVID-19, the World Health Organization and medical practitioners from all over the world have strongly advised against physical meetings to reduce the spread of the virus. 

What does this mean for professionals? How do they continue to keep the gears of the business moving if they can’t plan, prepare, and make decisions together?

This is where online meeting tools come in.

With just a link, people can join meetings that are just as successful as physical meetings. Thanks to popular, online meeting software like Microsoft Teams, Zoom, and Google Meet you can have successful meetings with both internal and external members of your organization —  and still stay safe!

Not only is there clear communication between attendees of the meeting, but the business is also able to cut down on a lot like the cost of air travel, food expenses, car rentals, and hotel bookings.

So, it’s actually very cost-effective for your business to embrace virtual meetings. Many companies that have adopted the services listed above have reported not seeing a slowdown in operations. 

Besides the above choices for employers, there are options for just audio conferencing as well as more of a full-service video-based service. 

Here is a breakdown of those by category:

Audio Conferencing

If readers are unfamiliar, audio conferencing enables people in different geographical areas to use technology as a bridge to hold an audio teleconference. 

Audio conferencing-only platforms include:

  • Global Collaboration
  • Intercall
  • Spike
  • Nextiva
  • Avaya Aura
  • Loop Up

Web Conferencing

This is a very efficient way of holding meetings, presentations, and even e-trainings via the internet. Web conferencing provides both video and audio connections for companies.

Some web conferencing apps include:

  • Zoom
  • Google hangouts
  • Google Meet
  • GoToMeeting
  • Skype for Business
  • Blue Jeans
  • Slack
  • Appear.In
  • BigBlueButton
  • Microsoft teams
  • Workplace by Facebook

The Advantages of Virtual Alternatives

As stated above, online meetings can save businesses a lot of money by cutting the costs that would have been incurred from hotel bookings, plane tickets, food expenses, and car rentals. Other benefits include:

  • Remote working reduces stress and increases morale. Some studies indicate that it might even increase productivity, too. 
  • Urgent information can be quickly shared across departments since most of the information is available online.
  • There is widespread global attendance at a much lesser cost.
  • Through screen sharing, companies can provide refresher courses and training for employees with ease.

For any of these methods to be successful, it is important to bring the staff onboard. This is because the secret to any successful business is having a team of people who have bought into the vision of an organization. 

When you have employees who are rooted in the business wholeheartedly, it directly reflects on the success of the business. With what is going on in the world right now, professionals have been compelled to seek alternative ways of ensuring that business runs as usual while trying to adapt to the new normal. 

So, employees need to understand that doing business virtually will just be as effective, or even more than meeting physically. 

Successful Setup

Some older employees, often in management positions may not have the necessary tech-savvy to work an online meeting. Most of these platforms do include easy-to-follow tutorials that should get everyone on board, but we recommend giving at least 2 weeks’ notice before a first-meeting, so any kinks can be ironed out.

The first hour of your initial meeting should be spent getting everyone connected and troubleshooting any problems employees might be facing getting connected.

We also recommend making sure there’s a “tech guy” on hand with the knowhow to troubleshoot and fix issues. You also want to think about security as well, making sure that the only people with access to your conference are the attendees you intended to be. Setting a password for each conference is strongly recommended.

Yes, the world has been hit by a pandemic, but that does not mean business should stop. It only shows us that the one constant thing is change and we should all find alternative ways to adapt to the new environment and succeed while at it. 

Author: Doreen Jacobs

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