Conference calling can be beneficial to your business instead of a face to face meeting for several reasons. The most obvious reasons are savings in time and money which are often the main costs when organizing and arranging face to face meetings. Meetings may not be attended, they may be deferred for months in advance or they may not even be scheduled. Travel costs are incurred, as are the external venue costs including the costs and availability of hotel accommodation, subsistence allowance, refreshments at conference and the conferencing facilities themselves.
Conference calling works by allowing your clients or employees who are spatially and temporally dislocated from the conference venue to take part in the meeting or other event, such as a presentation, via the telephone. Businesses operate at both the local and global level and for large businesses operations are essentially global in focus and scale with clients and employees located around the world in continents within different time zones. As conference calling can allow international dial-in at an agreed time, this allows the potential for meetings to be held at any given time with a large amount of callers communicating simultaneously. Conference calling reduces the need for employees or clients to travel to meetings, resulting in savings in money and time for them and your business.
It is not only the monetary costs associated with the travel mode, air flight and train ticket or car mileage costs in reaching destinations that are generated, but there are also travel time costs. For instance, if delayed by travel factors (traffic flow, speed restrictions and congestion), these are often not calculated into a company’s costs when auditing the revenue and expenditure costs and account balance sheets. These accessibility constraints are the unforeseen overhead or ‘hidden’ factors that reduce the productive output of employees (time saved in planning and execution) and therefore the profit margin of your business.
Most conference call providers allow businesses to open an account which is free to set up; they do not charge fees and there is no monthly contract. Those that use the conference call provider (your conference attendees) are simply charged the cost of the call which is shown on their regular phone bill (and determined by the provider). For instance, conferencecall.co.uk charges 4.2 pence per minute from UK landlines. Conference call providers offer both home and overseas dial-in numbers. These can also be provided as an icon via a plug-in tool to your Outlook email. This tool allows the automation of the Outlook calendar inviting and reminding participants to the date and time and dial-in number of the meeting schedule. This tool can be downloaded free of charge.
Conference calling is beneficial for your business in a number of ways. Savings in time are generated, accommodation and travel costs are reduced, productive output increases and setting it up is easy and inexpensive. Conference calling saves the time and monetary costs associated with face to face meetings and is therefore beneficial to your business.