Archive for the ‘Video Conferencing’ category

I.C.E, or the Three Basilar tips to avoid that your Virtual Conferences work as a Powerful Snooze

February 26th, 2017

ICE: This acronym stands for interaction, color and entertainment. Never neglect these three tips, if you wish to engage the participants of your meetings.

As a big consumer of webinars and virtual conferences, one of the first tricks I learnt is that by simply muting my mic I can avoid being detected while taking  a short nap, since I prevent the speaker from hearing me snoring that way. In facts, the big advantage of virtual conferences on real classrooms is that the speaker cannot see you,  and – honestly speaking – many  virtual conferences are incredibly sleep-inducing.

The point to catch is that running a virtual meeting is tricky, as there is no real contact between the speaker and the audience.  So, it is really hard to understand whether you as a speaker are involving participants or not, and in what measure. This problem, which is common to real life meetings, is exacerbated by the nature of the medium: watching a screen is more tiring than listening to a speaker that physically stands in front of you, and keeping concentration on a distant presenter during a virtual conference is difficult because there are more possible environmental distractions that haunt participants’ minds.

How to assure that your audience is engaged during your conferences? It is enough to follow these three basilar tips that the acronym I.C.E stands for:

I as Interaction.

University lectures are boring, and virtual conferences are not university lessons. So, let’s change format and shift to something more involving, like, for example, dialogues; answering your participants or giving them the possibility to put questions is a quick and easy technique to keep them awake.

C as color

Black and white screens are particularly sleep-inducing. So, choose video conferencing products that assure you and your audience colors and a great HD quality, like R-HUB TurboMeeting (http://www.rhubcom.com). Additionally, TurboMeeting offers users a whole set of great tools to engage their audience, like polling, raising hand buttons, desktop sharing, file sharing, and many others.

Accompany your presentations with some colorful slides, photos and graphics. A well-designed slide is a powerful mean to get your idea/information across, as the eyesight is the sense that people use most to learn.

E as entertainment

There is nothing as boring as a monotone tone of voice. Thus, it is important to be able to use the full vocal range. It is also important to mix data presentations with jokes and stories in order to give some moments of rest to your audience. In one word, try to give and have fun while giving your presentation.

In conclusion, a good conference is the result of the interaction between the speaker skills and the quality of the conferencing tool that the speaker uses. If I.C.E will help you to deliver good quality presentations, do not underestimate the importance of having the right product on hand among the dozens available on the market today.

If you are interested in R-HUB`s TurboMeeting, and you would like to get a free demonstration or a free trial, this is possible. Please contact R-HUB (http://www.rhubcom.com) for further information.

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Is Visual Content Management the new challenge for providers of Video Conferencing Services?

February 22nd, 2017

Users in general and millennials in particular are fond of virtual contents. This is the reason why the ability to provide clients with good tools for visual content management has become a top requirement of any quality video conferencing product.

According to a survey commissioned by Google, 37% of millennials watch videos on YouTube or other digital channels daily, while this percentage drops to 14% for the old generations. These numbers speak out for themselves: in the future, content is destined to go visual.

This trend is confirmed also by Frost & Sullivan in their 2016 conferencing services research. They forecast  that the video conferencing market is expected to grow at a rate of 10% about per year till 2023, while some new trends that are also connected to the visual segment, like teleconferences, are going to  grow even faster (source: Marketsandmarkets’ global forecast to 2022).

Not surprisingly, in their research Frost & Sullivan mention visual content management as one of the ten leading trends of 2016 in video conferencing industry. The reasons that they give to  back up their assertions are similar to the ones provided by Google: Baby boomers are giving way to a new generation that has learnt to browse through YouTube even before they could stand, and that  grab information mainly through videos and images.

Are the producers of video conferencing services taking the challenge seriously? This means to be able to offer clients instruments like the possibility of recording their virtual conferences and pushing their records on YouTube or similar digital platforms as video format in order to share contents to the public.

Undoubtedly, some few top-ranked producers have already taken the plunge. R-HUB`s TurboMeeting (http://www.rhubcom.com), for example, offers an integrated suite for audio and video conferencing that supports recording, HD video conferencing and even telepresence. Other platforms that presently offer tools to manage visual contents are Cisco’s WebEx, JoinMe, and Skype.

But, surprisingly, some of the most popular brands of the virtual conferencing industry has not yet equipped their video conferencing products with some basilar features for content management like recording. Among them, we found well-reputed platforms like Zoho Meeting and GoToMeeting.

Behind this apparent laziness that could reveal potential problems in the future there are probably technological issues. Visual content management is not as easy to implement as it can seem at first sight. This much is true: Taking the big step requires skills and investments, two requirements that not every producer has, but that mark the lines between who is going to get ahead and who is going to fall behind the competition in the next few years.

