The widespread availability of high-speed Internet service has been a blessing to businesses in so many ways. Among the more important advances is the popularity of desktop conferencing and its ability to connect multiple businesses at the same time.
In the past, a meeting or presentation often meant costly and time-consuming travel for attendees. There was simply no other way to benefit from live attendance than to be at the meeting in person.
Modern conferencing solutions have greatly reduced the need to travel to meetings. Using a high-speed connection combined with software and inexpensive equipment lets attendees enjoy a live meeting without the cost and hassle of traveling.
One great feature of many desktop conferencing solutions is their simplicity. A PC with a browser and the conferencing software installed on it, a microphone, speakers or headphones and a high-speed connection are the only software and hardware needed for a typical installation. This minimal investment could well be worth it–StartMeeting’s audio conferencing allows you to connect up to 1,000 callers and record the content to use later in presentations.
Features that Desktop Conferencing solutions Must Have
Mute capabilities allow attendees to prevent any noise in their environment from being heard by everyone else. They can excuse themselves from an online meeting briefly to attend to another matter without being disruptive.
Conversely, the presenter can mute the attendees, allowing a meeting to proceed without disruption. It is also a great way to defer questions until after the presentation is complete.
Conferencing software also lets the presenter know who is attending and when they arrive. With many solutions, the presenter displays their computer screen while leading the meeting. Control of the meeting can then be transferred to another attendee, who can display their screen after taking over.
Supporting attendees who do not have a computer or high-speed connection is another critical feature. By simply dialing in and keying in options and codes that identify the meeting, anyone with a cell phone can participate in the meeting.
Chat windows are also very helpful since they allow users to enter clarifications and information like URL references to a relevant site.
Desktop Conferencing for One-Man Shops or Business people out in the Field
The usefulness of desktop conferencing technology to hold meetings in a corporate setting without attendees having to attend in person is undeniable. Its simplicity also makes it useful for small businesses or one-man operations that support customers like salespeople or independent consultancies.
Businesspeople or consultants who frequently travel to customer sites are critical to their business’ success. They are often the main point of contact for support. Unfortunately, customer problems often occur while a consultant is between visits or helping another customer.
Digital conferencing provides a way for a one-man shop to support a customer while off-site. With a laptop, high speed connection and access to a WiFi connection, it’s easy to set up an impromptu session with a customer and provide support.
Thanks to widespread availability of broadband Internet service and other technological improvements, it is no longer necessary to attend many meetings or presentations in person. Desktop conferencing is flexible enough that it can be used in large meetings or meetings with as few as two people. Given the expense of travel, higher fuel costs and popularity of green initiatives, businesses will continue to use the technology at an increasing rate.