Posts Tagged ‘web meeting’

3 Reasons Web Conferencing Allows For Productivity In Meetings

January 6th, 2015

A web conference is a type of conference meeting that takes place over the internet (that’s why it is sometimes called internet conference). They are used for holding meetings with coworkers or customers regardless of their location.

Two decades ago it was impossible to hold a conference meeting without all participants being present in the same room. Thanks to the advance in technology this is not only possible but it is already practiced by hundreds of companies from all over the world. Web conference service is a term used to describe a hosted application. This type of conferencing has literally made a small revolution in the field of customer service, sales, technical support and overall interpersonal communications.

There are many benefits of using web conferencing. For example, many companies are using it as an easy way to conduct employee training. Some other companies are focused on using web conferencing as a tool that improves their relations with the customers. This means that in some cases the support teams from one company can access the client’s computer and fix the problem remotely. Of course, web conferencing can save a lot of money too. You will be able to host a travel-free meeting at any time you want.

Finally, web conferencing increases productivity in meetings. Increased productivity is one of the main goals of every company in the world, so it is no surprise why more and more companies choose web conferencing as a great tool that can increase productivity and on top of that – reduce costs. The following is a shortlist of reasons allows for productivity in meetings.

1. The opportunity to select the right people for the meeting

Many business experts have confirmed that one of the main reasons for meetings that are ineffective and sometimes completely unproductive is the fact that there are many people who don’t need to be at that particular meeting. In other words, instead of inviting the right people, hosts invite the wrong ones. If you have wrong people at the meeting, this meeting will most likely end without saying the right things and without proper and fruitful discussion. In case we are talking about physical conference, this conference will probably mean a waste of money too. One of the best things about web conferencing is that you can send invitations and topics before the internet meeting starts and you will have a clear view of who will be present. Even if some people who join the meeting are not interested in the topic they can leave the meeting without any problems and without causing distractions.

2. Being dedicated to a plan

It is sometimes difficult for business owners / leaders to dedicate the meeting to the agenda they had before the meeting started. This problem can be increased in cases when customers and clients are based in remote locations or live in different time zones. Web conferencing is a great solution for situations like these, because business presenters can stick to their agenda by using precise and short spreadsheets and PowerPoint presentations.

3. Chance for a face-to-face meeting

As we have mentioned before web conferencing allows face-to-face communication between employees and this is something that can boost everyone’s morale and improve camaraderie too which eventually leads to greater productivity.

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Why Can’t I Join A Web Meeting? Overcoming the Frustrations of Managing Online Meetings

December 3rd, 2014

Women own 10.6 million businesses in the United States and they employ 19.1 million workers. With these staggering numbers, it’s safe to assume that they often face the ongoing challenge of running their businesses more efficiently, especially when it comes to managing meetings.

Web conferencing has been around for years. And, with its longevity, you would think that using the technology would be even simpler now.  But, believe it or not, just the basic steps of clicking a web link and dialing a phone number to connect with a group of people online still leaves many frustrated users unable to join in. Whether they have to overcome the challenges of  waiting forever for downloads, entering incorrect meeting IDs or just the irritation of sluggish transitions as presentation slides slowly coming across the screen –  it’s true that users are still experiencing some major concerns with web conferencing technology.

While it’s hard to find leading statistics on web meeting attendance failures, in general, most failures are connected to issues with downloading and with challenges connected to first time users of the technology. These two issues alone can significantly drive up the meeting failure rate.  When someone is a new or an occasional participant in web conferencing, their chances of having problems with joining an online meeting are greater than someone who routinely utilizes the technology.

Since most web based meetings require that users either have specific software or apps already loaded on their device or that they download it for the meeting, new users trying to download the “client” software/apps for the first time may experience challenges with downloading the software. In contrast, people who regularly attend specific meetings probably already have it on their meeting device and can more quickly connect to the meeting. When the meeting system requires client software/apps, the likelihood of someone not being able to join increases with the factors mentioned above.

Moreover, client software for desktop and laptop computers has to be downloaded from the meeting software website. As such, there are a several reasons why such a download can fail or be difficult for users to complete. Such as:

  • The computer may be blocked from downloading any software by the user’s IT department
  • The user’s firewall is set to block ports needed by the download software
  • The Antivirus software loaded on the computer blocks the download
  • The Operating System version is not supported by the software
  • The Browser used to access the meeting site blocks the meeting address

Obviously, there are a number of reasons that can hinder the download process. When someone is joining a meeting for the first time, not being able to download the required software is extremely frustrating and usually causes that attendee to give up, thus causing an meeting attendance failure.

Meeting software running on the device is required if the attendee needs to:

  • Show their screen and/or web cam
  • Use VoIP for audio communications
  • Need to use their keyboard in the meeting to operate another computer

If an attendee is just joining to see the presenter’s screen and can use a regular phone for the audio, it is not necessary to download software. Modern systems (such as TurboMeeting by RHUB) uses a Guaranteed Meeting Attendance, browser based technology to enable the attendee to join the meeting and see the presenter’s screen without requiring a download of software, thereby, allowing for a significant increase in people joining the meeting.

Initiatives, such as WebRTC, promise to make browser based attendance more common and more powerful with the caveat that everyone joining has a compatible browser. The browser compatibility issue of WebRTC makes it a problematic issue when inviting attendees that are not aware of the browser requirement. At this time, while WebRTC is gaining a lot of press, it does not really remove the issue above; ie a new attendee who is joining with and unknown device/environment and cannot get in.

