The Added Value of Web
Meetings are easy to make when the participants work
in the same office or even the same city, but it is
really different if they are at far away from each
other. For such meetings, you need plane tickets and
face many logistical problems. For a teleconference, you
must send materials by fax or e-mail in advance and a
lot of effort to make sure everyone is on the same page.
There are limited possibilities for co-operation.
Now you can make use of web meetings as virtual
conference rooms that you can reach via a web browser on
your PC. Through web conferencing, you can make more
sales, reach more customers, train more people, and solve
support problems, all without leaving your office or even
Lets take a look at how web meetings work.
For a good web conference, you simply need to go to the
services web site and fill out a form. Just indicate when
you want to meet, who will be there, and a few other
information. The service will automatically invite all
participants by e-mail, so you need not worry about
organising. Usually you dont need to download any special
software for the presenter or the participant. You can
schedule web meetings in just a few minutes, and service
providers also offer various extra services for your
needs, like editing your materials for presentation, or
add polls, flash slides or subtitles.
During web meetings, all participants can see all
materials (text documents, visual presentations, drawings,
software demos, stc.) on their screens at the same time.
The presenter can even point out important ideas or
features, just as in a live presentation, and you can even
make changes on a document online while everyone watches.
Web conferencing can also be combined with telephone
conference calls. With most services, you can speak
over the Internet through computer speakers and an
aplication like Real Networks' RealPlayer. This VOIP
(Voice Over Internet Protocol) can be used by those who
have only one telephone line.
With some web conferencing services, you can ask
questions from the participants any time before, during or
at the end of the meeting and show the results
immediately. In this way, you can get immediate reactions
to your product if you hold web meetings between your
company and its customers or partners. Some services also
offer possibilities for keeping materials for later
playback, or reports showing who took part, how long, when
they left, and so on. One companys senior webmaster even
said that people stay more attentive and remember more at
web meetings than at traditional conferences.
Prices are different for individual services. Web
meetings can cost as little as $20 per person for an
event, no matter how long they last. You have lower costs
than if you make a long travel, but web conferencing is
also cheaper than teleconferencing, because there is no
need for a conference call. You dont even need to drive
across town. Isnt that a good reason to hold your next
meeting on the Web?