A continued increase in remote work has prompted an increase in teleconferencing for many businesses. Organizations who are forced to adapt to remote work because of the employment landscape do not have to miss a beat. Companies who have already adapted to remote teams and teleconferencing with employees, customers, and clients know the benefits. Below we provide a broad overview of everything you need to know about teleconferencing, including benefits, how to set up a teleconference, types of conferencing, services, and equipment.
What Is Teleconferencing?
The teleconference definition includes the basic idea of two or more people using telecommunication services to hold a meeting from different locations. Today's technology allows for different teleconferencing features that enhance simple communications and allow users to collaborate remotely.
Benefits of Teleconferencing
Businesses reap various benefits when they hold a teleconference meeting instead of a traditional in-person meeting or conference. They include:
- Saving time
- Saving money
- Enhanced productivity
- Potential for face-to-face interaction with a video teleconference
- Speed up the decision-making process
- Promote collaboration and improve work culture
How to Set Up a Teleconference Call
If you want to set up a teleconference call with your team members or colleagues, you need to complete the following steps:
- Choose a conference provider, which typically includes choosing a specific teleconferencing software provider.
- Create a user account with your provider
- Email or text your guests the information for the call, which typically includes the time, date, and phone number or web access code
You should also communicate your expectations for your teleconference and lead by example. Some key rules for proper teleconference etiquette include:
- Be on time.
- Eliminate background noise and distractions.
- Introduce yourself when you join the call.
- Wear proper attire, even if only from the waist up.
- Do not eat food while on a call.
- Do not speak over others.
- Engage with the call.
Businesses that rely on teleconferencing services often use video teleconferences to hold webinars, meetings, and other online events. Video teleconferencing is an audiovisual experience that allows users to speak to each other and see each other in real-time. Video teleconferences provide the closest experience to face-to-face meetings or conferences but come without the high costs of travel and/or hosting an event.
There was a time when you could define a teleconference as an audio conference. Audio conferencing refers to the standard telephone conference call that has been around for decades. During an audio conference, attendees call into a specific number, often a 1-800 number, punch in a code, and join a telephone call. Audio conference calls provide a medium for team meetings and other important organizational announcements, but they do not offer visuals, which can be a drawback in many situations.
Teleconference services are companies that provide a one-stop-shop for businesses that need remote communication. Teleconference services typically provide far more than audio or visual conferencing. The best services provide a user-friendly platform that allows easy access to meetings from multiple devices, live meeting controls, and the ability to run analytics during and after each meeting. Teleconference services also typically provide essential meeting security to protect from malware and cyberattacks.
In addition to a strong internet connection, your remote team members need some basic pieces of equipment to participate in a video teleconference. They include:
- A desktop or laptop computer
- A separate webcam if your computer is not equipped with one
- A microphone, which most computers have
- A high-quality headset to eliminate background noise
- Video conferencing software