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Virtual Collaborative Team spaces, a new trend in Conferencing Market

February 17th, 2017

The growth of remote teams makes tools for remote collaboration more and more demanding in the market, at the point that virtual collaborative team spaces have been listed among the ten most important trends of 2016 by Frost and Sullivan.

Not so long ago, virtual conferencing was strongly associated with the idea of one-on-one or multiple conversations and tools were consequently designed with this specific purpose in mind.  An outstanding example of this approach is given by Skype, which is still among the number ones of the apps for remote conversations.

However, the seeds of changes have been sown even in this fast-growing sector. According to the latest research of Frost and Sullivan on conferencing market, collaborative team spaces are among the trends that could lead to deep changes in the future.

What is a collaborative team space? As the name says, it is nothing else then the natural evolution of old web conferences into a new instrument through which teams can collaborate remotely with ease. For this purpose, traditional tools must be strengthened with additional applications that go from file sharing to the possibility of leaving notes or posts for other team members. It is also important to be able to assure users a high level of integration with other communication tools, like programs to manage emails.

Some examples of a collaborative team spaces are R-HUB`s TurboMeeting, InVision and Cisco’s Spark. They all offer a wide range of functionalities that are purposely tailored for remote collaboration, and the possibility of a good integration with applications like Outlook.

A team that should decide to adopt TurboMeeting would have many useful instruments like desktop control and desktop sharing. Another benefit is that, being TurboMeeting a complete suite, it provides clients with a wide set of services that are not always available on products for remote collaboration, like pc remote access and support, audio conferencing, and the possibility to host webinars. In this way, it is possible to cover almost all the conferencing needs of a company, which could be invaluable especially for small businesses.

Naturally, the growth of collaborative team spaces is strictly connected to the growth of remote collaboration. Under this aspect, statistics seem to confirm the trend. According to an online survey (https://www.wrike.com/blog/the-past-present-and-future-of-remote-collaboration-where-does-your-team-stand/) , 83% of employees spend at least an hour or two working remotely every day. To have an idea of remote collaboration expansion, consider that almost 47% of surveyed workers stated that today they spend much more time working remotely than 2 years ago.

It is also important to remark that remote collaboration is less dependent from globalization than readers could think. Even businesses that work locally could find remote collaboration interesting. The reason are several: for example, it is possible to reduce operating costs, like the ones for offices and meeting rooms, and have a way to integrate the local team with distant experts that give help or contributions on specific problems.

In conclusion, collaborative team spaces are a new and important trend in conferencing market, and the ability to design great solutions for this specific segment will certainly be one of the challenges that web conferencing service producers will have to face next years.

If you are interested in remote collaboration and working, please visit R-HUB web site http://www.rhubcom.com where you will find many interesting resources and posts on this topic.

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Ten Golden rules for Effective and fruitful Conference calls

February 14th, 2017

Leading  conference calls could be trickier than you expect. Follow these ten easy rules,  and you will make your conferences really effective and fruitful.

It is difficult to imagine an organization that can avoid using conference calls in the global market of today. So, how to do in practice? First, it is important to buy the right conference call service. Luckily, the choice is wide and goes from R-HUB TurboMeeting, a server suite for virtual conferences, to the traditional free software’s  like Skype and Paltalk.  The difference is that while TurboMeeting is expressly designed for enterprises and professional use, services like Skype and Paltalk seem to be more suitable for private/general use, at least in their free versions.

Second, simply follow these simple but basilar rules.

No mobiles

Landlines or specific conference call hardware like TurboMeeting servers are much more reliable than mobiles that are inevitably exposed to the risk that something goes wrong. For example, it happens quite frequently that many participants cannot attend or follow your conference simply because of loss of reception or the fact that cellphone batteries are running down.

Prepare everything in advance

If you start to interrupt your conference to search your pc folders for the files to share, your audience will immediately lose attention, and do not expect that it is so easy to gain their attention again. This is the reason why you shall send participants all the necessary documentation (like files, slides, images) before the conference starts.

Forget slides

The problems with slides are that they can be extremely boring, especially if they are filled up with walls of text.  At least, try to reduce them to the minimum necessary and avoid writing too much text.

Be on time

Be polite and enter the conference call on the scheduled time. Your moderator should be already in. Consider that keeping people waiting increases proportionally the risk that some participants leave.

Set a time limit

It is important to give participants the opportunity to schedule their day. So, please provide them with a list of items to treat and an estimation of the conference length. Another important point to keep in mind is that attendants’ attention tends to decrease as time passes. So, make your conference as shorter as you can.

Multitasking is evil

Focusing is important during a conference call, so forget your emails and close your socials. Any lack of attention could be contagious and makes you lose participants’ attention.