Another constraint of the software download issue is the size of the download and thus the amount of time it takes, especially if the prospective attendee is not on a very high speed internet connection. Bloated software modules take time to download and execute. If the attendee waits until meeting time to try to join and incurs a substantial time delay in the process, again, they will be frustrated and possibly just give up. One way to deal with this issue is to use meeting software that pays attention to the download module size. If all the required features are available but the download module is smaller, it will also load and execute faster, making the experience more acceptable for the attendee.

In addition to these technical issues there can be mechanical issues that frustrate attendees such as entering or giving the wrong web meeting and/or audio conference ID information. A possible solution to this is to use the browser based approach mentioned above and just email a link to the attendee. The attendee just clicks the link to join, enters their name and uses the internal VoIP system for the audio. This approach is very powerful for webinar type meetings. It does, however, compromise security as anyone with the link can join the meeting. When you have a need for a secure meeting, the download approach from an on-premise system provides the best solution.

Another user issue can be the etiquette for managing the audio part of the meeting. Often you can find multiple people wishing to talk at the same time. Newer systems, with integrated audio conferencing, enables the host to control the audio to minimize such issues. The host can mute each individual attendee at any time, especially when someone is using a speaker phone and then either puts it on hold with hold music or takes another call on a cell phone and talks over the meeting host.

Most modern systems have evolved to the point that performance is no longer an issue for attendees, even for some relatively large meetings. However, if the attendee is on a slow internet connect or the meeting software is not optimized to handle various connect speeds, some attendees can experience slow updates. In such a case, the attendee will feel “lost” if the audio is out of sync with the screen information.

The only solution for this problem is to use a system that is proven to work with the typical attendee mix you need to support. This issue can be very serious if some attendees are located internationally where the internet infrastructure is weak. Look for a system that has address international performance and test it before scheduling such a meeting.

In general, while web meetings have historically incurred frustrating issues for attendees, the newer, more modern systems have mechanisms to overcome most of these issues. It’s important for organizations to evaluate and test web conferencing tools before purchasing the technology to ensure that they can have a better, more effective web conferencing experience.

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Things You Can Do to Get the Most Out of Your Web Conferences

May 28th, 2010

There’s a good chance that the next time you attend a class or seminar it will be online. Webinars are fast becoming the go to means for disseminating information to large groups of people quickly. Attendees love it because they can attend from the comfort of the home or office. Businesses are big on it because they can reach employees or prospective clients no matter where they are, and save big while doing so.

Attending a Web Conference

The quality or success of a web conference will be evaluated differently depending on the person. While the overall success is largely determined by the host, there are some things you can do to get the most out of your web meetings. Factors you can control that are needed for a web conference include:

  • Internet connection: High speed is preferable as it will enable faster downloads. It also enhances video and sound quality.
  • Speakers and microphone: A microphone is optional as it depends on the format of the particular conference. Speakers are essential.
  • Webcam: This depends on whether you are supposed to be seen in the web meeting. In many instances this is not necessary.

Making Your Contribution

contribute to a web meetingIt’s true that the web conference is different from the standard meeting setting, but rules of good etiquette still apply. If you are expected to log in at a certain time, do so. Make note of any email reminders of the conference so you won’t miss the date.

If it is supposed to be an open discussion, prepare some quick points beforehand. Make notes during the session if you think it necessary. Take advantage of chat function during meeting to post questions without disrupting the presentation.

Avoid straying off topic. It might be a big money saver, but with web meetings time is still money. Using tools that enable collaboration and free flow of ideas will make for a more meaningful session. Some features you might want to look out for include:

  • Whiteboard
  • Text chat
  • Live video

As with face-to-face meetings, you typically get from a web conference what you are willing to put into it. Luckily, attending a web conference is not a technical issue, so you can concentrate on what is important. So before you attend your next webinar or web meeting, think about what you will contribute.

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Web Meetings, Do IT Know Best?

May 14th, 2010

IT departments have become a standard component of many businesses today, especially those that heavily utilize computer and communications technology. In charge of the company’s technology needs, the IT guy is the one you kermit learn more about web meetingscall when for are your computer troubles.

In spite of their obvious technical know how, IT staff is sometimes at odds with the company’s decision makers. Not surprisingly most of these little squabbles revolve around money. IT department strive to bring the best products to the company but often overlooking the staggering price tag that comes along with a top of the tier product. With communications technology there are lots of grey areas where cost is concerned. Sometimes it makes sense to go all out, sometimes it doesn’t.

The Web Conferencing Dilemma

Deciding to use web conferencing is not much of a quandary these days. There is ample evidence that supports the idea that this one of the best routes a company can take for communications. However, with there being so many vendors out there, making a decision can be hard. Just remember that certain features are considered essential, such as:

  • Audio conferencing integration
  • Screen sharing or remote desktop
  • File transfer
  • Text chat

These are pretty much standard with most web conferencing solutions. Just keep in mind that the quality of these features varies depending on the provider.

The Clash over Web Meetings

The thing to remember is that IT staff usually knows what they are talking about. It is what they were hired for. Still, it never hurts to do your own research. A more informed buyer is a better buyer. With web meetings, higher cost does not always translate to quality. Start by defining the need of the company. Once you start out with a clear picture of what your company needs, choosing a conferencing solution becomes simplified.

Choose a solution that is scalable, that is, capable of growing as your company does. You’ll find that on this issue, you and the IT department will be on the same page.

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