In the current febrile atmosphere of possible fuel shortages, it’s worth exploring the alternatives to face-to-face meetings. Most households and businesses have access to broadband which means that web conferencing is a viable option for replacing visits to clients, support calls or training sessions.
Web conferencing, webinars or online meetings allow a number of people to simultaneously hear the words and see the screen of one person from their computer, with the added option of interacting through online chat, Internet audio or teleconferencing.
There are two main corporate products on the market, Go To Meeting and Webex – which provide high quality, multiple featured services, enabling potentially large numbers of people to meet, interact and discuss online without having to leave their office or home. With prices starting at £30 a month these products are suitable for medium to large sized organisations.
A free subscription service such as Powwownow provides an excellent service where you only pay for local call rate teleconferencing. The additional web conferencing services are free and provide a stripped down version of what is offered by Webex or Go To Meeting but work very well. The organiser can share their screen to demonstrate or present and even transfer presenter status to someone else in the conference.
While face-to-face meetings will always have a place, travel is likely to become more and more expensive in the future and it is reassuring to know that viable alternatives exist in the present.
Have you ever used web conferencing and was it a positive experience? Leave a comment below.