Engage participants as much as you can

Not only will your conference be more interesting, but you can also get some precious feedbacks if you are able to involve participants. So, do not be shy, ask questions, and get participant active and engaged.

Ban broad questions

Specific questions on specific topics are much more effective and able to prompt interesting answers than a trite “what do you think?”.  In this way, you also prevent dead air and embarrassed silences.

Be the leader

Be the leader. Taking charge of the conference is the golden path to gain participants’ attention.

Craft great endings

People need to leave the conference with a sense of purpose, otherwise they will think to have wasted their time. At the end of the call, it is important to sum up what has been reached and establish the next milestone. Use takeaways.

What benefits can you expect by following these ten rules? You will be able to get your message across more effectively and save your and other people’s time. Participants’ engagement will increase, with subsequent greater impact of the conference on them. The energy of the event will be greater, and participants will join another call more willingly.

If you are interested in conference calls, you are going to find further information on R-HUB web site (http://www.rhubcom.com ).

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What is the Best Live Meeting Platform to support your E-commerce Marketing Strategy?

January 26th, 2017

Webinars and virtual presentations have become crucial weapons in every marketing strategy that relies on the web. For this reason, being able to choose the right product for your conference call is vital.

After the success of Chet Holmes’ “The Ultimate Sales Machines”, the motto: “Stop selling and start educating” has become the new mantra of e-commerce marketing. Virtual conferences are crucial in this scenario, as you can reach a broad audience with them in no time. What platform to choose for your webinars and live meetings among the many available on the market? To answer, let’s have a quick look at some of the mostpopularand effective products for virtual events.

R-HUB’s Turbomeeting http://www.rhubcom.com

R-HUB’s web video conferencing servers ensure an excellent audio / video quality and a rich set of tools to engage your audience, two features that any video conferencing product must have in order to effectively support a marketing strategy.

Another important advantage of R-HUB’s product suite is that the adoption of an on-premise server based technology prevents many of the problems (for example poor audio or video quality) that are usually caused by bad or spotty internet connections.

Participants per room can reach the number up to 3000, which is a record in a world where most free web video conferencing platforms allow a max number of 10-12 guests per meeting.

Coming to costs, there is no need of an IT team or a dedicated room, as R-HUB web video conferencing servers are self-upgrading, plug-and-play devices that takes up very little space and are so silent that they can be stored on a shelf of your bookcase. Prices start from $295 (One time cost only)

Adobe Acrobat Connect http://www.adobe.com/products/adobeconnect/enterprise.html

Adobe Acrobat is a highly flexible suite for virtual meetings and events that offers fully integration with your existing systems. It is available in the forms of either hosted SaaS or on-premise server based solution. Its functionalities may be enhanced by a rich set ofapps, and it is even possible to develop one’s own tailored solutions. The level of security is high, as Adobe Acrobat Connect has been certified by the Department of Defense.

The cons are costs. The most inexpensive version (Adobe Connect Meetings) is sold for $50 per month; the one for webinars – that is the most common utilization for e-commerce purposes of this kind of products – is sold for $120 per month. To cut it short, Connect is great product, but if you look around it is possible to find platforms that offer similar services for less.

Cisco WebEx https://www.webex.com

Who doesn’t know this popular platform that is one of the most used in the world? WebEx can host webinars and conferences up to 3000 participants and has all the features you need to conduct a great virtual event, from mobile access to session recording. It is modular and flexible and offers a high level of integration with your existing IT systems.

However, Cisco does not offer its services for nothing. Again, the problem is costs. The price of WebEx Meetings Premium, for example, is 69$ per month, yet it allows you to host meetings up to 100 participants only. Probably too expensive for many small businesses which have been coping with increasing budget restrictions in the last few years.

AnyMeeting https://www.anymeeting.com/

The pros of AnyMeeting is price: you can hold unlimited meetings up to 200 participants for free. The cons is the fact that they pay their bills by using an advertiser based model. And being AnyMeeting browser based, it cannot assure you the same level of security and reliability of other solutions that implement a server based technological approach, like Turbomeeting or Connect.

In conclusion, what really make the difference among all these solutions is price and the max number of participants allowed per meeting, while the tools to engage the audience are quite similar and the quality of the stream often good.

However, this does not mean that you can buy on a price-only based approach: while a product like AnyMeeting could be a good solution for small businesses that need to host small virtual events, R-HUB Turbomeeting could be a better option in terms of costs and performances for those who need to scale up or wish a less expensive solution than the ones offered by the giants of the sector, like Cisco, Adobe and Microsoft.

In one word, your purposes and real needs still weigh in the decision making process of what product to buy in order to enhance your ecommerce marketing strategy.

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