Add Web conferencing to the list of small business tech trends you should get behind. Online conferencing can be as simple as setting up a Web-based chat room to as elaborate as high-definition video conferencing. But how can a net meeting help your business thrive? Web conferencing can help your business by:
- Reducing travel expenses — particularly given today's gas prices
- Minimizing time away from the office
- Allowing participants from multiple sites to hold a net meeting in real time
- Providing a convenient way to meet at a moment's notice, regardless of where your staff are located
- Allowing for centralized employee training
Determine your net meeting needs
Look at the nature of your business — do you have satellite offices or many salespeople out in the field? A need for emergency meetings at a moment's notice, or do you only need to confer occasionally? What's your budget for Web conferencing software, hosting and/or equipment?
Comparison shop for Web conferencing services
Online directories allow prospective shoppers to compare the products and services offered by various online meeting service companies.
Web conference software vendors and Web conferencing services based on the popular WebEx platform.
Know what Web conference gadgets you need — or don't
Do you need an expensive video conferencing camera and feature-rich software at every workstation right off the bat? Investigate Web conference technology and determine what you can afford — and will actually use for a net meeting.
streaming media services for online conferencing at Business.com.
- Have all participants do a pre-event check — a test run of the Web-based conferencing interface — to ensure their equipment is working properly at every site.
- To save time, email a preliminary meeting agenda and bios of participants so people aren't introducing themselves or asking redundant questions during the actual net meeting.
- Peruse the specs listed at Web conferencing software Web sites to see exactly what sorts of features are typically offered.
- Ask if your Web conferencing software provider or hosting service offers tutorials that your entire staff and any other meeting participants can use to become acquainted with Web-based conferencing technology.